Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Grave Encounters

I've recently become really fascinated with the "found footage" movies that have been coming out lately. I've always been someone interested in the paranormal, the unexplained and I've found a niche that caters to that bent. I suppose my first "found footage" film was "The Blair Witch Project," and although that one didn't scare me in particular (I would love to watch it again, in hopes of really being able to appreciate it this time around), for some reason these "real" movies get me interested. Most notably of late, of course is "Paranormal Activity" both 1 and 2 and I am seriously wishing I could see the third one in such a trilogy.
My husband is not a fan of scary movies in the slightest. He thinks the paranormal is bunk. So I haven't been able to convince him to take me to theaters for the third installment. Instead, I find little known gems on Netflix. This is where "Grave Encounters" comes in, and also the point of this post.
"Grave Encounters" is "found footage" of a paranormal investigation team who locked themselves into an insane asylum to investigate the paranormal. Of course, they build things up in the beginning, which is really an art - get that tension just right. But then they threw it all away with really in your face scares and bizarre asides. The team saw real people, they tried to escape the premises but somehow discovered there was no way out. Faces shifted, blood splattered, and people began to disappear. One investigator got lost in the dark, was picked up by some unseen force, and choked. Very in your face. But what sealed my opinion of this film was what happened when whatever demon from Hades dropped him on the floor. He lay gasping for breath, and then A BOLT OF LIGHTNING THREW HIM ACROSS THE HALL.
I really hate in your face stuff like that. It fails to be scary, except for the initial jump factor. The real art of these films is in building great tension, slowly and simply placing the antagonist in the film. I want unsettled scared, not jump-out-at-you scared, and this movie failed to deliver it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Super Scribblenauts

Recently, my hubby and I went to Best Buy, and after awhile we finally decided that a Nintendo DSi was a nice little treat for me (I made him buy something for himself, too). Along with the DSi, we got the game Super Scribblenauts! Hubs was afraid it might be a little bit beneath my intellect, but I've found it a lot of fun and sometimes I even need hints.

The game revolves around Maxwell, and your handy stylus. By using Maxwell's notebook, you can spell out any item you need to complete a level. If Maxwell needs to fly over shark infested waters, you can give him WINGS. If a warlock is too intent on your destruction, a nice SLEEPING POTION comes in handy. You might have to give someone who loves rainbows a RAINBOW FLOWER. With each level successfully won, a STARITE appears, which you gather for Maxwell. So far, I've only hit level 8, but it's been a fun ride, and I believe there are at least ten levels. It's been a few hours of entertainment, and you can go back and solve levels a different way to earn the golden crown of each.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hiding Fugitive

When I was younger, say 19 or 20, I played an awesome game of hide and seek with friends. We called it "Fugitive" and our playing grounds were the yards and streets of our city at night. Two searchers would stay in a car, while the rest of us ran for cover. We'd be given coordinates, how far we could actually go in a given street grid, and then it was every man for himself.

Hiding places included bushes, trees, the walls of fences. We'd keep an eye on the searchers, who drove about with a flashlight. If they yelled, "Caught you" then your position was compromised and you had to join the searchers. Of course, if you were a hider first, the whereabouts of team members was known to you. Would you become one of the searchers or hope the hiders made it to the designated safe zone?

The best part of this game was the absolute feeling of being followed. The sheer adrenaline of staying one step ahead. Climbing a tree quick like a monkey or darting behind a wall just before the flashlight beam hit your retreating sneakers. My biggest downfall was my very pale skin, quite visible in the dark, but I made up for it with my long hair, practically black. Hidden in a copse of trees, I would crouch with my head tilted down, my sheet of hair covering my face, completely quiet and unmoving. The searchers vehicle would turn the corner, and I was off like a shot, closer to the safe point, but out in the open. I stuck to trees and bushes, mainly; ran when I could and hid when I needed to.

I've just come over with a ridiculous desire to play that game just now. Ah, the joys of youth.