Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Paranormal Activity (2007) Review

Paranormal Activity poster
Director: Oren Peli
Stars: Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat
Genre: Found footage Horror

Where to start with this one...well let me be frank, it's a piece of shit. No, no, I know, I've heard all the reasons given by lovers of this and you know what? It's all shit. Shit. Shit. Shit.

It's about a couple who for whatever reason live in an enormous home with three bedrooms. The woman has apparently been haunted by demons or spirits or whatever since she was 8 years old. The boyfriend has a swell idea to record their lives constantly (and yes, there's the protesting of filming during sex from the women character, just like every other found footage film).

Through the boyfriend's recordings we see weird stuff occurring while they sleep. Like doors moving slightly or, get ready for this one, doors actually slamming shut all on their own! Then there's shadows and and powdered footprints, and everything you'd expect from a ghost movie, but wait! they're demons, not ghosts, as the film explains.

The problem is none of this even feels weird. It's a bit creepy, and sure it manages to scare you, but it's incredibly easy for a film like this to scare you. That's one of my main problems with found footage films; they're not creepy or atmospheric or even unsettling, they're just filled with obnoxious, cheap scares. Anyone can get scared from a door slamming shut or loud noises. 

Characters are annoying and unbelievable as a couple. Woman complains about the camera the entire time, man is just an idiot.

I mean, what does this film have going for it? Well crafted scares? No. Good story? No. Unique cinematography? No; at least when The Blair Witch Project did it they were a bit original. There is no merit in this film. It's an hour and a half of watching a couple get spooked out by doors and chandeliers and moving bed sheets. Most of the film is spent watching them sleep, using the same angle over and over again but never to its advantage.

This film is awful in nature, but there were still a few things that could have been improved on.

This image basically sums up the entirety of Paranormal Activity

The original ending was better than the shitty ending that was used once Paramount got their hands on it, but not by much. So yeah, you get a shitty ending and the last scene, which was supposed to be the "big scare," was even less scary than the rest of the film.

You know what would have been better? If this was made into a 10 minute short film and uploaded to YouTube. Quite honestly I'd rather watch Ghost Hunters (which essentially plays out the same way) or some other shitty paranormal investigation show like that, which television seems to be plagued with.

A boring, uninspired, talentless, cliched, or whatever other negative adjective you can think of. Not recommended. The film's slogan is "Don't see it alone!" Get rid of the word 'alone' and you've got yourself an accurate slogan.

1.5/5 stars

Purchase Paranormal Activity on Amazon (for whatever reason) : Blu-Ray - DVD - Stream

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