Movie Review: Paranormal Activity

The Dead Red Head (DRH) was recently chastised for her minimalistic review of “Dead Snow” (although I thought it covered my feelings of the movie explicitly), so I promise to make this review more verbose.
If you are looking for a quick version, know that “Paranormal Activity” is the first movie to scare the bejeezus out of the DRH in a long time. Almost all psychological scares (the best ones) with almost no blood, very little swearing and no nudity; If you’re looking for a Saturday night scare, trust me, this is the one oh boys and ghouls, end of review.
If you’re looking for more…meat, as it were…the DRH continues to extol the scare value of “Paranormal Activity”. (Spoiler Warning, Yellow Level, Nothing More Than You’d Get in a Long Preview)

Set in upscale, Yuppiefied So. Cal, “Paranormal Activity” introduces us to Micah (Micah Sloat) and Katie (Katie Featherston), a young couple who have just made the jump to move in together. But this is just the first jump in a long line of jumps, dear viewers.
Katie comes with a past – haunted by an entity since the age of 8, victim of a fire that took her parents’ home (all made it out), and haunted again at age 13, this follows documented demonic possession cases with almost textbook veracity. Oh, and did I mention? It’s shot in that documentary style a la “Blair Witch”. The only camera people are either our brave (but stupid and hubris ridden) Micah or increasingly terrified Katie. There is no background music, no Cameron-esque special effects – instead, the stripped down, extended YouTube video style of “Paranormal Activity” is what increases the fright here. Other than some cheesy, but effective text – letting us know the number of days the camera has been running – and the ominous clock that runs each night letting us know it’s time for this movie’s witching hour (usually about 3am), we have no other production interference.
I won’t get into specifics for fear of lessening your fright – I mean, fun – but know as Micah attempts to call out the spirit like a Blood calling out a Crip, things get stranger, more frightening and even – yes – terrifying. I can’t imagine more than $5K was put into their budget with its minimal tech and only four actors int he film, those who contributed should deservedly see dividends on their investment.
As you will, dear viewer, if you follow the DRH’s advice and watch “Paranormal Activity” with the lights out, sound up, free imagination and only a poor, over cuddled feline companion to stave off the devils that be. In complete honesty, the DRH has boasted of late that she has not been scared by a movie since the late 80’s (seeing “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” for the first time, albeit late); congratulations “Paranormal Activity” team – you scared the bejeezus out of me. Nice job! Not with fake scares and buckets o’ blood, but in the same vein as Mr. Lynch, Mr. Cronenberg and old Tobe Hooper – hitting those deep, dark Jungian recesses of the soul.

Comments are closed.

RSS for Posts RSS for Comments