I was sitting around last night thinking about the juxtaposition between Clint Eastwood’s fuzzy, feel-good, “Hey, you’re gonna die, but it’s okay” Hereafter and the money-grubbing “INVISIBLE DEMONS ARE EATING YOUR BABY” Paranormal Activity 2 and felt that it was a potential comedic goldmine.

So I wrote this comic, penciled it, inked it, colored it, added shading and lettering… and then became immediately self-conscious about the punchline. In not fishing for compliments or anything. I’m just pointing out the weird tinge of instant regret I experienced after uploading the comic. Usually the anxiety needs a little time to marinate first.

I don’t feel too bad about the comic, though. Because the original punchline was Tom bolting upright from a bad dream in the fourth panel – and I’ve done THAT joke to death. So instead of doing what was safe and predictable, I decided it was okay to throw logic out the window (So, wait. Cami’s not a demon, then?)

And besides. I just really like the pie punchline.

As far as the movies themselves go, I really have no interest in seeing either of them.

Hereafter seems like Eastwood’s attempt at confronting his own mortality. Based on reviews, it kind of sounds like he failed the test by making a film with a sappy “I’m okay, you’re okay, you’re never alone message.” I don’t fault him for it. I think that’s exactly the kind of message an octogenarian would WANT to promote. It brings comfort.

But I don’t buy it.

Maybe experience hasn’t beaten cynicism out of me yet. But sometimes death is abrupt, meaningless and confusing. Frankly, whenever you try to attach religious dogma to death in an effort to explain it, you’re not really addressing the absurdity of it.

Maybe I should reserve judgment until I see the movie. Maybe Peter Morgan’s script answers some of those concerns. I don’t know. But based on what I’ve seen of the film and the reviews I’ve read so far, it doesn’t sound like something I’m ideologically aligned with.

Paranormal Activity 2 was the big box office winner this weekend, taking in $41.5 million. I never saw the original because I TOTALY buy into the conceit that your mind can always come up with something far more terrifying than a filmmaker could ever show. The original Paranormal Activity – with it’s locked-down, single camera aesthetic – played that to the hilt.

From the sound of it, Paranormal Activity 2 didn’t fall into the same trap that Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows fell into. But at the same time, I’m wondering why Hollywood can’t leave well enough alone.

Part of the reason the original Paranormal Activity did so well because was because of the innovation it inspired due to a limited budget. Unknown actors, minimal effects, AMAZING concept and execution. Hollywood should be making more films like this rather than repackaging experiences we’re already familiar with.

I understand that making movies requires a large investment and producers are looking for a sure thing to recoup any potential financial losses. But creativity doesn’t grow when you do the same thing over and over again.

Look at me. Should I have used a tired “startled awake from a dream” punchline that I’ve used a dozen times before or a zinger from out of left-field about pie?

On second thought, that’s not a very good example.

Did anyone see Paranormal Activity 2 or Hereafter2 this weekend? Let us know what you thought in the comments below!

↓ Transcript
Both Hereafter and Paranormal Activity 2 came out this weekend.

Do you find it odd that two films with conflicting ideologies about the afterlife would come out at the same time?



Or because there will be pie first?