ming movie reviews

in about 100 words or less

Paranormal Activity (2009)

USA 86m, Colour
Director: Oren Peli; Cast: Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat

paranormal activityFilmed with a video camera and on a $15,000 budget in seven days, Paranormal Activity is a brilliant horror movie that has near-perfect pacing which builds incredible anticipation and leads the film to a crescendo of excitement and a heart-stopping finish. Despite my very real expectation to be disappointed at some implausible character action, bad acting, or dumb plot movement, which so heavily marred the Blair Witch Project, my worst fears were never realized. In fact, Paranormal Activity only got better and more terrifying by the minute. While most horror movies intersperse the scariest moments in an effort to startle the audience, this film literally keeps the fear at a fever pitch for the last twenty minutes. There is little doubt that Paranormal Activity will come to be considered one of the finest horror films of all time (Klaus Ming November 2009).

3 comments on “Paranormal Activity (2009)

  1. Derrick

    This movie left me with the strong feeling you get when your witness to a petty domestic argument at a friends house. Half annoying half awkward to overhear this movie magnified that feeling for 97 minutes. Around 10 of those 97 minutes were somewhat suspenseful in the night cam shots. However the suspense for me never payed off. Slamming doors and footsteps are creepy but mixed with bad acting reaction shots and played out in a repetitive manner diluted any type of shock momentum i was getting by brief images of alien footprints in powder or burnt child pictures appearing in the attic. Mildly creepy thing startles young couple cut to mourning argument about creepy thing, repeat, slowly and predictably degrade couples relationship, end movie with a unexplained domestic murder. This movie reminded my of Open Water. Couple is terrorized by shark, audience is forced to watch bad actors pretend to argue non stop, shark finally eats couple. No build up, just slow drawn out predictability. Is the idea of this movie scary? yes, very much so, Did i find the movie Scary? not in the least. I watched this alone, in a big dark very old and creaky apt on the oldest street in North America, i was hoping that that atmosphere alone would make me get lost in the flick. I do like the fact that this was made with no studio help, no $ and in a week. Hopefully someone makes a movie along these lines only finds people who can act and carry such a spooky concept.

  2. klausming

    I’m surprised to hear your disapproval of the film. As far as the acting went, I found it pretty solid – considering the budget and experience of the cast/crew. I also thought that the couple’s relationship difficulties was one of a number of realistic responses to the situation. As far as not getting creeped out – I guess everyone reacts differently to different scenarios. I know I had zero reaction to the Blair Witch Project – which scared the beejubuz out of a lot of people.

  3. Derrick

    It would have been a good 30 min short film or if they used the 90 mins to built some sort of character into the two actors. Any type of added story other than what seemed to be 2 people in a house just hanging around, waiting to go to bed and wake up spooked every night. You don’t really need money to build in a bit of character demention to add to the thing. Dull writing and actors just magnified the fact it was a typical low budget horror flick in every way. It would have been insanely creepy if the low budget documentary feel was reinforced with something, anything. One location, 2 actors and such a thin plot, topping up anyone of those 3 things could have went a very long way for turning it into something enjoyable for me. My biggest let down with the film overall was the chick. Every single thing about the film could only work if she, the thing it all revolved around, was believable. I’m glad you enjoyed it, as did the majority of people who saw it, i’m guessing, considering how well it did. Low budget film needs to have these bursts of recognition to remind studios, audiences, theaters and distributors that independent stuff is bankable and worth supporting. I really wanted to like this movie, i just couldn’t get over its weaknesses. Or, like i said, it beefed up the writing a bit or switched the chick. All the other low budget-ness would have then felt like a strength that played up the fact, rather then drag it down.

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This entry was posted on 11/04/2009 by in 1001+, 2000s, All, Top 100 and tagged .
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