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Paranormal Activity (2009)

Horror movie directed by Oren Peli

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Frightfully Entertaining

  • Oct 21, 2009
  • by
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.  In fact, I've never been to a horror movie in which the audience reacted so intensely.  There were hideous screams, people gasping in disbelief, and a girl sitting behind me was crying at the end of the movie.  In fact, right after the movie I went into the bathroom and overheard some teenage boys talking about the movie. One of them said "man, that was crazy... I'm like.. shaking".  Maybe he was a big "wuss"... but I've never seen or heard of guys physically shaking out of fear after a movie before.  And how about me?  Well, some of the scenes really creeped me out, I admit... but through most of the movie I was really enjoying the movie and was pretty much smiling through it all.  It's like the Roller Coaster enthusiest who has riden a million coasters.  And having watched countless horror movies in my lifetime, it was an entertaining ride for me :)  I think part of the fun was watching other people's reactions during the movie.  I saw the movie with a theater full of teenagers, and it was lots of fun watching them "freak out", lol.  Yeah, maybe I'm a bit twisted but at least I'm honest, ha ha.

The Idea Behind The Movie:
The movie is based around a couple who is trying to make sense of some "paranormal" activity in their house.  The boyfriend buys a camera to document what happens during the night in their house.  The pacing is a bit slower than other horror films. Not much is happening during the first half of the film, but it's still entertaining to watch the dynamic between the boyfriend and girlfriend.  The dialogue, as well as the character's reactions are very real and believable. Part of the fun of the movie was not knowing what would happen next. 

Brilliant Marketing:
One of the things that nobody has really talked about is this films brilliant use of marketing.  The film was only released in a few theaters nationwide at first and had a website for people to vote and "demand" it to play at the theater in their area.  Now, I'm guessing that they were going to release it nationwide anyways, whether or not people voted or not... but I think the idea was brilliant!  It created a huge "buzz" about the movie, encouraged "word of mouth" free advertising, and of course I'm sure that most people that actually went to the site to "vote" for it will eventually go see the movie in the theater (and bring their friends).  I'm guessing other companies have taken note of this and will use similar marketing strategies in the future.

Bottom Line:
If you like flicks about ghosts and hauntings, you will probably enjoy this movie. If you liked "Blair Witch Project" or "Cloverfield", you will enjoy this.  If you believe in Ghosts, have already seen a Ghost in real life, live in a "Haunted" house or apartment... you might totally "freak out" during this movie. And if you believe in demons and evil spirits... well, you may just want to skip out on this one because you may have a "heart attack", lol.  But just remember that it's only a movie...

What did you think of this review?

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January 10, 2010
But, after much research, I am still left with the question...is this movie based on real-life experience by the couple, or is much of it made up? I believe in the paranormal, but did they really experience these activities, or is much of it made up?
January 11, 2010
Believe me, it's totally made up. Hence the fact that it has an "alternate ending" :)
October 23, 2009
Yeh, the marketing on this film was good (though the movie was first release back in 07 in Screamfest) This was showing at midnight once a day for two weeks before it was released nationwide. I liked this film quite a bit that I rated it the same in my own review. I liked Blair Witch but had mixed feelings about Cloverfield. You should check out [REC]. cool review.
More Paranormal Activity (2009 movi... reviews
review by . February 18, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
*** 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 …
review by . August 22, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Folks my search is over.
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 …
review by . October 10, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
 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 …
review by . January 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
82 Minutes Of My Life I Can't Ever Get Back
**Cracking knuckles**      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 …
review by . July 30, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
   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 …
review by . August 30, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
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" …
Quick Tip by . July 29, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Extremely overrated. Not scary. A waste of time. Dumb dumb
Quick Tip by . July 22, 2010
Crazy... This movie really got me... I love scary movies but this is over the edge...
Quick Tip by . February 04, 2010
Just one question. How much was everyone here paid to rate this travesty 4 stars?
Quick Tip by . February 27, 2010
Creepy movie and pretty cool that it was made for under $15,000. I like the original ending with the cops rather than the Hollywood ending.
About the reviewer
Duc Truong ()
Ranked #65
I'm a man with many hobbies. I work a full-time job in the field of 'Lyophilization' for a small Pharmacuetical company. It's a dream job because it gives me lots of days off to pursue … more
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About this movie


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.[2] 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 ProjectParanormal 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 ...
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Movies, Horror Movies, Supernatural, Paranormal Activity


Director: Oren Peli
Genre: Horror
Release Date: 16 October 2009 (USA)
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Oren Peli
DVD Release Date: December 29, 2009
Runtime: 86 minutes
Studio: Paramount, Blumhouse Productions
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