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Paranormal Activity film review
I had stopped watching scary movies but when I heard that Paranormal Activity is the best scary movie to come around in a long time I could not resist. Paranormal Activity is very subtle in the way it thrills. There is minimum gore except at the end.
In documentary style and sometimes with use of a handheld camera, the movie Paranormal Activity attempts to give a very realistic quality and it succeeds in that. The film surrounds the characters Katie and Micah, a couple that is residing in their San Diego, California, USA house.
The film has a very claustrophobic quality because the scene never leaves the house. Even on the rare occasion that Micah and Katie leave, the cameras do not follow them to where they go. We, the audience for the movie, never get a break from the darkness or dim lighting in the house to see the sun, the light, the beach, the beauty that's in San Diego, California, the setting for the movie plot. Micah and Katie get a break but we do not. They are basically projecting that their house is haunted but at least they get to get out of there for a while. The cameras stay in the house to show us the audience what transpires while the two main characters are gone from the scene.
We grip our buckets of popcorn a little tighter and wait... What is it about scary movies that keep us going back for more? Is the escapism that just about any movie would offer not enough? We need to feel a little afraid too? When our hearts are leaping, why is that "fun"? Well, for the thrill-seeker in you who loves a riveting adrenaline rush, Paranormal Activity will not disappoint.
Katie and Micah leave the house from approximately 7-11pm on one occasion and while they are gone the demon that is haunting the house makes an appearance and the havoc caused is caught on the video camera that Micah set up for while they are gone. The appearance is not literal. The demon is invisible but you see what it does.
Paranormal Activity movie poster
Ghost or Demon?
For a long time, Katie and Micah are unsure of whether their home is being haunted by a ghost or a demon. They solicit the expertise of a man that they call Dr. Apparently he has a doctorate in some ghostology?
Anyway, he comes to visit the home and explains that his expertise is ghosts who are dead human beings that have not passed on to where they need to go beyond earth. What he senses in the house is not of a human nature. It is an evil demon and far more dangerous than a ghost according to him.
So what does he do next? He offers Katie and Micah a referral to another man and he gets himself out of there!
So, the first guy ran scared. What now?
Micah feels that the other man would be a quack and he discourages Katie from calling him. So they are on their own for a while and absolutely terrified, especially Katie. She resents Micah for not taking the situation seriously enough but she has past experience as the demon seems to be following her from since she was a child in her family's old house. It seems to reappear every several years.
Every night when they go to sleep, Micah set up the video camera in the bedroom to show what happens while they sleep. Things get progressively worse and they lose a lot of sleep due to the Paranormal Activity.
Katie is convinced that the video camera is making the demon angrier and making matters worse.
Finally, Katie insists on using the number for the referral because they need help. When she calls, she learns that the guy that could potentially help them is now out of town for several days. How inconvenient for Katie and Micah. That's an understatement to say the least.
Katie and Micah continue toiling away in the house until the inevitable end of the movie.
I rate it 3.5/5 stars
Starring Katie Featherston as Katie, Micah Sloat as Micah, Mark Fredrichs, Amber Armstrong, Ashley Palmer
Directed by Oren Peli