Review: Paranormal Activity

Posted: October 14, 2009 in Film Reviews
Tags: , , , ,

Paranormal Activity is gaining a lot of pre-wide release Internet buzz much like The Blair Witch Project. It’s also being said it’s uber scary much like Blair Witch. While this has been said about a lot of films since the phenomenon that was Blair Witch, the thing that makes Paranormal Activity stand out from the crowd is the buzz is legit and it really is scary.

Katie (Katie Featherston) and Micah (Micah Sloat) just moved into a new house together. They’re very happy except for the apparent haunting that plagues their nights with flickering lights and loud noises. Fascinated by Katie’s decades long curse, Micah purchases a video camera to try to capture the phenomena on film. This is when the film begins, lending it a documentary feel. Micah is successful in his quest, but as the days pass the intensity and severity of the incidences increases until it becomes unbearable.

The movie plays out like the first climb of a 20 storey rollercoaster – slow at first but building anticipation and anxiety the closer it gets to the top, then scaring the hell out of you with a heart-pounding drop.

The entire narrative is seen through Micah’s camera, which is recording almost non-stop (though we are obviously watching an edited version of the footage); of course the most interesting things are captured when no one is actually controlling what the camera records – particularly through the green tint of night vision. The daytime footage, especially in the first act, is filler between all the creepy happenings though even those are tame through the initial part of the movie. The placard that notes what day it is and the time stamps on the night footage are good additions with the time often contributing to disturbing nature of the scene.

Brilliantly, the filmmakers casted unknown actors to portray the lead characters allowing for the documentary feel to really take hold of the audience’s imagination – there is no previous reference to obscure your connection with the characters. Furthermore, their performances are excellent and their reactions seem very genuine.

Paranormal Activity is definitely not a movie you’ll easily forget when you leave the theatre…or when you go to bed at night.

  1. Joey060 says:

    cant wait to see it

  2. Revicia Lewis says:

    Did this really happen?

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