Ignoring the hyperbole my honest verdict is...
By a customer
from Midlands, England
, 24 Oct 2009
I watched Paranormal Activity on my own, entirely in the dark, without knowing much about the film. I now believe its only going to be enjoyed by those that can use their imagination to some degree to place themselves in the films situation (fans of Blair Witch rejoice). It really works well if to some extent you have some personal inner fear of the paranormal to let PA tap into, though its not a prerequisite for enjoyment. I recommend PA but only for a certain type of horror fan.
PA is an understated and low budget film grounded in reality where a young couple (Katie & Micah) are being tormented by something. They set up a camera to try and capture evidence of what it is creepiness ensues yet its more sophisticated than that. The couple react almost exactly as you would do even down to the self assuring macho bravado of the obviously scared boyfriend. As the movie progresses the increasing malevolent presence clearly drives a wedge in their relationship, tormenting Katie to tears and the brink of a believable nervous breakdown. What really adds to this is the overwhelming sense of it being inescapable no its not as simple as just leaving their house as you might assume. This reminds me of the Ju On (Grudge).
To spoil some of the paranormal 'activities' which take place would be criminal and totally does it injustice (so avoid spoilers) but there was one moment in particular near the end that literally sent a cold shiver down my spine. If you are one to laugh at things like that and boast 'I'm 17 that stuff ain't scary LMAO', this film will simply not appeal at all. Fair enough I suppose.
Those suggesting PA is boring may be missing the point, PA works using an ebb & flow structure i.e. it doesn't have a million and one cheap scares throughout. Instead the film goes through day / night cycles with relative domestic normality in the day followed by a good share of seriously creepy and unsettling moments occurring at night. Whether you find these boring, hilarious or absolutely unsettling will always be subjective of course but will dictate your enjoyment.
The effectiveness is every time it turned to night time the film became unbearably tense evoking a sense of dread YET somehow this manages to progressively intensify with every subsequent day / night cycle without getting silly I genuinely started to get anxious and breathe heavier when it turned to night time in the film but relaxed when it returned to the following daytime where the couple discuss the happenings, I was literally breathing sighs of relief.
Ignoring the obvious hyperbole viral marketing that suggests its the scariest film ever made although I honestly can't think what is, so maybe it is for me - I honestly found this film a genuinely scary and unsettling experience, so much so that it lingered on my mind for the entire night (good luck sleeping!).
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