Paranormal Activity (2007)
User ReviewsAdd a Review
Anyone who has had to canvas a house knows you turn on every light in every room you pass as you explore the room.
When a noise is heard he has the presence of mind to grab the camera turn on it's light but not bother to flip on the stair lights on his way down?
When you exit the couples bedroom there is a room on the left that was NEVER entered. The door is open, but they just walk past it.
At another point he exits the bedroom and b-lines for the far left room without turning on any lights?
When he looks in the attic his only light was the camera light, he then gives her the camera so he can explore the dark attic, HE HAS NO LIGHT???
Why wouldn't he want to call the Demon dude? Why would she be against the camera? Their motives are questionable.
If I have a camera on us and I find the misses outside in the cold (AND she doesn't remember it), I'm checking the footage the following day to see what time she got up. That's when I see her standing there. I'm thinking this chick is gonna kill me, and I'm calling her mother or her sister.
Another thing, they don't have a 9-5 job, why not stay up all night?
Top 10 things to do when things go bump in the night.
10. Grab the camera turn its light on but don't bother to flick a light switch when you pass it.
09. Give only light source back to girl and find photo in pitch black attic.
08. Don't examine tape when girl sleep walks. If you do don't worry that she's standing over you for 3 hours.
07. When you get phenomenal footage of your girl getting drug to another room, do nothing with the footage and spend another night in the room.
06. When your girl has a mysterious bruise/bite don't bother taking her to the ER. You probably don't have insurance anyway, this isn't Canada after all.
05. Don't bother to get a dog for protection. Despite the cat statue on the fireplace, you hate animals anyway.
04. Take a big interest in girl's demon, but refuse to call demon guy, you're too rich to afford that.
03. Find footsteps on floor and get great footage of it, but don't call media or police.
02. Make sure the 'chosen one' sleeps next to the open door. NEVER offer to trade spots with her or lock the door.
01. Don't Google anything until act three, research is a waste of time.
00. Keep the hardwood floors clean, because the most interesting thing about the movie was when I turned to the wife and said, "Those are nice floors," and she said, "I was thinking the same thing."
Under this pretense, I have divided this review into 3 sections: 1 for the things in the movie that work, 1 for the things that don't, and 1 for the summation.
1. Originality - not a cheap knockoff or a member of Hollywood's non-stop horror remake/reboot wave. That is a game winner right there! Comparable to the Blair Witch Project, PA has received a lot of flack as being a rip off of BWP. Taken into consideration, the film's only real similarity to BWP is the use of home camera/1st person footage, and non-professionals inducing reactions from the supernatural world. That said, you have to answer yourself a question: Would you rather see another Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, or a completely original off-BWP type film?
2. Suspense and Tension - the film does not rely on cheap scares and loud noises deafening you to induce the desire reaction of fear. Nor does it have the smallest fraction of gore/sex/exploitation compared to most of today's horror movies. If you prefer horror movies that usually don't stick with you and follow you out of the theater, then skip it by all means. The film gives you a few inches, and leaves your imagination to finish the mile.
A suggestion on viewing the film: If you want to get the most out of Paranormal Activity, then DO NOT see it in the local theater on a Friday night. We all know what happens when you are in a theater with middle and high school kids during a horror movie. To fully immerse yourself in the movie, see it with your significant other, by yourself, or with just a couple of friends at a time when the theater is the least crowded. Try to see it at night, or at home in the dark. This film invades the sanctity of one's bedroom, and the old tactic of pulling the covers over your head doesn't work.
3. Special Effects - even on a small budget, the film provides some very impacting scenery. Some effects are blatantly obvious, and some of the best effects are actually the most subtle.
4. Acting - the movie is well acted considering it is full of unknowns. The characters are not obnoxious like most horror movie protagonists. They appear genuine and very convincing in most of the film. But in some scenes, not so much. More below.
5. Plot - there is a pleasant (oxymoron) surprise with the direction the film went regarding the source of the phenomena. It's not your typical ghost or haunted house story. I will not embellish on this as it will spoil the movie for those who haven't or are deciding to see the movie.
******THE NOT SO GOOD***********************
1. Writing - this is actually a 50/50 split. The 'supernatural' scenes are very convincing considering the subject matter, whether scripted or improvised. However, the dialog and character motivation/action during the 'down time' is unrealistic at times. This is a large complaint by those who didn't like the movie. Although the film is a large departure from teen filled slasher movies, the characters at times seem to be just as brainless as the teens getting whacked by Jason. There is a lot of "WHY DIDN'T THEY JUST....?" scenes in the movie.
2. Acting - like the writing, the acting seems to suffer in the 'down time'. Fortunately, during the important (scary) scenes, the acting is spot-on, and very convincing. However, you might be taken out of the movie when the protagonists are interacting with each other during the in-between scenes, and the authenticity of their relationship is questionable in some parts.
3. Scenery - granted that the whole movie is filmed in or on the characters' house, the static viewpoint of the camera gets a little boring. With all the phenomena going on, it would have been refreshing to see things from a different angle, especially in the bedroom. Fortunately, this doesn't hinder the movie, just a minor complaint.
******AS A HORROR FAN***********************
Follow the suggestions above regarding with who, where and how to watch the movie. Seen under the right circumstances, and with the right state of mind, the film can be very effective, and having you looking over your shoulder when you turn out all the lights in the house, and crawl into bed. For this reason, I fully endorse this movie as a new member of the horror family. Fresh and original, the movie deserves all of the attention it is getting.
Let this be a glaring message to Hollywood that originality is still the craved for in the movie industry. Horror fans have grown tired of having their favorite classics butchered and pointlessly remade. Directors and producers do not deserve revenue for just upping the violence and sexual gratification of old horror movies.
The film's success is also a great indication that as a population, movie goers respond better to thought provocative subjects than mindless in-your-face cannon fodder. It relieves me to some degree to see that tension-fear based horror movies still have the chance to take the cake. Especially on such a small budget.
Well Done, producers, directors, and actors. 8/10
I GUARANTEE that I wouldn't be surprised if nearly every positive review on this site is part of the marketing campaign. I further GUARANTEE that I wouldn't be surprised if the advertisements you have seen of audiences cowering in fear contain at least some "shills" - - paid audience members. I further GUARANTEE that you yourself will almost certainly be bored out of your mind and wonder, during every single frame: WTF? Now to briefly describe the film: A boring couple sets up a camera in their boring house and when they look at the footage of what occurs in their sleep, they hear strange noises, see their bed cover lift as if someone had farted, see footprints made of talcum powder on their hardwood floor, see the woman sleep walk and stand next to the bed for two hours, and see a Ouija board catch fire.
That's pretty much it. Not only that, my telling of it is more compelling than what you would have seen in the theater. Now you owe me 11 bucks.
I saw it in a packed theater at 930 pm -- an ideal audience at an ideal time. No one jumped. No one shrieked. Hell, at one point I wondered whether anyone in the theater was even awake. I know I barely was. This movie will make an EXCELLENT case study for classes in marketing.
All I ask and pray is this: LORD, if you hear me, if indeed you exist, please don't let this director ascend through the ranks of Hollywood. Because if he is given a big budget to make a "real" film, there will be one more no-talent director flooding our theaters with crap.
Here's a transcript of the whole movie. (pretty much verbatim, stretched out over 2 hours)
Guy: Haha, you're being stalked by a ghost.
Girl: F@#$ you.
Guy: I bought a camera so we can see your ghost.
Girl: F@#$ you.
Psychic: I'm a psychic! ooooo.... I feel something....evil. So, I'm going home now. Goodbye. (30 seconds of screen time)
Guy: Haha, you're talking to a psychic.
Girl: F@#$ you.
Guy: Wow. That door closed on it's own. We should get a Ouija board.
Girl: F@#$ you.
Guy: I got a Ouija board!
Girl: F@#$ you.
Guy: Look it caught on fire (special effect #1) and now there's a demonic symbol on it. Help me decipher it.
Girl: F@#$ you.
Guy: I put baby powder all over the hall, and now there's big frog footprints to your side of the bed. (special effect #2 - bad stop motion)
Girl: F@#$ you.
Psychic: I just dropped in to say I'm still a psychic. (15 seconds of screen time)
Guy: Wow, something pulled you out of bed and we got it on film. (special effect #3)
Girl: F@#$ you.
Guy: Honey, where are you going with that knife?
Girl: F@#$ you.
Police : Police! Put down the knife! (bang!)
It was made a couple of years ago and yet it only became popular now because of all the hype. The only thing that is worth it about this "movie" is its superb marketing campaign. It's funny how the "the scariest film in the history of cinema" formula works every single time, like throwing bits of food at a pack of hungry dogs, they're always gonna go for it, and it's really sad, specially how American audiences are apparently so amazed by this rubbish.
This is the kind of film I would play on Halloween to a bunch of 9 year olds with no criteria, but all these young adults flinching and getting their knickers in a twist with the cheap thrills from P.Activity? Good grief. Their lives must be really lame and gray to be blown away by this tripe.
Why is this film so sh*te? Well, it has been thoroughly explained in all the reviews with few stars, and I couldn't agree more. Acting is appalling, the movie doesn't really go anywhere, there's no big revelation, the scary bits consists of thumps, noises, cries, doors slamming, shadows, a scary video on the web, and a wee bit of fake blood. That's it. Special effects on a budget. And the movie has the quality of one of those crappy 1995 homemade pornoes. Complete rip off.
If you must see this for yourself, go ahead, waste 100 minutes of your time, but do not I repeat DO NOT pay for this movie.
During the night, nothing happens except doors opening. yeah, so scary! Footsteps walking up stairs might freak you out, but it's really nothing. it's not creep at all and very stupid. Katie gets dragged out of the bed, but it's so unrealistic.
Don't waist your time watching this.
Throughout the entire movie I was hoping and praying that there was going to be something scarier that would happen. This is the entire movie summed up for you.
Something weird happening to the girl..the start recording themselves to see if they catch footage or weird things happening..they hear a noise..they go to sleep..the door opens...they go to sleep...something moves downstairs..they go to sleep..something bangs on the walls..they go to sleep..something breaths..they go to sleep..finally something a little bit scary happens..the movie ends...oh ya and at one point a demon with hooves leaves three footprints on the floor.
There was a scene that gave the plot a little bit of hope. They hear noises one night and find out that their attic has been opened. The bf goes upstairs and find a picture. The picture ends up being a picture of the gf when she was little and part of the picture is burned off. oOoOoOoOoo. then the plot going back to the same thing. When that scene happened i was thinking, "oh o.... looks like it might start getting interesting". Then all of my hopes were smashed as the plot less plot continued.
I felt very angry when the movie ended because I feel it was a sham and a rip-off. The whole "vote the movie into a theater near you" was a huge hoax they pulled to hype up the movie. I bet you the director and creators of this movie were laughing their asses off as people were blindly walking into the theater and throwing away their hard earned money. They must be profiting madly because these people must have only used about 75k for the creation of this movie.
Also I do not know what is going thru peoples minds that think this was an incredible movie. I read someones comment that this was just as good as the exorcist. These people must be paid bloggers because nobody in their right mind would ever think that about this movie.
To make matters worse I paid 19 dollars to watch this movie with my gf. We both agreed that even Drag me to Hell was better (I think Drag Me To Hell sucks by the way). I gave Drag me to Hell a 3 because it had a few scary/creepy scenes.
If its free then go watch it. If somebody is inviting you, then decline this movie and go watch something else. Trust me you wont regret it.
The reason I'm so scared to hype this film up is because I don't think it's going to have the same effect on everyone. The reason why is this is the type of story that just depends on what scares you. If a serial killer chasing the girl with big boobs scares you, this probably won't. If you believe there's more to that shadow you see before fall asleep and that there is something more to the after life, then this movie will definitely give you the creeps. The couple isn't haunted by ghosts, but something a little more scary, a demon that is feeding off their negative energy. Which I honestly think happens in real life and it's the supernatural that scares me. It's the things that require faith that scare me, something that you can't see, but you know exists. That is what terrifies me. From Night #1 in Paranormal Activity to the last night in the three weeks had me scared half to death and the ending that will stay with me for a long time.
Micah and Katie who claims that since her youth, a ghostly entity has haunted her, are a young couple. When strange phenomena occurs such as lights flickering and faucets turning on and off on their own, Katie believes the ghost has followed her to their home. Micah buys a video camera in the hopes of capturing paranormal activity on film. Each night, he leaves the video camera on a tripod in their bedroom to record whatever might be occurring while he and Katie sleep. On the first night Katie's keys are heard being thrown to the floor, where they are found the next morning. After this, Katie calls in Dr. Fredrichs, a psychic who assesses that they are being plagued not by a ghost, but by a demon that is intent on haunting Katie no matter where she goes. The hauntings continue. Micah suggests buying a Ouija board to contact the demon, as he is excited about the possibility of a real haunting, but Katie implores him not to. That night, the couple are awoken by what sounds like footsteps. Suddenly, what sounds like an inhuman roar and a loud bang reverberate from somewhere deep in the house. Micah finally borrows a Ouija board from a friend, infuriating Katie. While the two are arguing outside, a wind blows through the living room and the Ouija board's planchette moves on its own before a small fire erupts and extinguishes on the board. Katie agrees to allow Micah to try one more experiment. Micah leaves baby powder on the floor in the upstairs hallway, hoping the demon will leave tracks. That night, the plan succeeds; they awaken to the sound of footsteps and find three-toed tracks.
Like I said, I don't want to over hype this film, it's something you have to experience for yourself. But if you do see it, see it in the theater, because I think it's part of the experience. I know now that the film has a wider release, there are people who are not scared by this movie are just saying it's a bad film. Now while I understand that it may not have scared you, I think this was still very well made for what little money they had and was very effective. If you lived in my apartment for a night, believe me, you'd know a reason why it scared me. A lot of people have experienced some sort of paranormal activity, just depends on wither you believe it or not. Like I said, a classic ghost story is always about the strange noises you hear or how something moved that you know you put somewhere else. Believe me, a movie has not effected me this much since The Exorcist, Paranormal Activity crawls under your skin and doesn't let go.