Paranormal Activity (2007)
Reviewed on 2009 November 6
After a lot of debating whether I’d rather miss this movie or sleep ever again, I decided to go to see Paranormal Activity. Because Mr. Shukti doesn’t like horror movies, I went alone. I was on edge for a while, but it wasn’t the frightening thing I expected. It was good, and that’s saying a lot actually, because what scares you is so subjective. I have friends who to this day can’t sit and watch The Shining with me, and yet laugh when I tell them I gave away my copy of The Exorcist instead of trying to watch it again. It did give me the roaring creeps for 86 minutes, and that’s more than a lot of modern horror can do.
Katie (Katie Featherston) and Micah (Micah Sloat) are a couple engaged to be engaged and living in a beautiful house that seems to have an unwanted, uninvited guest. Katie explains that since she was eight, she’s felt a presence standing over her in the middle of the night. She doesn’t know what it is or what it wants, but it’s not good, and it followed her into adulthood and her new home with Micah. Micah buys a camera to film the bedroom and try catching whatever it is, a sensible solution compared to his idea of buying a Ouija board and trying to communicate with it. Micah insists he can sort the problem out on his own, but seems to be merely making the thing, whatever it is, angrier.
It’s impressive that the director shot this in his own house for $15K. In movie money, I think that’s a McDonald’s Happy Meal®. Part of the problem this thing faced is that so much in the horror genre has been done before (though this does it well). In terms of terror I thought The Strangers was scarier, but this was very unnerving. The premise of something messing with you in your sleep is as old as the first night, and I’ll let you guys know if I wake up in a cold sweat this morning. The characters were just fleshed out us enough to be frightened for them, even if Micah was kind of an idiot. Whether you believe in the paranormal or not, if something manifests itself one night, are you going to waste time trying to communicate with it?
Two chocolate morsels and a cup of tea.
Addendum: I promised I’d ’fess up if I had a hard time sleeping, and it did take me longer than usual to drift off last night.