Exploring: Paranormal Activity

A Review of Paranormal Activity

Paranormal Activity is the first good horror movie I have watched in a long time.  They succeed in playing off the audiences fears, crawling into our head and best of all they do it without belittling their work with shock gimmicks.  It was also very entertaining to watch.  I give this movie a 9 out of ten and would recommend watching it.

The Story

After some strange things happen to Katie, her boyfriend Micah sets up a video camera to capture the events.  The paranormal occurrences increase in frequency and significance, leaving Katie more and more distraught -- and determined to put an end to the terror.

Immaculate Reality

They did such a great job establishing the setting and creating a feel of a real home video.  I actually felt uncomfortable like I was some kind of peeping Tom watching some ones private life.  The immaculate reality was maintained throughout the entire movie.

The Parts In-between

I was so impressed with the great discipline demonstrated in this film.  The choices taken by the director, producers and writers deserves a big kudos.  There is so much said without words.  More of the movie and story happens in the moments between the dialogue and action.  This reminded me of the line in Almost Famous when he is talking about what makes music so great are the moments left out and missed beats.

The Fear of the Unknown

Paranormal Activity draws it’s strength by playing off the fear of the unknown, the greatest of all the fears.  I was so impressed with what they chose to show the audience and what parts were left just off screen.

This gave them greater control over the budget so that they didn’t have to waste money on special effects that would not do as much justice as the audience’s imagination could.

Laying the Eggs of Terror in Your Mind

By subtly using our imagination to fill in those parts the movie is able to crawl into our minds and gets us thinking.

The experience of the movie is enhanced by how they would suggest and nudge the audience in the direction desired.  Showing us the more believable moments of paranormal interaction and our minds fill in the rest based on each participant’s desires.  The skeptic would not see more then they would believe and the believer would fill in all kinds of spectacle that would occur off screen.

The Conversation Generated

The amount of conversation that was generated from watching the movie is also another testament to it’s quality.  We actually found ourselves pausing the movie about 30 min in and shared personal stories of encounters with the unexplained and our own warning tales about using Ouija boards.

For me the theatrical ending was brilliant.  I'm glad they used it instead of the other although both are included on the DVD.

Favorite Parts

  • The foot prints

  • Standing beside the bed

  • picture in the attic

  • Ouija board

  • Ending

Though not an owner Paranormal Activity is a must see.

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