After a young, middle class couple moves into a 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.
Rating 6 out of 10
This is another horror movie shot largely in hand-held, which at times adds some creepy elements and a realistic feel to this haunting story, but a lot of the times gives us motion sickness. Aside from the camera work, there are a couple other truly creepy moments that made the hairs on my arms stand up. And first-time director Oren Peli was patient not to overdo or jam in gore or other distractions from what is truly scary — a villain you can never see.
But scary parts withstanding, there aren’t enough to recommend this as a must-see horror movie. It falls short of the hype that surrounded it. I give credit to the marketers, who made this movie a success the likes of the “The Blair Witch Project.” However, this movie doesn’t have the same impact. But I wouldn’t say it’s a total loss. Die-hard horror fans should definitely see it and will likely enjoy it.
This is a fun enough movie to watch in the dark under a blanket with a bowl of popcorn and a friend. Just don’t expect “The Exorcist.”
8 out of 10
I’m actually surprised a film like this wasn’t made some time ago. After the success of the ultra low-budget film “The Blair Witch Project,” you would have thought that everyone wanted to hop on that gravy train and make oodles of cash with camcorder horror. Well, there’s a reason for that. It’s very hard to make an intriguing story that will keep the viewer’s interest with no-name actors and a timybudget. You’ve got to find a hook and “Paranormal Activity” has just that.
A young couple move into a house that’s haunted and the guy decides he’s going to start recording at night when weird things seem to be happening. We then witness how these nights play out as things get progressively worse. Great horror films are at their scariest when it’s not what you see but what you anticipate seeing. This is where “Paranormal Activity” excels. It’s the flutter of a bed sheet, the sound of voices, footsteps coming up the stairs, and other subtleties that scare us. I don’t want to give away more, but I recommend throwing this on late at night right before you go to bed and be sure to turn off the lights. It’s a fun ride.