Runtime: 1 hr 39 min
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Oren Peli
Starring: Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat, Michael Bayouth, Amber Armstrong, Mark Fredrichs, Randy McDowell, Ashley Palmer, Tim Piper
One of the scariest movies I have seen this year.
Review by: RichardPeter
Added: 7 years ago
I had the extreme pleasure of seeing Paranormal Activity in theaters with a group of friends and I have to say, if the trailer scared me the surely the movie will frighten me… and that’s what happened. This movie truly scared me to death and kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. It’s so rare to see a movie that is actually frightening but this movie is a huge exception and it seems like all the scary films that are original are only getting select screenings and not theatrical. Paranormal Activity feels sort of like Quarantine mixed with a bit of Blair Witch Project and stirred with The Exorcist. But, what this movie accomplishes so well is that it does not let down the entire movie.
The movie is shockingly simple but effective; it’s about a couple who move into this house that is possessed by a ghost… and Micah, the boyfriend, is determined to document all the strange happenings that occur via camera. Well, when things begin to go wrong and the ‘ghosts’ become restless they soon realized that they aren’t ghosts and that there is more to the story than meets the eye.
Let me kick this review off by stating a few things that I really enjoyed about this movie; there was no production value and it was ultra low budget… but still terrifying and I think it goes to show you that you don’t need glossy effects and high profile actors to make a movie scary. All you need is a good script, director, actors and a camera. In a way, for filmmakers, this movie is very inspirational to anybody.
The acting in this movie is very believable and there were several times when the actors sounded too sarcastic but that’s why it’s so believable because they are acting as though they weren’t aware this was a movie. It gives the film a shocking sense of reality and that’s what this whole movie is based around; that this actually happened. Much like other films, this movie has no soundtrack but rather a haunting low ominous humming, there are no credits and the movie starts off without a title sequence. I really believed that I was watching a real documented film.
Now, let’s talk about the scares in this movie. It takes a lot to scare me nowadays but this movie had me biting my fingernails and gripping the armrest. They start off as minor occurrences like things movie and dropping but when shit starts hitting the fan it’s intense and what’s really creepy is that most of the scares are noises; growling, strange moaning, walking and pounding and it’s really scary to think what it could be. There are times when Katie is being possessed and she just stands in the bedroom and stares at Micah for hours, or when the thing is dragging her. I jumped out of my seat so many times and I was screaming during some of scenes. I don’t think I have ever had so much fun being scared in ages.
All in all, I think this movie was made in response to all those paranormal investigation shows on the TV where they don’t show anything; this movie is like a slap in the face to them because shit is really going down. The movie utilized the bedroom scenes so well and even the camera work was so unnerving. It breaks away from your traditional possessions stories because there are loose ends, it’s not a happy ending and there are no cliché-ridden montages where the main character is researching things. It manipulates the audience into believing that they are safe but then hits you with a creepy moment. Granted, it started off slow and some of the humor may overshadow the movie but this is possibly one of the scariest movies I have seen this year… or even, for a long time.