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Paranormal Activity (2007)

R  |   |  Horror, Mystery  |  16 October 2009 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 168,410 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 1,180 user | 399 critic | 24 from Metacritic.com

After moving into a suburban home, a couple becomes increasingly disturbed by a nightly demonic presence.

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Title: Paranormal Activity (2007)

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Cast

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Mark Fredrichs ...
Amber Armstrong ...
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Storyline

After a young, middle class couple moves into a suburban 'starter' tract house, they become increasingly disturbed by a presence that may or may not be somehow demonic but is certainly most active in the middle of the night. Especially when they sleep. Or try to. Written by Paramount Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Dare you experience the U.S. phenomenon? (UK quad poster) See more »

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

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Release Date:

16 October 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Actividad paranormal  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$77,873 (USA) (25 September 2009)

Gross:

$107,917,283 (USA) (15 January 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended) | (unrated)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The death metal band on the television in the first shot of the film is Disgorge, from San Diego, performing their song "Consume the Forsaken". See more »

Goofs

Towards the beginning of the movie, when Micah and Katie are talking with the psychologist, there is a hard cut from the doctor to Katie as the doctor is talking, but the dialogue does not skip. Since the movie is supposed to be entirely self-filmed footage, this would imply that either there were two cameras filming at once, or that they did a second "take" with the doctor, both of which are unlikely. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Katie: Is that what I think it is?
Micah: Depends on what you think it is.
Katie: I think it's a big-ass camera! Whatever happened to one of those little hand held cameras?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The theatrical release of the film had no closing credits. After the final scene, a title card offered the 'fate' of Katie and Micah, then there was a brief showing of copyright and other protections, and the screen went black for a few seconds before the standard 'blue screen' showing the movie's rating appeared. See more »

Connections

References Cannibal Holocaust (1980) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
"Paranormal" is extra-ordinary
21 February 2009 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

I was fortunate to see this film about a year ago, and have become curious as to why it still has not seen the light of day. A little research has indicated it still might.

The storytelling here is simple but also inspired. Young couple Katie and Micah plan to film their home at night while sleeping in hopes of capturing evidence of a ghost that seems to haunting them, or more precisely Katie, since this is not the first time she has experienced these type of visitations. We watch the footage of the young couple sleeping and gradually things do start to happen. Katie and Micah also film themselves discussing the situation, a visit from a spiritualist, and a few other random moments. Doesn't sound like much, right? Or that it could possibly be the slightest bit scary. Well, Oren Peli's little indie film is everything a scary movie should be. In other words, it is indeed very scary.

Peli accomplishes the improbable through utilizing tension, character and imagination. The found footage concept used in the movie, a la "Blair Witch", "Cloverfield" and the recent "Quarantine", is perhaps slightly more effective in this situation. It's usually a still camera with things sometimes occurring just beyond what we can see. The result is a heightened sense of reality and a greater sense of dread as to what those sounds could be. We've all been there. We here a noise out in the dark and are frightened by the unknown. Peli seems to understand this greatly and uses it to great effect. When the camera does move it is often done slowly, perhaps in an effort to avoid the shaky-cam effect, but it also helps create greater tension.

But perhaps the one element most important to this film's success is the performance by Katie Featherston. In the beginning we meet a sweet young woman who has concerns about what could be happening to her. Perhaps a metaphor for fears regarding her relationship with Micah and their new home. As we approach the final scenes, Katie has been reduced to a person on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and we are deeply concerned for her well being. Each night as our young couple goes off to sleep we experience a deeper and greater dread that something bad is going to happen, and we don't like it. It helps that Ms. Featherston is an unknown (it's difficult to imagine caring this way about a recognizable actor) but her ability to create a believable and sympathetic character is remarkable and turns an effective thriller into something extraordinary.

It's not often that a movie will truly have me on the edge of my seat. Watching it I was reminded of those days long ago when I first saw "The Exorcist", "Halloween" and "Alien"; movies that have stayed with me over time as moments spent in a theatre genuinely frightened. It doesn't happen that often anymore, movies are either too gimmicky or too unbelievable or too music video flashy to get to me. But a little movie made with no money and no special effects did. To the cast and crew of "Paranormal Activity" - Thank you!

p.s. with regards to the future of this movie, the latest news is that it will be released and not remade as earlier planned. No idea when that will happen, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this special little film doesn't get left on a shelf.


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