Director: Oren Peli
Cast: Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat, Mark
Friedrichs, Amber Armstrong, Ashley Palmer
RunTime: 1 hr 26 mins
Released By: GV
Official Website: http://www.paranormalactivity-movie.com/
Opening Day: 12 November 2009
a young, middle class couple moves into what seems like a
typical suburban "starter" tract house, they become
increasingly disturbed by a presence that may or may not be
somehow demonic but is certainly most active in the middle
of the night. Especially when they sleep. Or try to.
There’s a kind of horror these days. It sickens your
soul, creates nasty imprints in your mind and leaves you wanting
to bathe in holy water. And it comes with bucket loads of
diced human anatomy. But the even scarier bit is it has become
a staple in the genre in recent years.
why in the sanity of your mind would you want to sit through
a movie like that, especially after a long stressful work
day? What happened to horror films that rely on atmosphere
and clever scares?
comes Paranormal Activity, a breath of fresh air in an increasingly
stale (pun intended) genre. And boy, am I thankful for it.
I am crossing my fingers that its robust popularity will wipe
out that repulsive 'torture porn' fad in good time.
Activity harkens back to the days when horror films were more
concerned with our fears for the unknown than confronting
audiences with mutilated prized body parts. It is a nice companion
piece to that 1982 Tope Hooper classic, Poltergeist. Whereas
the latter was heartbreaking (yeah, rare for a horror movie),
this movie settles for jolts.
this movie will be most closely compared to 1999’s The
Blair Witch Project. Both were made with low budgets, were
made by unknown directors and depended on sly viral marketing
campaigns to drive them to mainstream success. But this movie
is clearly the better of the two. It is faster-paced, has
more scares and a shockingly good ending. For audiences whose
stomachs churn easily, it will be a relief for them to know
that most scenes were shot on a tripod.
Paranormal Activity has its share of annoying leads; a tantrum-throwing
Katie Featherston and an insensitive Micah Sloat. But they
behave the way real people would if confronted by the hellish
encounters depicted onscreen. So if you shove that aside,
you’ll have a pretty nifty thrill ride.
the mockumentary format may not be fresh. But the movie adds
an interesting angle to this format. Leveraging on our primal
fears for the unknown, the movie uses these human weaknesses
to its full advantage. Unlike Blair, it exploits our fears
and leaves little to the imagination, except the evil entity
in question. Its idea of showing 'what goes on around you
when you’re sleeping' is brilliant. If my memory can
be trusted, I’ve never seen a movie that explores it
to such creepy and gut-wrenching effect here.
Blair spooked audiences with it implicitly suggestive scenes
of supernatural horror, Paranormal Activity is a full-blown
affair. Its atmosphere is drenched with dread and tension.
The hauntings the couple experience are shown in full visual
glory and you’ll probably be in awe of how they manage
to capture those instances on screen, and especially on a
video camera. Of course, visual effects play a large part
in the conceit. But it is quite something to see it on an
amateurish video format.
me, you’ll want to suspend the belief that this is a
mockumentary. And embrace the idea that it is an actual lost
footage. It’s infinitely better and more chilling to
think of the film that way.
(An overhyped horror? Not a ghost of a chance)
Review by Adrian Sim