Here’s the second installment of my new column on AMC Filmcritic.com, THELMA ADAMS ON REEL WOMEN:
When I saw the first Paranormal Activity in 2007, I loved the haunted-condo horror. I grew up in Southern California watching The Addams Family and believing the supernatural, like the Salem Witch trials, happened to other people, in older places. We had sunshine even when the rest of the world had cloudy days.
When a cute couple (Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson) move into an old house, their eldest son bonks his head in the attic and becomes comatose. Then it gets weirder: Demons pace the floors at night, voices mumble on the baby monitor and a bloody handprint appears on the kid’s sheets. Recalling Paranormal Activity, this spooky movie chills as it brings psychic phenomena to the cozy suburbs. And with Damages‘ sympathetic Byrne as a gripping lead, the audience suspends disbelief — and jumps! — until the final plot twist.
Us rating: ***
This dark, emotionally devastating horror flick (a keen adaptation of a cult 2008 Swedish film) pairs a tween vampire (Chloe Grace Moretz) and a bullied loner (Kodi Smit-McPhee). Part Romeo and Juliet, part supernatural seduction, the movie follows the miserable boy — struggling for acceptance in school and ignored at home — as he develops a crush on the blood-sucking immortal.