Sunday, 29 November 2009

Film Review: Paranormal Activity (2007)

Director: Oren Peli
Running time: 86 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

Watched at the cinema Saturday 28th November 2009.


Katie and Micah are a young couple who have been living together for about three years. When strange noises in the night start to occur, Micah decides to find out what’s causing it by recording themselves at night using his video camera.

At first it’s a bit of fun, they joke around and nothing scary really happens. Katie has arranged for a psychic to come and see them. She tells him that she has been experiencing these events since she was eight years old. The psychic says that she is being haunted by a demon, not his field of expertise, and leaves them the number of an expert. He warns them not to antagonise the demon or things could get very ugly. In the night the door moves and this is caught on film. Micah is determined to solve this mystery without any outside help. As the nights progress, more and more strange events occur and Katie gets more and more anxious. At one point she even gets up, stands by the bed for an hour and then goes and sits outside in the yard. Micah finds her, but she has no memory of how she got there. I won’t say too much more, but needless to say the film builds to a pretty scary ending!

Considering the reported budget of US$15,000, I thought it was a very well made film. Made entirely in one house with very few actors and most of the action being filmed on just one camera. Also, some really effective use of sound, whenever the demon was about to put in an appearance we had an eerie low hum. Great performances from both Katie Featherston as Katie and Micah Sloat as (not surprisingly) Micah. They both really captured the mood and played their parts really well.

Over all, a pretty scary movie, it certainly made me jump more than once! If I have one criticism, it’s that Katie seems a little too normal. If this thing has been happening nearly all of her life, then surely she would be slightly more paranoid. Don’t get me wrong, she appears genuinely scared at points, but then appears normal the following day. Having said that, it is without doubt the scariest film I’ve seen in a very long time!

My score: 7.6/10

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