It probably says something about Somebodyisfromhere.com’s life that being locked in a deserted prison at midnight with no lights wasn’t the most stressful part of his week.
A week’s worth of preparation for a 20 page graduate school paper while downing cough drops and carrying a box of tissues left Somebodyisfromhere.com frazzled, but he still managed to make the ghost hunt at the world’s oldest penitentiary in Philadelphia.
But was it scarier than Scream 4? Well, more on that later.
Somebodyisfromhere.com was surprised about the reaction he received when he told people he was going ghost hunting. He expected indifference ranging from, “that’s different” to “man, you’re weird.” The reactions he received, on the other hand, were jealousy and “ you don’t want to mess with that.” Apparently, adults have opinions on ghosts.
Somebodyisfromhere.com showed up to Eastern State Penitentiary at around 7:30 as both the official ghost hunters with Scream Paranormal Research and the building’s tour guides prepared. The waiting area had a poster that bragged that the building had running water before the White House did. The building was conceived at Benjamin Franklin’s house in 1787. When it was completed in 1829, it was the world’s most expensive public structure ever.
The prison is designed like a wheel and the guests huddled in the center. Rain made it increasingly cold, especially for April 8th, and heaters were situated in the middle. The middle served as the confinement area in 12 Monkeys.
Somebodyisfromhere.com was never really nervous during the hunt/tour. Perhaps it was his stress, but he thinks it might have to do more with the fact that he is more scared of being embarrassed (at a haunted hay ride for example) than he is of actual paranormal activity. Instead, his main reaction was bemusement. The staff turned out the lights to the prison and split up.
Somebodyisfromhere.com went to the top floor and toured the cells all with varying levels of dilapidation. Eventually, movement ceased and the ghost hunters took out their equipment. There was ghost taunting and stillness. Somebodyisfromhere.com did not see any ghosts.
Next he moved to death row. Supposedly nobody was ever executed at Eastern State, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t a fine place to wait to die. A laid back medium was in the room and would speak about to a couple of spirits who were supposed to be particularly obsessed with one large bald man that was with us. This resulted in the medium’s one way conversation with the room. He’d say things like, “He feels a connection to your tattoo.” And, “He says he did a bad thing, but he was trying to protect somebody.” All in all, a pretty cool scene.
Somebodysifromhere.com senses your reservations. And he gets it. That’s fine. He does wonder why somebody would work that hard to make something up on a rainy Friday night. But, hey, he spent a lot of money for tickets so make up your own mind.
By this time, Somebodyisfromhere.com was getting pretty sickly. In movies this would mean he’d be the first to die. In actuality, it just meant he had to go hang out with the heaters and maybe rock back in forth in kind of a destitute manner.
Sporadically, he would go on shorter walks. No trip to Eastern State would be complete without seeing Al Capone’s suite, er, cell. Capone was treated well after being arrested for a weapons charge and was given a location by the front and amenities others weren’t privy to.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art, also a gigantic structure, opened around 1877 and is just a few blocks away. It is remarkable that in this big city, in some ways, much has not changed. Hell, the Phillies have been around since 1883. Pretty sure they had Jamie Moyer.
Normally, the prison is open seven days a week, except for holidays from 10-5. Adults: $12. Students & Kids: $8. Old folks: $10.
Scream made fun of horror movies and was legitimately great. Screams 2 & 3 made fun of themselves and were pretty bad. Which is closest to Scream 4?
Well, happy to report, in this sense, it was closer to the first. The caveat, of course, being that it isn’t particularly original this time around.
The surprises are not as surprising as the first. The performances are not as creepy, either. Weird to use the phrase great performances to describe work done by Matthew Lilliard, Skeet Ulrich, and Jamie Kennedy among the rest, but they truly were captivating in the original.
Here, Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courtney Cox return from the first bunch. They are flanked this time with people who actually look to be about high school age. The only performance that matches up with the first one comes from, surprisingly, Hayden Panteriette.
Together they fight off the newest incarnation of the Woodsboro killer “Ghostface.” They are joined by a new high school group including, as is a must when making a series revival after so many years, Sydney’s (Campbell) cousin Jill (Emma Roberts). Gale Weathers (Cox) is a housewife trying to get back in the reporting game. Detective Dewey (Arquette) is back where he does little if any actual police work except for managing Deputy Judy (Marley Shelton) and Detective’s Hoss (Adam Brody) and Perkins (Anthony Anderson).
Playing a small town cop feels like a bit of a demotion for Anderson who has recently played a New York Detective (Law & Order) and a Massachusetts Trooper (The Departed) among other police officers.
In the end, Scream 4 is probably better than it should be. It’s almost comforting to see a clean horror movie in that there are no dungeons or shaky hand held cameras. It’s just a bunch of hot people and, well, some geeks, running around town.
One scene, though, towards the end, in a kitchen, served kind of as an homage to the climax in the first one. Unfortunately, it also points out how taut and funny the source scene was in comparison.