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Trailer Park: “Paranormal Activity 2,” “Hereafter,” “The Company Men,” “Inhale,” “Kalamity”

We’re just about a week away from Halloween and the creepy movies are back in spades. I guess that watching “Paranormal Activity 2″ would be cheaper than most haunted houses. And you don’t have to get any hay on your butt, if you don’t want to. Most of the other movies are about varying degrees of desperation. I guess this time of year lends itself to that kind of thing—wallowing in the dying bits before everything’s iced over and reborn. Or maybe I’m just projecting?


The Movie: “Paranormal Activity 2″
The Trailer: A family living in Carlsbad, CA, thinks they’ve been robbed, but when they notice nothing was stolen, they install video-surveillance cameras all over the house. The film cuts between about six cameras in the house, catching paranormal activity as objects move on their own and a poltergeist does its thing. Meanwhile, the family navigates the house, going about their day and rightfully freaking out.
The Hitch: The first “Paranormal Activity” was made with an $11,000 budget and brought in millions. The second movie is supposedly just as thrilling but now with more angles! I was suspicious about them making a sequel, but I guess you don’t have to fix what isn’t broken?




The Movie: “Hereafter”
The Trailer: George (Matt Damon) is a psychic who can communicate with those who’ve died by holding the hands of the people who are missing them. George, however, wants to be normal and tries to ignore his powers. But George is destined to meet (and help) French journalist Marie (Cécile de France) who nearly drowns in an Indonesian tsunami, and a London boy named Marcus, whose twin brother died in a car crash.
The Hitch: It’s Damon and Clint Eastwood‘s second venture together since “Invictus,” and this time, Matt talks to dead people. The imagery of the trailer is stunning and it’s interesting to see Damon play a melancholy hermit of sorts.




The Movie: “The Company Men”
The Trailer: Bobby Walker (Ben Affleck) has an idyllic life with a corporate job and a happy family. But one day his company downsizes and he gets laid off with with his co-workers Phil Woodward (Chris Cooper) and Gene McClary (Tommy Lee Jones). The three men are forced to forge new identities and Bobby ends up doing construction for his brother-in-law (Kevin Costner) and realizes that there are more important things than living “the dream.”
The Hitch: It’s certainly a timely movie, given the country’s unemployment level, and plenty of people have been forced to take jobs they’re overqualified for. There’s a solid cast (where has Costner been all this time?) and since it’s written by the creator of “ER,” it promises to be a solid script. The whole concept of sucking up your pride and doing what needs to be done, no matter how “beneath you” it might seem, is also super relevant these days.




The Movie: “Inhale”
The Trailer: Santa Fe District Attorney Paul Chaney (Dermot Mulroney) and his wife Diane (Diane Kruger) are desperately waiting for a double lung transplant for their daughter Chloe, who has a rare degenerative condition. In an act of desperation, they go to Juarez, Mexico to meet Dr. Novarro, who has access to black market organs. Things get shady and Paul risks everything for his daughter.
The Hitch: It’s hard to be judgmental when a father is just trying to keep his daughter alive and will stop at nothing to save her. But don’t these people ever wonder about what will happen when they come back to America with black market organs? “Oh no, it’s cool doctor, we went to your competitors! Well, see ya!” I guess it is a good exploration for the boundaries of morality, but it’s kind of like asking if it’s OK to steal food for your family, in which case the right answer is always the boring one.




The Movie: “Kalamity”
The Trailer: Billy (Nick Stahl) loses his ex-girlfriend Alice (Beau Garrett) and goes home to Northern Virginia to recover. But his best friend Stanley (Jonathan Jackson) has turned into a psycho. Billy and Stanley’s roommate Christian (Christopher M. Clark) starts looking into what Stanley’s been up to and when they find some blood-soaked evidence in Stanley’s things, they realize that their friend is more far gone than they’d imagined.
The Hitch: Whoa. It’s like the ’90s woke up and puked up all its actors. And weirdly enough, I’m not mad at that. I’m guessing that Stanley murdered Alice or something and at the end he’ll have to die for his sins. I’m automatically annoyed by the title alone, but that’s probably the least of this movie’s problems. At least there is some dude eye candy.

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