“Paranormal Activity” – 2007. Dir. Oren Peli

With Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat.

“Hey, I think this thing is trying to say something.”

“I don’t give a fuck what that thing says on the Ouija board!”


    I never saw this film in theaters, I thought it looked like a shitty “Blair Witch Project” knock off. And to be perfectly honest, “The Blair Witch Project” gave me nightmares; needless to say I was skeptic of this movie. The film house a generic being, two unknown leads that we are supposed to think are “real” people. There nice home is haunted by some sort of demonic presence so the man, Micah buys a high end video camera to record all the events in the house, even while Micah and his girlfriend Katie sleep.

    There have been few films in my life that have scared me, “The Blair Witch Project”, “Rosemary’s Baby”, “The Exorcist” and “Paranormal Activity”. It’s not the brilliant cinematography, or the score, or the acting that does it – it’s the authenticity and believability of the entire film. There are a lot of camera tricks involved with the film that adds to the suspense and to the mystique of the film.

    I think there is a big difference between getting scared and getting utterly and disturbingly mind fucked like the film “Antichrist” did to me. “Paranormal Activity” is no “Antichrist” what-so-ever, but needless to say, it’s still an effective film. Either you’ll think the film is lame, or it will genuinely scare you.

    Of course some of the plot and events that happen are pretty outlandish and not as believable to me – and the ironic thing is – none of these “outlandish” events revolve around the demon or the haunting. They revolve around the characters reactions and interactions. The acting is good, but some of the actions they have I find incredibly trying at certain points of the film.

    There are two endings on the DVD. The theatrical ending is pretty freaky until the last second or two – than the ending feels slightly fake, it lacks the authenticity that the rest of the film has. The alternate ending made my stomach turn, it’s far more effective but I can understand their reasoning for wanting to change it. What really disturbed me was after the short runtime of 82 minutes, there are no credits. It’s a legal disclaimer and a black screen for thirty seconds – now that’s effective. Than after that there is some sort of odd credit sequence that lasts for over fifteen minutes where there are four columns of white text that scrolls at a fast pace.

    My friend who gave me the DVD, she told me that her brother’s name is in the credits but she didn’t make the cut. I’m not sure what that’s about but I’m assuming some sort of fan submission for the DVD. I was going to inquire further, but my hand wouldn’t stop shaking for five minutes, causing texting to be a bit of a roughie.

Rating: 7.5/10

Author: Frank Mengarelli

Everybody relax, Frank's here. After going to film school at Columbia College Chicago, Frank decided to underachieve with his vast knowledge of film into a career in civil service. Frank had a brief stint as a film blogger, and then he met the heterosexual love of his life, Nick Clement. The two instantly bonded over their love from everything to Terence Malick to THE EXPENDABLES films. Some of Frank's favorite filmmakers are Terence Malick, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Sylvester Stallone, Oliver Stone and Spike Lee. Some of his favorite films are THE TREE OF LIFE, STAR WARS (all of them), BAD LIEUTENANT, THE THING and ALL THAT JAZZ. Frank spends his free time with his dog Roger, collecting any Star Wars collectible he can find and trying to finish his pretentious, first person narrative novel(la), LARGE MEN IN SMALL CARS..

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