Friday, December 14, 2012

Now-a-Dollar Dec. 14

Posted By on December 14, 2012, 10:31 AM

You may be in a festive, Christmas-y mood, but at Utah discount theaters, it's beginning to look a lot like Halloween again. ---

Two holdovers from the scary-movie season move to second-run screens this weekend. The higher-profile film is Paranormal Activity 4, the latest entry in the found-footage horror franchise. And the concept is seeming more than a bit worn out, even with a focus on webcams and Skype and night-vision images to change things up a bit. An hour and a half of simmering menace for four or five good scares doesn't feel like a fair trade-off any more.

Found footage of a different kind plays a role in Sinister, about a writer of true-crime tales (Ethan Hawke) who moves into the scene of one multiple murder, only to find reels of scary home movies. The concept is effectively used, turning the story into an unsettling exploration of whether it's possible not to be affected by the disturbing things we see.

From the dark to the fluffy and lightweight, Pitch Perfect casts Anna Kendrick as a college student entering the world of a cappella singing competitions. The performances are straight-outta-Glee stuff, but there's a surprisingly oddball sensibility to the humor, particularly Rebel Wilson's proudly plus-sized group member. As predictable stuff goes, it's actually not completely predictable.

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