Paranormal Activity Review

Published 6 years ago by , Updated October 22nd, 2010 at 1:33 am,

paranormal activity Paranormal Activity Review

Of course we have to address the filmmaking techniques and the issue of the “shaky cam” POV. People have heard the concept for this film and worried that they were going to get another Blair Witch Project (too boring) or Cloverfield (seizure inducing camerawork). Paranormal Activity is only short one star for me because the pacing for the first half-hour of its 99 min run time was kind of slow, and offered more creepy atmosphere than actual scares. A slow half-hour in camcorder POV can feel like an eternity – luckily for us, Featherston and Sloat are good actors, with good chemistry, and they, along with Peli, manage to establish an air of almost total authenticity. Katie and Micah’s home looks and feels like MY home and their relationship seems so genuine and natural (even the way girl and boy treat the watchful eye of the camera differently icon wink Paranormal Activity Review ) that it’s easy to forget you’re watching a movie, and not actual home video footage. And since there are tripods set up around the house, shaky cam wasn’t really much of an issue. When the actors ARE holding the camera, every swipe and turn has you nervous that something is lurking just beyond the peripheral of the lens light.

The authentic feel is really the selling point of this film. It exploits enough realistic common ground  to make it feel personal (who HASN’T heard that strange sound echo through their home now and again, or woken up to the feeling that somebody is standing over them?), and since few of us actually sleep with a running camcorder in our bedrooms, who’s to say we AREN’T being visited in the night by something evil?

Paranormal Activity succeeds in taking our most relaxed and intimate moments – at home, cuddled up with our loved one(s) – and transforms those moments into sources of high anxiety and fear. I’ve been with my girlfriend for eight years now (I know, I know), and after we came home from the screening last night we were definitely creeped out – and not just by the creaky floorboards in our apt. We glared at one another through squinted eyes up until bedtime, wondering about any skeletons (no pun) hiding in the other person’s closet, or mentally comparing Katie and Micah’s emotional trial to the real-life instances where one of us had to help the other through a crazy circumstance. I’m sure we both slept with one eye open.

paranormal activity poster1 Paranormal Activity Review

If you haven’t read about it on our site, Paranormal Activity has become something of a phenomenon in the movie industry, ever since Paramount chose NOT to remake it into a big-budget studio flick. As Paramount Film Group President Adam Goodman told us before the screening (and I’m paraphrasing), “This is the future of the movie business, right here…good films by visionary filmmakers made for next to nothing…It can be done these days.” I suspect this film will be successful in its grass roots efforts – especially after I watched hundreds of eager line-waiters get turned away from the door. People want to see this film – if not in theaters, then certainly the masses will eat it up on DVD. However, I hope it gets the support it deserves, as it is certainly theater-worthy.

Paranormal Activity is currently doing a “You Demand It!” release campaign: If you want the film to play at your local theater, get some friends together online, go to THIS SITE and cast your vote.

Just don’t be mad at me if you’re too scared to go to sleep that night…

Our Rating:

4 out of 5

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  1. it was a good film it was entertaining, but i watched the preview of it on Zune on the xbox and it showed people watching it in the cinema and it showed them jumping etc, this film didnt make me jump im not freaked out after watching it, it done well to be creepy but i just wasn’t scared the only reason i was slightly nervous was because of the reputation this film has and the quote “scariest movie ever” it wasnt though you could tell when something was going to happen because it switched to a bedroom scene.

  2. I do had a ghost once in my bedroom…it woke me up.
    It touched me…licked me…pleased me even.
    Great experience…

  3. I honestly got bored after the powder footprint scene but i jumped at the banging on the floor part but other than that if you want to see something creepy watch ghosthunters or something good it wasnt terrible just didnt live up to its hype in my opinion

  4. this movie sucked!!!!!!!!!! I am 12 years old it did not scare me at all waste of time

    • Tough guy.

    • Watch out we’ve got a badass over here!

  5. Pfff, movie is absolutely terrible. Micah and Katie are pretty smart though, considering how low budget the film was and how much money it made at the box office. Still an awful movie, not much else can be said about it.

  6. I was amazed by how awful this movie was. I’m even more amazed that millions of people were sucked into spending their money on this. My sister tells me that she lost two nights of sleep over this movie, so I said, to hell with it, lemme borrow it, ill watch it myself. I literally had to try to make myself get into this movie, you know, turn off the lights, put the volume up all the way, and really watch it, you know, as an involved viewer. I can’t believe how terrible the end result was. The actors really give you the impression that they’re real people… that is, real people paid to act. The entire time I watched it I had to continuously remind myself of the film’s budget, but in the end that did not save it from the hype, the money it made in the box office and beyond, and the crap I suffered watching on the screen for an hour and a half. Abysmal. Absolutely abysmal.

  7. This movie was not scary at all i’m a thirteen year old girl and that movie did’t scare me the slightest I barely flinched and it was way to short


  9. I give Paranormal Activity 4.5/5! This is not a traditional horror film by any means and if you went to watch to get scared to the level you’d wet your pants or run out of the cinema, then it’s a huge disappointment. I’ve watched ‘A Haunting’, ‘The Grudge’ so it doesn’t scare me at all. Still, I’m impressed by everything else about it! ‘Blair Witch’ and ‘Cloverfield’ made me sick!

  10. This was the worst movie of all time. My a$$hol3 could make a better movie. Now there’s gonna be a 2nd movie. Great….what’s the world comin to. F this movie and the creators should …

  11. I don’t kow why people on the comments here hate soo much, but i watched it with my friend and we were freaked out…I loved it!! 5/5

  12. I don’t see how this movie could scare anyone. I am more content with watching A Haunting. There is much better acting on that show.

  13. dangerous

  14. I have seen almost all horror movies – real horror movies not gory ones. I do get freaked out a bit but not really scared – psycho, exorcist, the omen, ring, grudge and all the movies in between that have been mentioned in the discussion. This by far was the scariest. Just the first part though. Second part not as much. The best part about it was they havent shown anyone scary. Its just the sound effects and the couple freaking out with the progressively scary events in the house. Not sure why people hate this movie if they like the horror genre.. The Haunting — c’mon. I got bored in that movie. Great movie.

  15. Loved it. And people please, stop complaining. No one held a gun to your head and MADE you pay for that ticket so shut up. Personally, I thought it was great. Can’t wait until #4! :)

    • I loved this movie. I watched with my partner in the dark not knowing what to expect.

      If you go in with an open mind I think you come away pleased. We did and we got a scare into the bargin.

      I don’t think kids should watching it, but that’s another point. I guess that’s down to the parents at the end of the day.

      I got a scare from all 3, and having watched a lot of horror movies, I think I can say that this was one of the best psychological horrors in a while.

      I wish some film makers would take note of the fact that there isn’t always a need for a gore fest to try and scare people.

    • With a name like pooh im not surprised you loved it, its just like one of them fake ghost videos on utube but a hell of a lot longer, when i watch movies like this i cant help but think fake fake fake, personally i preffer a movie with a lot more effort like insideous or poltergeist, something with more imagination but then again Americans still think the towers were blown up by Bin Laden so i can understand why they loved it

  16. I picked up the DVD on sale and decided to give it a go. I thought it was an intelligent low-budget movie that played on anxieties and vulnerabilities. The male lead was an annoying slef-serving know-it-all prick (I didn’t see alpha-male machismo or heroic jock); but I think he nailed that character and I enjoyed the fact that he annoyed me. Overall, it was a refreshing change from the torture porn that is passing for horror movies these days (SAW, Hostel, The Strangers, etc..). I like the reviews from 12 and 13 year old kids (if indeed they are), and feel bad that they didn’t find this movie creepy. Maybe I’m from a different era where playing “Ghosts in the Graveyard” in the pitch-black woods by my parents cabin was as terrifying as what you allowed your imagination to succumb to.

  17. This film didn’t rely on the loud scary music and the awful gore, so much as the mystery and the air of anticipation. I thought it was great. I think horror movie makers should look at this movie as an example of how to scare someone, rather than gross them out.

  18. With a name like pooh im not surprised you loved it, its just like one of them fake ghost videos on utube but a hell of a lot longer, when i watch movies like this i cant help but think fake fake fake, personally i preffer a movie with a lot more effort like insideous or poltergeist, something with more imagination

  19. this movie sucks and so does the franchise i feel sorry for the people who payed to see it and who thought it was scary. my farts are scarier than this load of bull. this is not a horror it it a failure. not only is it done with one of the worst cameras ive ever seen but its so not scary for a supposed horror movie. dear creators of the movie i would like the time i wasted watching this movie back. also look up the TRUE DEFINITION of a HORROR MOVIE/ SCARY MOVIE