Paranormal Activity (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner25/11/2009

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 86 mins

Impressively directed, superbly acted horror flick that creates a creepy atmosphere and delivers some genuinely terrifying shocks.

What's it all about?
Directed by Oren Peli, Paranormal Activity stars Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat as Katie and Micah, a young couple who have been hearing noises in the night in their San Diego home. After Micah buys a video camera to record the spooky goings-on, Katie tells him that strange experiences have followed her around since she was a child, though they've never been as bad as in their new house.

Things get creepier when Katie consults a psychic (Mark Fredrichs) who tells her that the events she describes indicate a demon rather than a ghost. Sure enough, over the next three weeks, as Micah sets up the camera to record things in their bedroom while they're sleeping, the paranormal activity gets steadily worse, starting with loud noises and becoming increasingly disturbing and frightening.

The Good
Like The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield, Paranormal Activity presents itself as a collection of found footage discovered after the event. Fortunately, Micah's fondness for the tripod and for putting the camera down a lot means that there's very little of the annoying shaky-cam stuff, although this backfires in one scene where both characters are utterly terrified yet one of them manages to hold the camera completely still.

The performances are superb; Micah and Katie (who apparently improvised much of their dialogue) are thoroughly believable as a couple and their reactions progress naturally throughout, from humour and scepticism in the beginning to anger and genuine terror towards the end.

The Great
If your bedroom is prone to making the odd noise in the night, then you might want to steer clear of Paranormal Activity, because, make no mistake, just as The Blair Witch Project put you off camping in the woods, this will make you want to sleep with the lights on. To that end, Peri brilliantly builds the suspense of the night-time sequences, to the point that every time they go to bed and the camera returns to its night-time position, the audience takes a sharp intake of breath in anticipation of what's to come.

Worth seeing?
The comparisons with The Blair Witch Project are more than justified – Paranormal Activity is a brilliantly directed, genuinely scary horror flick that should ideally be seen with a large audience for the full effect. Highly recommended.

Film Trailer

Paranormal Activity (15)
Paranormal Activity has been reviewed by 1 users
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Content updated: 24/03/2019 12:59

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