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Paranormal Activity

 

 
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Plot
 
 
 
 
 


 
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Rare is it during these times do I see a 12:00 am movie release sold out. The trailers show too much, the premise rings reminiscent of many other movies but there is something about Paranormal Activity that has audiences salivating at seeing it. Paranormal Activity is a movie shot from the angle of a standard […]

Posted October 2, 2009 by

 
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Paranormal ActivityRare is it during these times do I see a 12:00 am movie release sold out. The trailers show too much, the premise rings reminiscent of many other movies but there is something about Paranormal Activity that has audiences salivating at seeing it.

Paranormal Activity is a movie shot from the angle of a standard camera, held by an actor within the movie (like The Blair Witch Project, Quarantine or Cloverfield) to show the haunting of a couple in late 2006. Filmed entirely in a house with the only players being Micah (Micah Sloat), a day trading young man and his girlfriend Katie (Katie Featherston) who is studying to become a teacher. The only other people involved happened to be a psychic and a friend of Katie’s. What surprised me in this movie was the stellar acting job of all involved. The couple felt very much in love with one another, their exchanges seem genuine along with their personalities.

Plot: Katie has a problem, ever since she was 8 years old she has witnessed strange, ghostly activity. After telling her boyfriend Micah about this, he decides to video tape their daily activities in hopes of capturing something abnormal. Starting out as a skeptic, Micah tapes their daily activity and leaves the camera running in the bedroom at night. Before long strange noises and movements begin to appear on the tapes and Micah is made into a true believer.

What Paranormal Activity shows is that the horror cliches of loud noises, gore and things popping out of nowhere is not needed to terrorize an audience. Within the movie theater I witnessed people scared sh-tless from the camera filming a door slightly move at 3am or a shadow appearing on a wall for a few seconds. There was no hulking 300lb crazed maniac out to slaughter the couple, nor was there a floor of blood from the massacre he wrought. The only thing this movie has is a camera, a man to use it and his girlfriend to share in being the victim of paranormal activity.

One of the most impressive things about this movie is the changing of Katie and Micah. The couple start out loving and Micah dotes on his girl but as things get strange she begins to lose sleep and becomes frightened. Katie begins to yell mean things at Micah and the fights seem so authentic between the two as much as their playful, love-jabs did in the beginning.While Katie becomes more frightened, Micah’s bravado increases and he becomes intent on being the white knight to save his girlfriend from her terror.

This movie will freak you out for the familiarity of the bedroom (where most of the activities occur), the familiarity of feeling safe to sleep, and the alien sight of things moving that shouldn’t be. Ghost story lovers will absolutely adore this movie as well as the casual viewer. To think that there is only one locale for this movie (the house) and only two actors, shows that Director Oren Peli gets horror. The only questionable portion of the movie has got to be the ending, which jeopardizes the authenticity of the film. Having done some research, I was happy to find that there were two other alternate endings so the DVD release should have them.

If you have a chance to see Paranormal Activity, do yourself a favor and see it. The experience can be true horror and judging from the whimpering and screams in my theater, I have to think that it works.

[rating=8]


Greg Dragon

 
Cinephile and opinion writer, Greg Dragon has been a fan of movies since the 80's when Kung Fu theater was all the rage and Roger Moore was James Bond. Greg is the founder and lead critic of Spicy Movie Dogs. You can follow him on Twitter @Rafacus or on his Google+ account.