October 20, 2009
Posted by on
Like it’s fellow steadicam predecessors Blair Witch and Quarantine, Paranormal Activity aims for the jugular. Not right away, however. It allows the tension to build in an almost snail pace. But in doing so, the poltergeist activity becomes more pronounced and spooky. I admire the director and cast of this film. They made a movie for about $11,000 dollars and have shown that talent doesn’t need to have 6 zeros.
The movie centers on a couple, Micah and Katie. Katie has been hearing odd sounds at night. So Micah purchases a camera in hopes of capturing it on tape. What enfolds is the recordings of what happens while they sleep, and the growing discomfort they have because of it.
It takes sheer imagination to develop what could be a flat story and balloon it into a remarkable piece of horror cinema. I wish I would have seen it at midnight in a packed theater. I wish more horror films took notes from this film. It proves that you can scare someone just as much (in my case, more) if you don’t let them see everything. Gore is overrated, and this movie is the thesis of such. The night recordings are only clued when the time-lapsing stops or the lower register of the microphone is emphasized, creating a sense of “oh no, what now” without saying anything more. Some of the sounds/images are barely visible for more than a second or two. And the audience knows this, so they start looking closer and closer…and then something does happen which shoots everyone back in there seats. A slight of hand if you will.
I recommend not going to this movie if you are a light sleeper. Otherwise, one of the best horror films of the year (and perhaps, decade). 4.5 out of 5 stars.