Paranormal Activity (Oren Peli, 2007)

I guess it does live up to the hype, the proof of that being that after it was over, I went to get my laundry out of the dryer and found myself shoving it into the basket and hurrying out of my dark basement as quickly as possible. So it certainly got under my skin, this despite an incredibly patternistic and predictable formula of ‘exposition by day, scares by night’. Despite that, though, such a defined pattern may have actually helped its status as a successful horror film, as you’re trained rather quickly on when to expect to be scared. When the lights go out and you’re watching Katie and Micah sleep, you’re expecting something spooky to happen, and for those events to get progressively spooky as the film progresses; your senses are so heightened during these night scenes, you’re paying so much attention to every little thing in the frame, wondering ‘did that picture frame move an inch or two? was that sound a rusty pipe or an otherworldly presence walking across the floor? did that bedspread really just blow upwards as if by a supernatural wind, or was I just imagining it?’, that when the obligatory jump moment happens, it scares the shit out of you that much more because you’re so tuned into the image and the silence before you. A rather ingenious use of the bomb-under-the-table formula, helped by a pleasantly surprising lack of those jump moments, so that their effect doesn’t become saturated and diminished. Unfortunately, it could’ve been so much better if I had actually given a damn about the two people being terrorized by this unseen demon, but that’s pretty much sabotaged by how generally annoying Kate and Micah are, Micah in particular for how his douchebaggery really knows no bounds. Fine, he’s supposed to be the reads-no-instructions, asks-for-no-directions sort, but it gets old after a while. So what, Katie, the source of the demon’s boner, needs her asshole boyfriend’s permission to call an exorcist? But I digress… I’m complaining about a lack of believable character behavior taking me out of a film’s supposed realism when this is a film about a couple being haunted by an invisible demonic force. Point is, in an age where ‘horror’ = ‘gory remake’, this was refreshingly simple.


1 comment so far

  1. Fire Basket · on

    sci-fi is the best, i always watch science fiction movies and read science fiction novels *

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