Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Movie Review: Paranormal Activity



Katie has felt a supernatural presence off and on in her life since she was seven. But she has never been harmed and it’s something she just accepted and lived with. But what would happen if Katie moved in with her boyfriend? And that boyfriend confronted this supernatural presence with a camcorder and a Ouija Board? Are you thinking the presence might become aggravated enough to go beyond slamming a door and knocking Katie’s car keys off the counter? This is the chilling premise of Paranormal Activity, a movie that was filmed in ten days for $15,000 and grossed over 9 million the first week of its US showing. The actors were reportedly paid $500 for their time.

After Katie moves in with her boyfriend, Micah, strange occurrences start to happen that can’t be easily explained away. Keys moved to a different spot. Forgetfulness? Noises in the night. The ice maker? Lights flickering. Faulty wiring? Micah doesn’t believe there’s a supernatural presence, but he sets up a camcorder to film what happens while they sleep. But Katie knows her history and calls a psychic, who proceeds to tell her what she doesn’t want to hear. Over the course of a few weeks the presence grows increasingly more bold and violent, and it's all caught on tape.

What’s most chilling about Paranormal Activity for me is that this presence is not attached to a house, but to Katie. So she can’t just move away and be free of it; it is always with her. And speaking of houses, this isn’t some crumbling cobwebbed mansion they’re living in, but a modern home furnished courtesy of Kirkland’s in a planned community in sunny San Diego. Horror hits me hardest when it’s dragged into the sunlight. What has Katie the cute English major done to warrant such evil attention? If Katie, why not us?

There are two alternate endings to Paranormal Activity, and one idea for an ending too brutal to film. The theatrical ending is the suggestion of Steven Spielberg. I’ve seen all three endings and they got it right on the theatrical release. I implore you not to go hunting around on YouTube for other trailers or alternate endings until you see the movie. The ending comes out of left field and you will jump.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

This movie is way overhyped. It is not scary, exciting,or even interesting.

It features such exciting scenes as people sleeping, brushing their teeth, and chatting about almost nothing.

Save yourself some time just watch the trailer. All the best parts are in there.

Tressa said...

You sound like my husband on The Blair Witch Project. He thought that movie had no substance and was nothing but a trio of sniveling idiots running around in circles in the woods.

I turned out the lights and immersed myself in Paranormal Activity and really enjoyed the scare I got. Luckily so many movies come out every year there's something for everyone to enjoy.