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Gear up for Fear

It's that time of year when pumpkins turn into phantoms and what better way to warm up for the Halloween season than with some captivating entertainment? With the release of the excellent Paranormal Activity 4, which is now showing, and fearful The Possession opening on Friday, you will be on the edge of your seat and able to celebrate Halloween wholeheartedly.
Weird gets weirder and things definitely go bump in the night when a mother and son move into the neighbourhood and turn the homely life of a family into a hellish nightmare.

You can hear a pin drop

It's amazing how quite its gets in a cinema when the imagination of the audience is in top gear and the space is filled with a deadly silence, where you can hear a pin drop and the slightest movement will leave you frazzled.

Paranormal Activity 4 is not scary, it's petrifying! It's not often that you find everyone in the cinema holding their breath. This absolutely terrifying continuation of the Paranormal phenomena is well scripted, directed and envisioned. It brilliantly shows what happens when people fool around with unexplainable supernatural forces and try to find the truth that lurks outside the realm of reason.

This is a true portrait of how evil can corrupt and destroy humanity. What's unnerving about this third chapter is that although we have been set up three times, the filmmakers manage to deliver an even bigger payoff that is original, filled with greater suspense and delves deeper into an unknowing fear that suffocates.

If you are a Paranormal buff, this satisfying conclusion to the previous films will give you an ideal opportunity to revisit the series and watch the first three films on DVD.

In your own comfort zone you can have the opportunity to shout as loudly as you want to - and make a total fool of yourself without giving a hoot.

DVD releases

On DVD you can get wrapped up in a murder mystery the whole weekend with 23 episodes of the eighth and final season of Desperate Housewives; you can explore the intriguing world of a medical examiner who finds the murderer through clues left on the victims in the first season of Body of Evidence; or lapse into a blissful coma with three seasons of hard-headed NYPD Detective to help find the killer.

If you enjoy getting scared step-by-step there's an Australian shocker, Wrath, which can only be described as Texas Chainsaw Massacre in the Outback; if you put Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity through a blender, the result is this frightening journey into the realm of astronauts and their "real life" encounters on the moon in Apollo 18, and in Fear Island, a cleverly plotted and well-crafted thriller, five friends decide to have a blowout party at a secluded island cabin and have the time of their lives until they discover a dead body, and blood runs thicker than revenge.

Veteran Saw franchise helmer Darren Lynn Bousman continues his foray into the macabre with the psychological thriller 11-11-11 This enigmatic psychological thriller concerns a best-selling author who stumbles upon a life-changing secret; and Little Deaths features three bizarre tales of terror and eroticism in the British horror film that are disturbingly sensual and terrifying, and guaranteed to shock you to the core.

The Entitled is an exciting and thrilling psychological thriller, with Keven Zegers as a young rebel whose life is turned upside down when he decides to kidnap three young socialites and hold them ransom to save his family. Things spiral out of control when his psychotic partners get trigger happy and his victims come with their own surprises. When blood is shed and his perfect plan goes horribly wrong, Dynan must fight to stay one step ahead of his own twisted game.

Behind the scenes of Paranormal Activity

For writer-director Oren Peli, who is the creator of Paranormal Activity, home is where the horror is. Literally. Paranormal Activity was photographed at Peli's home during a seven-day sprint in 2006, with a crew of three that included co-producers Toni Taylor, Peli's then-girlfriend, and Amir Zbeda, one of the filmmaker's best friends. Peli, whose name means "wonder" or "marvel" in Hebrew, is a native of Israel who dropped out of school there when he was 16 to start his own software company. Three years later, he and Zbeda emigrated to the US, where Peli developed animation and video game programs.

After meeting Taylor and deciding to settle down, Peli went house hunting during the height of the real estate boom. After being outbid on several houses, they finally managed to land a suburban tract home. "It was the first time I'd ever lived in a house; I'd only ever rented small apartments," said Peli. "In quiet suburbia, I quickly learned that you become conscious of every little noise, especially at night. "It all got the techno-geek side of me thinking 'Maybe it would be cool to set up video cameras as a way to figure out what was going on,'" Peli said with a grin. "If those cameras caught something good, I thought that could make a pretty interesting movie."


About Daniel Dercksen

As a freelance film and theatre journalist for more than 30 years, published playwright and creator of the independent training initiative The Writing Studio, Daniel Dercksen received the number one spot for most popular lifestyle contributor for 2012, 2014 and 2015, and 2nd spot in 2016 on