10/16/09

A Brief Word About Paranormal Activity

It’s an hour after I saw Paranormal Activity, and it still has me looking over my shoulder, checking out shadows, and turning on the lights. I feel fairly sure that I won’t sleep soundly tonight. Any bump or creak that my house makes is going to make my eyes shoot right open. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, that can freak me out faster than a well spun ghost story. Okay, okay, I know the “thing” in Paranormal Activity is labeled a demon, but call it a demon, call it a ghost, call if Doug if you’d like, but if just ONE of the things that happens to the couple in this film happened to me, you could call me Elvis because I definitely have left the building.

If you haven’t got the idea yet, Paranormal Activity worked for me. Will it work for everyone? Probably not. If you don’t have some part of you that gets creeped out by ghosts and things that go bump in the night, then you may enjoy how the movie was shot or the skillful camera tricks, but it probably won’t be scaring you. See, I can watch all the gore you can throw at me, make it through the Italian films with the animal violence, and there’s not a slasher that’s been made yet that can give me the willies, but give me a film that realistically portrays a spectral menace that I can’t see and I’m done. By the end of Paranormal Activity, I was tense, jumpy, and a little sweaty around the edges to be perfectly frank.

No doubt this film will be endlessly compared to The Blair Witch Project, but to me there’s no comparison. Here’s what the Blair Witch gave me, a bloody ear, a girl snotting in the camera, a stick man, and an ending that left me wanting to punch someone. Call me crazy, but I need a payoff after I sit there for ninety minutes. On the other hand, Paranormal Activity gave me a spooky atmosphere, an incredibly tense build, characters I actually liked, and in the end… no spoilers here… it pays off in spades. I wish I could go into further detail as to what the film did right, but that’s going to have to wait for a DVD release because I don’t want to ruin a frame of this film for you folks.

So if you’re interested at all in the supernatural, then I highly recommend this film. If you’re interested in horror films that stand outside of the normal teen scares and remake mush that the studio generally turns out, then see this film. If you want to support a film that has traveled an amazing road from premise to screen to national release, then see this film. If you’re not ready to chance having the beejebers scared out of you, then see this film and get spooked anyway. I was totally not expecting to like this flick. In the lobby on my way to get my $19.00 bucket of popcorn, I was already talking crap about how it would more than likely suck. I was wrong. I’m not saying Paranormal Activity is going to change the game or revolutionize horror cinema, but it will make me sleep a little less soundly tonight.

1 comment:

  1. This doesn't open in my neck of the woods until next Friday, but I'll be there on opening day. I can't wait!!

    ReplyDelete

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