NNWIJ: Paranormal Activity (2007)

Director: Oren Peli

Notable Cast: Katie Featherson, Micah Sloat

Rating: R

Review:  As per my review of Paranormal Activity 2, it’s no mystery I’m in love with this series.  It abandoned the more recent thought process that the gorier the film is, the scarier it is.  It got back to what horror should be focused on, the fear.  Paranormal Activity beautifully used tension and played to our fears in a way that a slasher never can.  It’s one thing to fear something you can see, but it’s a whole other story fearing something that you can’t even understand.  The film follows a young couple that have started experiencing strange occurrences during the night, but nothing vicious.  Just some freaky things like flickering lights and swinging chandeliers.  So, the curious Micah decides to buy a camera to try and track what goes on while they sleep, and he uncovers a paranormal phenomena that brings out stories from Katie’s past.  While Katie is more focused on making the “thing” go away, Micah focuses more on communicating with it and uncovering the mystery behind that creature stalking his girlfriend.  Sounds like a great idea, right?  Haha, oh Micah.  Every single night scene I would sink down in my seat, clench my fists, and my eyes would race around the room trying to preemptively catch what was about to scare me to death.  I left this movie with a fear and paranoia no horror film has ever been able to instill in me before.  Many don’t agree, but the reaction from fans complaining “nothing happens” is just based on being brainwashed by mainstream horror that has convinced audiences a horror movie isn’t good unless limbs are being hacked off and gallons of blood are splattered on every character.  Paranormal Activity is an achievement in horror cinema that will not be replicated for years to come, and evidence that fear is based on story and tension, not stupid teenagers and gore.

I will admit though, the bigger the TV the better the reaction.  It was a much different experience watching it in the theater versus watching it on a regular sized TV.  Do your best to simulate the theater: jack the sound up, turn the lights out, and hold on.

Netflix Rating: 5/5

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About Matt Donato

I love all things film. I'll watch any genre, any actor, at any time. This whole film critic thing is a passionate hobby for now which I'm balancing with working in the business world, but hey, someday, who knows?
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