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Paranormal Activity
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Paranormal Activity More at IMDbPro »

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Wow!

1/10
Author: cade9522 from United States
1 January 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm sorry, but there have been so many people at my school saying that this movie was so scary, and they can not sleep at night. I go to blockbuster and get two movies "Paranormal Activity" and "Saw V". I go home and watch Paranonormal Activity first with a couple people thinking it will be scary. If somebody saw this movie with out knowing anything about it, they probably would have thought that it was a comedy. The acting, the production, the saying that the movie was "based on a true story". Giving facts about the criminal investigation, was just awful. This movie was completely thought up by the writer, none of it was based on anything, but somebody's mind. After watching this and laughing, I was so glad to see Saw V. Saw V was a good movie. To anyone thinking of seeing this movie, just don't, or you will be afraid of a pile of crap coming at you with a knife.

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10 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

TERRIBLE movie.

1/10
Author: aznxtommi from United States
6 January 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Honestly, this movie is one of the worst scary movies I've seen yet. There were some parts that kept me on the edge of my seat, such as the girl getting dragged, or the footsteps, but for 99% of the movie, I was bored out of my mind. To be good, it needed some MAJOR help. First of all, the actors were not believable at ALL. Like seriously, I watched the whole movie NEVER, not once, sympathizing with these characters, waiting for them to die. (It's pretty obvious that they're gonna die) Plus, I sat there after thinking if I were in Mikah's shoes, and honestly, this is the first thing I thought. If the demon followed Katie(his girlfriend), and I was Mikah, I'd bone out as soon as creepy stuff started happening. Like honestly, who would stay? Second, you can cut out more than half the movie. The whole audience, well when I saw it, was waiting for the night scenes. No one really cares about what they do during the day. Out of 10, I thought this was a complete waste of money.

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10 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

The only scary thing to be taken from this laughably bad horror film is that it could be the future of Hollywood cinema.

3/10
Author: Likes_Ninjas90 from Australia
9 December 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In 2006, a couple named Micah (Micah Sloat) and Katie (Katie Featherston) are living in a house together that they suspect might be haunted. In order to prove the paranormal existence, Micah insists on filming the house regularly with a hand-held camera, hoping to profit from whatever they might find. Katie soon reveals to both Micah and a psychic that she visioned a ghost when she was much younger in her old home, suggesting that the spirit has followed her into this new house. As the activity of the haunting becomes more obvious with each day, Katie's behaviour also becomes stranger, taking a toll on her relationship with Micah.

Paranormal Activity is the first film by director Oren Peli and it is based on his very experience of having his own home haunted. Shot entirely on a hand-held camera, this film was made on a minuscule budget of just fifteen thousand dollars and was heavily promoted on social networking groups, such as Facebook, before being distributed by Paramount Pictures. The film has been labeled by some websites as one of 'the scariest movies of all time' and a trailer was developed supposedly showing the audiences fearful reactions in the USA. Despite these endorsements, Peli's film should more aptly be called one of the most overblown films of the year and quite possibly one of the dullest horror films in recent memory. Although it is not as nauseating as some other films, the persistence to shoot the film entirely on a hand-held camera, similar to The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield, is firstly contrived. Micah insists on filming even in the broad daylight of the morning, while Katie herself sometimes takes over as Micah is just looking at research on his computer, such as a sound wave he recorded. To force the camera into each scene consistently, weakens the immersive qualities of what is already a flawed sub-genre. It is beyond difficult for a film to immerse its audience so strongly into the belief that they are watching a series of home movies and to make them forget that they are in a cinema.

Aesthetics aside, the film is also marred by the same flaws of so many horror films, mostly notably its lack of attention to the depth of characterisation and character development. No matter how attractive younger audience members may find them, both Micah and Katie are increasingly unlikeable throughout the film. Micah is particularly annoying, coming off as an immature brute, most notably when he films his girlfriend asking her for a striptease or waving his middle finger to the camera. There is nothing particularly interesting about either of these two boneheads as they are devoid of largely any back-story. They are also not aided by a script where the dialogue extends little beyond the 'oh my god' and 'what was that?' variant. Their constant whining and sniveling grows extremely tiresome after a while and it is hard to care about what happens to them. The only character development – if any – can be derived from Katie as she grows tired of the camera in her face and starts to decline as she is taken over by this force. It could hardly be called in-depth or original and still fails initiate our sympathy for her.

What will disappoint many pure horror fans though is just how derivative a lot of the film actually is. Not only is the film visually very dull because of the limited lighting, but the nature of the story, in being contained to just a few levels of the house, limits the number of ways that the narrative can really develop. Director Peril, who also wrote the screenplay, relies on all the clichés of yesteryear, with creaking doors closing by themselves, chandeliers shaking and unseen footsteps tapping on the floorboards. The unsubtly of this, and the fact that we have seen it so many times before, makes these moments largely ineffective. Audiences are more likely to derive more fearsome sounds from the fall of armrests in the cinema or the footsteps of people walking out through boredom while they are left to watch this mess. The repetition of filming Micah's bedroom at night, with the camera setup by itself on a tripod, is particularly tiresome too, as apart from an admittedly brief jolt at the very end of the film, barely anything eventuates. A noise is heard and then a character wakes up to ask 'what was that?' It is difficult to take many of the films supposedly dramatic moments seriously, such as footprints appearing or an Ouija board setting itself on fire, because of their sheer ludicrousness. In one scene a doctor who was invited to investigate the house walks in and then immediately says that he has to leave because the presence of evil is too strong. Maybe he just felt the great danger his career was in with this abomination and got out while he could: lucky him. It is the lack of drama, climaxes and scares in so many of the films scenes that will baffle some and just frustrate others.

The only scary thing to be taken from this laughably bad horror film is that it could be the future of Hollywood cinema. The minimal budget and maximum profit from soaring ahead of established franchises like Saw, has meant that a sequel has already been confirmed for release next year. It will be interesting to see how audiences respond to a sequel following such a thoroughly dull and unimaginative affair. Suspend your disbelief once more and hope the only way from here is up. Paranormal Activity is a real disappointment.

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11 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Horrible movie

1/10
Author: tarek-elsakka from Egypt
6 November 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

That was just about it. I heard a lot of awesome things about the movie and I watched it with high hopes but it failed miserably. What the heck is it about anyway? Yeah, some ghost/demon/whatever keeps playing with their heads at night, opening the door, lighting the Ouija board on fire, turning the lights off and back on, SO WHAT? The only part of the movie that was actually good was when the ghost pulled her from her leg and dragged her. That was made well.

And that Micah guy, yeah his character is an ass hole that keeps blaming his girlfriend for everything that happens, sometimes even in a direct way - he told her it's her fault, remember. Truly dumb movie and let's not mention the horrendous ending. She stood up for 3 hours, kept looking at him and then went down then started screaming and he ran and died, how? why? where? No effin clue. Her friend came in and died as well, how, why, where, when? No clue. But why didn't the cops die? Because they have guns? LOL.

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12 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Totally boring and fake

2/10
Author: hzahid1 from Bangladesh
25 November 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am a horror fan, I like to watch B horror films too but when I see so much stupid and fake thing in the movies then I get very upset. In this movie those couple trying to find paranormal activities there but using only one cam, this is ridicules. if they really want to find something then they should put more then 3-4 cam for their entire house. And the girl get afraid every night and they didn't even close the door of their room. And when they walk in their house at night they don't even bother turn on the lights offen. And the acting is so bad. And when people get very scare of some kind of ghost entity presents in their house then can't sleep like other normal person. It feels so boring and the actors act so fake. To me it's a 2/10.

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16 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

Boring

3/10
Author: Adrian Mitchell from Denmark
22 October 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was completely bored throughout the movie.I was alone in my cellar room watching this film at night and was completely unmoved by it.

I love good scary films. Not a horror hack n' slash film, but films that contain a certain amount of paranormal activity. So I decided to give this one a try.

What a waste of my time. I was not scared at any point throughout the movie. I mean what was there to be scared about? They fast-forward until something happens (a door slamming, some footsteps) and by doing that, remove the suspense.

The 3 stars are for the creepy theme they had at night, and for what it could have been if they had added suspense.

If you are the type of person that usually don't watch scary films then you might enjoy this one, but if you are the type that loves them, then don't. I would be more frightened playing tetris.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Disappointment

Author: caitaintdead from Perth, Australia
13 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This will contain spoilers... Probably about how utterly AVERAGE this movie is.

I spent probably a good 3 or 4 years hearing about this movie from many people. People told me it was "terrifying!", they "had to sleep with the light on!", they "keep thinking about it!" I had hopes that it would be an indie, blue tinted combination of The Blair Witch Project and The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Both movies genuinely shocked and frightened me on the first viewing, and contained imagery and ideas that have stuck in my subconscious till this day. I was wrong.

The film started slowly and I stuck with it. There were some interesting ideas that they could have worked with in this film. In particular, I thought that they could have addressed modern day consumerism through the male lead, Micah, who has just purchased a very large black (ooeer!) camera. His girlfriends first comment upon seeing it? "What happened to the little hand held ones?" Hehehe. More of that subtle humour would have carried this film a little further into the realm of unintentional giggles, and to be honest? I LIKE that in a movie.

Although I found the two leads believable enough in the roles I couldn't feel myself engaging with them enough to truly care about them and I really can't find anything much to say about them... At least let me dislike them! When a filmmaker chooses to do the 'found footage' schtick it becomes almost impossible to make the movies cinematography attractive, and this film suffers from it. Watching it only 4 years later it already feels a little bit dated, and just doesn't hold enough interest of the era to make this interesting.

All in all? A disappointment.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

I liked it - would have been better to see in the theater

7/10
Author: iustacey from United States
11 February 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Okay I probably did a few things wrong - watched it on a small TV in the middle of the afternoon. The experience would have much scarier if I saw it in the theaters with friends. But I did like about 80% of it. Pros: Original - I liked the premise and did not think it was a rip-off of Blair Witch (except the standing in the corner thing) Decent acting - I am curious to know how much was scripted and how much was ad lib. but they all did a good job. The only scene were the acting seemed pretty bad when when the psychic came back but suddenly had to leave. A little Aminittyville for me. Good suspense- you are just sitting there watching the bedroom waiting for something to happen.

Cons: Bad ending - too abrupt. I wasn't expecting it to go there. and it was a little cheesy that they added "and Katie's whereabouts are still unknown".

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

How Come some People Really Like This?

3/10
Author: Plastiktuete from Germany
16 September 2014

Well, the acting is quite good, I guess. Given that the protagonists are amateurs more or less. It is definitely not their fault that this movie almost put me to sleep. This is uniquely the achievement of the writer and the director who both fail to transport any suspense or even thrill. It is a short movie, only 86 minutes, but during this time, there is nothing that quickens the viewer's heartbeat the slightest bit. This movie is basically one and a half hours fighting the feeling of falling asleep. There is just nothing that happens on screen. Doors opening magically are not enough for me to feel satisfied by this movie. Unless anyone has children they are trying to put to sleep I recommend not to watch this movie under any circumstances. It is really boring and absolutely useless. Just like I think all the sequels are though I have not found the courage yet to watch them.

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

paranormal activity yields all too normal boredom

1/10
Author: warjamy from Denmark
1 January 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

the title says it all.

I did not know anything about the movie, just saw the title by chance and was curious to see it. My girlfriend fell asleep after 20mn. I felt like throwing up at times due to the camera handling.

Many things did not work in this movie but I'll spare describing all this in details. Only, when the demon - or whatever it is - finally kicks some ass in the end, I was really relieved: this joke of a couple was so damn irritating, they deserved the spook. In fact, I thought this demon was a bit of a pussy. It took this thing quite a few nights before the final act (nothing paranormal about the conclusion though: demon bad so demon kills, basta). I mean, why is this stuff so slow to show off its badness ? just an excuse to make this film last 1h40 instead of 5mn.

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