If I could get away with a one line response to the movie for class I’d say: Some things you just shouldn’t mess with. The recent attacks in Boston and attempts to poison political officials should remind us all that there is enough negative and evil stuff in the world that why does anyone need to invite more of that into their life.
I think that one of the qualities of ghost stories that is so effective is the unknown. Most of the time you aren’t going to see anything. Whereas monsters and killers you have a higher chance of actually seeing them. Both types of stories can use the surprise jump out at your ploy. But ghost stories don’t have to show you what it was and still scare you.
I’ve posted before what I don’t like about ghost stories. I really have a hard time accepting that departed people will come back to haunt and scare us. As a religious guy, I just think that our loved ones move on to other things. They may come see births and weddings, but I expect that they’ll be busy most of the time. As for the evil people who lived here? I hope in swift eternal judgment and punishment.
Having said that, this is what worked for me in the Paranormal Activity movie. I like that the psychic came and said there are spirits and then there are demons. Again, as a religious guy, I believe that Satan has his followers that, due to their rebellion, are unable to have bodies so they prey on those that would either welcome their presence or play around with stuff they shouldn’t. There are stories in the bible about people being possessed by evil spirits. I don’t believe that those spirits are deceased beings, rather they are those beings who never came to earth and are now trying to deceive mankind.
I don’t believe that they are just waiting around haunting places. I don’t think that’s how it works. I think they’re waiting for those that engage in negativity and play around with dark things that no one should play around. If someone opens themselves to that influence they yes, I can see how they’d be possessed or have weird stuff happen to them.
Other than the concept of the story, the rest of it I didn’t like. Like I said, why invite more of that into your life. If you haven’t seen these movies I don’t think you’re missing anything.