Paranormal Activity

Released 10/16/09                              Rated: R

This movie freaked me the hell out, and I tried to not watch it most of the time, but obviously that didn’t help much. As I’ve said before, I scare easily, and I was not sleeping after this film. Simply because I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and it’s simply a very eerie storyline.

So basically, this movie was set up to look like real footage of an unknown presence haunting this couple in the middle of the night. Obviously it is not real, but that doesn’t make it not scary. This movie uses tension to freak you out and it works because you know something is there, and you know it’s going to make itself known. Also, I forget who said it but they were right; people are scared more by what they can’t see rather than what they can see. And since the majority of this film is based around something that you can’t actually see, and you’re left to use your imagination, I can just about guarantee you will get freaked out.

OK, it’s a little slow to start off, establishing the couple and what’s going on. The boyfriend is a bit of an ass in my opinion, but that’s what moves the story along. He wants to get whatever this thing is on camera, and see what it can do. Meanwhile, the girlfriend just wants it gone. She’s tired of dealing with whatever it is, for she has been dealing with it almost all her life; she’s freaked out, and she wants it to stop.

First few nights of filming only results in noise and small instances in the middle of the night. But once Micah (the boyfriend) starts getting evidence of this thing, he starts provoking it. “Is that all you got?!” Obviously Katie is not home when he taunts the being, so he’s not that much of an ass, but still. The thing is, as Micah is doing this, the presence in the house is getting stronger. Slamming doors, walking around all heavy-footed, and then physically dragging them out of bed and down the hall.

This film appears to be completely from an unfortunate couple’s home-movies collection. There is no background music to tip the viewers off that something is lurking in the shadows, and make them edgy. All night long the clock is present on the camera. The “footage” is fast-forwarded through when the couple is sleeping and nothing is happening, which adds to the “real” aspect this movie is shooting for. But once it goes back to “real-time” you know something is going to happen, and you just hold your breath until it does. Now, the nights are labeled, so you know that these are consecutive nights that this is all going on. It’s not over a long period of time; this is night after night of this stuff happening and getting worse. During the days Micah free-hands the camera most of the time, but at night it’s on a tripod. The dialogue was not entirely scripted; the actors were given an outline, but no word-for-word script. It makes them feel more like an actual couple; however, I had one instance where I thought that didn’t really work for the scene. But the scenes where Katie is obviously pissed is totally believable. You can feel her fear, and you can tell Micah doesn’t take it as seriously as she does, even when things start getting really bad. It’s his own fault, but I’m doing my best not to give spoilers here.

I really want to go into the ending(s) but I can’t. *Sigh* Well, all I can say is that it looks like you need to see the first before you see the sequel, which I can guarantee you I will not be attending. It’s advertised as even scarier than this one. And I just don’t think I could do it with the baby and the dog in the mix.

I read somewhere that –I want to say it was the director– said something to the effect of: “Psycho made you afraid to take a shower, Jaws made you afraid of the water, and The Blair Witch made you afraid of camping in the woods. If I can make you afraid of sleeping, I’ve done my job.”


This entry was posted in horror, R, thriller and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Paranormal Activity

  1. AdrianLewis says:

    You do dip a bit too much into the spoilers, but, from my perspective, I found this article extremely enjoyable. You have pointed out things that I just haven’t thought about, such as how Micah’s constant provoking and aggressive interactions with the girlfriend is what fueled the antagonist. That is just a great point.

    Keep WRITING!!!

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