Critic Reviews



Based on 24 critic reviews provided by
With its this-is-really-happening vibe, Paranormal Activity scrapes away 30 years of encrusted nightmare clichés. The fear is real, all right, because the fear is really in you.
An ingenious little horror film, so well made it's truly scary.
Peli works at mining the unknown, the unknowable, like a minimalist, using small moments and virtually no special effects exceedingly well.
With a $15,000 budget too puny to empty a petty-cash drawer, the no-frills Paranormal Activity comes packed with thrills.
Succeeds in its modest goals of building tension slowly and generating a handful of legitimate scares. A few people in the audience were laughing during the first half of the film. No one was laughing during the long walk out of the theater.
No-frills chills are what Paranormal Activity offers in unrelenting supply.
An impressive, not entirely successful exercise in minimalist filmmaking.
Like legendary producer Val Lewton in the '40s, director Oren Peli, who shot "Paranormal" in seven days in his own home, understands that what's most frightening is what you don't see but merely suggested.
Miami Herald
The movie's faults aside, this is the kind of show where half the fun is watching it in the company of a large group of people.
A "Blair Witch"-y creepshow that owes a lot to Japanese horror.
The Hollywood Reporter
"Paranormal" ultimately does deliver in a way that "Blair Witch" never did, but its achingly slow buildup is a test not just of an audience's patience but the power of hype surrounding the latest alternative scary movie.
Even at 85 minutes, the movie contains maybe 50 minutes that scare.

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