The scariest, most terrifying experience you could possibly have in the theaters?? Hmm, I digress. I seem to remember writing a review for Cloverfield back in 2008. Oh wait, I also wrote a column for that Blair Witch Project travesty also in 1999. Needless to say this handheld camera film gimmick doesn't seem to be getting any better nor do I appreciate them anymore after 10 & a half years. I am steering clear from anymore of these "scariest movie of all time" claims from here on out.
Sadly, we have here another disappointing case of independent horror which seemed destined for instant cult or sleeper status. While the movie-going audiences are still in some sort of whirlwind of conflicting ideas about what horror should be & whether or not they actually like horror films, this is the saddened result of a cinematic suppository which fails to satisfy on any great level. These boring, overlong films aren't entertaining nor do they even provide a sense of instant gratification & I deeply regret having voted for this movie by investing a single hard-earned dollar at the local multiplex. Unfortunately,I can't get my one dollar back & I've lost 82 minutes of life that cannot be returned.
Katie & Micah are a young suburban couple who desperately try to battle a supernatural presence in their home while making sense of the footage captured through modern technology. Katie feels that she has terrorized by some entity since the young age of 8 & wants to be free of this evil force which somehow manages to follow her wherever she goes. Micah, on the other hand, feels he can abolish it with his overly Mano-Mano pride & doesn't wish to involve any third parties at his girlfriend's insistence. Katie does hire a psychic who convinces her throughout the film that forces are wreaking havoc within the home although the couple continues to merely record the activity & makes no attempt to evacuate the premises.
While only 82 minutes, only about 14-15 of that is spent with any paranormal activity & the rest is spent with two amateur actors who pretend to be a couple haunted by some demonic presence. I've seen better acting in a local bar by two drunkards doing their best on karaoke night. As far as the paranormal activity goes, there are no real scares to speak of. Who hasn't heard footsteps or things that go bump in the night? In fact, there are doors at my current place of employment that open all throughout the night but I don't jump at the sound of them nor do I suspect any evil forces at play. Without the proper atmosphere & lighting, you can't possibly expect any chills or thrills from something as flat as Paranormal Activity.
If annoying dialog & slow pacing without any real atmosphere to speak of weren't bad enough, why do always find these nimrods in every handheld camera-film trying to capture every last semi-traumatic experience. If you were in a haunted house of sorts & you felt that you're friends were in some sort of eminent danger, wouldn't you drop that goddamn camera & try to assist your friends in their time of peril? Perhaps it's just me & my opinion only but this is yet one more strike against the film for being unbelievable & downright hokey. While no one really needs to shred Paranormal Activity for being unrealistic, it should be blatantly obvious in my book.
Although I'm sure there will be many who will feel I've been too harsh with one of the most talked about films of 2009, I find it somewhat puzzling that so many have offered the undeserved four star rating. Somehow this film is anything but refreshing although the box office is usually flooded with unnecessary horror remakes & films catering to the Harry Potter/ Twilight fan base. Sheesh, and people are trashing Rob Zombie's films?? Hm-mm.
*** out of **** "Paranormal Activity" is a rare case. It's the kind of horror movie in which those behind it would like nothing more to indulge and please devote fans of the horror genre; but nevertheless, the response from such a community is sharply divided. From personal experience; reactions seem to range from "loved it" to "hated it". This is unfortunate, because the movie tries hard and emerges rather successful; it would just appear that somewhat misleading marketing … more
Constantine, Queen of the damned, Drag me to hell, Underworld, House on haunted hill, The Amityville horror, An American Haunting, The haunting in Connecticut, The ring, The grudge, The Omen, The Hills have eyes, 1408, Ghost Ship, Jeepers Creepers, Halloween, Darkness Falls, Silent hill, etc I could go on and on and on. None of the movies I’ve named or could name even come close to Paranormal Activity. If you’ve read my Drag me to hell review then you … more
Remember a few years ago when “The Blair Witch Project” overcame genre expectations and became a blockbuster cult hit? That film had several other films that were inspired by its “Mockumentary” style gimmick; “Cloverfield”, “[REC]” and “Quarantine” to name a few. Well, writer/director Oren Peli’s “PARANORMAL ACTIVITY” is another film that follows in the footsteps of those films. It premiered in the 2007 Screamfest … more
The sheer fact that this film was produced for around 10,000 USD is something to be praised. Although the actors' skills weren't top notch, there was definitely a notable "horror film" feeling broadcast to moviegoers through watching Paranormal Activity. While watching the movie, all of the points that make a good horror film are present – you know, the “what the hell are you doing, no! Call the demonologist!” and “ are you crazy?!! get out … more
Banking on the added "realism" of using a home video camera, "Paranormal Activity" plays out on the screen in a fashion very similar to films such as "The Blair Witch Project" and "Cloverfield." Much like these two films, the success of this movie relies heavily on the execution of this gimmicky style of filming. The film opens with Katie (Katie Featherston) and Micah (Micah Sloat) fairly settled into their new home. Micah has purchased a camera in order to capture "paranormal" … more
Before I start the review, I'd just like to mention that I'm an avid horror movie fan. In the ocean of horrible horror movies, it's a challenge to find those few hidden treasures laying under the sand. This movie fares pretty well, but it's not because it is "really scary". Personally, I didn't think this movie was all that scary. But gauging the crazy reactions from others in the movie theater... some people were really genuinely scared out of their minds. … more
Paranormal Activity is a 2009 mockumentary horror film written and directed by Oren Peli. The movie premiered at the Screamfest Film Festival in US on October 14, 2007, and at the Slamdance Film Festival on January 18, 2008. The movie is currently in limited release in several cities in the United States as of October of 2009. The movie centers on a young couple, Katie and Micah, who are haunted by a supernatural presence in their home. The movie is presented through the camera set up by the couple to capture the paranormal activity.
Like The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity is an impressive and harrowing indie chiller that derives much of its terror--and there is quite a bit of that in its brief running time--by playing on the most basic of human fears: that which cannot be seen. Though one might assume that the point-of-view aesthetic had been worn out thanks toCloverfieldandQuarantine(and, lest one forgets,Blair Witch),Paranormalmakes excellent use of the single-camera technique, which helps to not only preserve the film's central conceit--a new-minted couple records the increasingly threatening supernatural phenomena that have invaded their home on a camcorder--but underscore the realism needed to drive home the low-fi (if completely persuasive) special effects. The approach is also crucial to the film's suspense, which unfolds in long, largely broken takes to nerve-rattling effect. Not every horror fan--or moviegoer--will fall for the ...