Paranormal Activity (2007) Review

8 out of 10 Skulls
Written by: TerrorCorner   

I am a fan of low budget horror movies, and a fan of ghost stories.  It's rare to find the two combined- and combined well.  "Paranormal Activity" is one of those rare ones that did the job well.

Micha and Katie are a happy couple living together, when they start to experience strange noises.  Using a video camera he just bought, Micha is determined to catch whatever is disturbing them each night.  What they both discover is something that may be related to Katie's childhood... and the entity that plagued her family...

This supernatural horror movie is almost as low budget as you get:  hand held video camera, cast working for $500.00, and the Director's home as the set.  By doing this, the crew forces themselves to focus on the storytelling, and tell it they did- old school style.

The story is lean, mean and smartly crafted.  The dialogue, having been mostly improvises flows naturally from the characters and their relationship to each other the chemistry between Micha and Katie is obvious and adds to the plausibility of the events that occur.  The story grows and builds up in subtle and not so subtle ways until it's ultimate climax and scare.

I was quite impressed with the acting of Micha Sloat, and Katie Featherston.  They created likable, interesting characters that you can believe in.  Katie in particular did a good job during some of the creepier moments.  The scene of her standing by the bedside simply staring down at Micha was quite effective.

The use of the single video camera was executed in a surprisingly good way- especially when limited to essentially one room.  It was simple, but created the feeling that you were watching the video at home on the internet.  The use of the black and white "night shot" function helped to create a mood of suspense and anticipation.

As for the scares?  They start out as simple little things that make you wonder if you really saw what you thought you saw, and build to more overt and un-nerving frights.  For me, it was the subtle things that really made this film enjoyable to watch. I was also impressed, as someone that actually studies the paranormal, with how closely the escalation of the disturbances matched actual reported cases.

So, turn off the lights, gather your popcorn, and just remember that you may not be alone when you do...

blog comments powered by Disqus