After experiencing what they think are a series of "break-ins", a family sets up security cameras around their home, only to realize that the events unfolding before them are more sinister than they seem.
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
Steven Spielberg had to stop watching the film halfway through on a home screener as he was genuinely spooked by the experience. He completed it in daylight hours the next day and loved it. See more »
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 »
Is that what I think it is?
Depends on what you think it is.
I think it's a big-ass camera! Whatever happened to one of those little hand held cameras?
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Fans who submitted their name on the official website during the film's theatrical run were treated with having their name listed in the film's ending credits on the DVD/Blu-ray release of the film as thanks from Paramount for making the film such a success. See more »
What you can't see is always scarier than what you can
In his review of "The Blair Witch Project," Roger Ebert said, "The noise in the dark is almost always scarier than what makes the noise in the dark." Indeed, that film terrified audiences 11 years ago by exploiting that fact. Now, Oren Peli has taken the same concept, and made a similar horror flick. And "Paranormal Activity" is a hell of a lot scarier.
Katie and Micah are two roommates who are witnessing some strange occurrences in their home. They decide to buy a video camera to record these occurrences, and that's when the film begins.
Plot is of little matter here. Neither are special effects. The camera is hand-held, but usually it is on a stand or resting (thank God). The actors are very real, which is the point. It doesn't take long before we believe that this is actual footage.
The construction of the film is genius. The occurrences are what in other contexts would be normal sounds, but without a visible source, they become frightening. But what really gets us is that many times we are unsure that anything happened at all. Oren Peli is a genius for making this all work so well. One could divide the film in three parts: slow, creepy then downright scary.
It's not perfect (the beginning isn't very effective, and initially the possible explanations seem downright silly, although once the film gets going, that all changes). However I'm giving it a 10 because it actually scares the hell out of us extremely well, and the tension builds to an ultimate crescendo. And the climax (the original...the alternate ending is pretty weak) is downright terrifying.
This is one film that goes beyond thrills and crosses the line into utter fear.
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