Paranormal Activity Movie Review

Andrea and I were given an advanced copy of Paranormal Activity to watch. I had heard a lot of claims by friends about how scary this movie is from those who saw it in theaters and we had been meaning to check it out, but never got a chance to before it was out of circulation in theaters.

You can watch the offical movie trailer here:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_UxLEqd074[/youtube]

Paranormal_Activity_posterThe story is about a couple: Micah (Micah Sloat), a day trader, and his girlfriend Katie (Katie Featherston), a student, who live together in Micah’s house in San Diego, CA. They have a fairly normal life with the exception of Katie being haunted by a ghost. Micah, skeptical, buys a video camera to see if he can record any paranormal activity. The entire movie is presented from the perspective of the video camera that Micah purchases, much like the The Blair Witch Project but without the nauseating shakiness. At some point, Katie contacts Dr. Fredrichs, a self-professed physic, to help them when is unable to deal with the haunting any further and just wants to end it once and for all. He meets with the couple and offers advice along the lines that they should make no attempt to communicate or anger the entity and running away would not help Katie either as the entity would just follow her. Micah dismisses Dr. Fredrichs and his advice as quackery and begins to antagonize the entity who is haunting Katie which leads to some very shocking and disturbing consequences.

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While generally not easily scared, by the end of the movie, let’s just say I made sure all the doors to our house was locked extra secure. The movie starts out slow which is designed to let us, the viewers, get to know Micah and Katie and their normal life with the small exception of their unwelcomed guest. It took us a bit of patience to watch through the character development, but once things start taking off, it’s hard to stop watching and waiting in eager anticipation of what comes next. As you watch Paranormal Activity, there is no doubt of it’s low budget compared to what you are normally accustomed to seeing, but that effect lends itself very much to the believability of this movie. After a while, you start getting a sense that you are actually watching a real life couple as they experience their worst nightmares. I found the movie very impressing in the story written by director Oren Peli, the chemistry between Micah and Katie as an everyday couple, and the simplicity of the story being told through a home video camera. The movie has grossed $150 million to the paltry $15,000 it cost to make the film proving that good old fashioned story telling trumps fancy, expensive Hollywood special effects any day.

Paranormal Activity screen shot
© About.com/Paramount

The movie was first released on October 14, 2007 at the Screamfest Film Festival and eventually to wide audiences on October 16, 2009 with a total run time of 86 minutes.

Verdict: DEFINITE rent.

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