Paranormal Activity Oren Peli

Paranormal Activity Oren Peli
Every few years, a low budget horror movie comes along to remind us of the joys of being scared in the dark. Since the genre depends on surprising audiences, smaller films tend to work better, since they are unknown entities that could go anywhere. The Blair Witch Project was the ultimate example, and now, ten years later, Paranormal Activity offers a similar experience. Shot in a week for around $10,000, the movie represents DIY filmmaking at its finest. There are no big set pieces, expensive special effects or movie stars in peril, just a pair of talented actors and an identifiable concept designed to get under your skin and make you sleep with a nightlight on. Katie Featherston and Micach Sloat star as the young couple convinced their house is haunted. They buy a camera to start filming the haunting and the entire movie plays as their supposed found footage. At first, the supernatural occurrences are merely strange noises or doors moving by themselves ― the type of thing that makes everyone think their house is haunted when sleep deprived. Gradually this worsens and it becomes clear that the haunting is real. This movie is all about tension. The camera will sit stationary for 30 seconds with nothing happening just to make sudden spooks feel unexpected. ADD audiences looking for instant gratification will be disappointed, but anyone who loves suspense and tension should worry about peeing their pants. Paranormal Activity played as a road show midnight movie for weeks to build word-of-mouth before going on to gross over $100 million in wide release. If you got to see it with an audience, you know what the vocal audience reactions were like, but the good news is that this is one of the few movies that should play better at home than in the theatres since it's pretty well designed to make you fear the dark corners and shadows of your house. The only misstep is the big finale tacked on after Paramount bought the movie. It delivers the goods everyone has been waiting for, but feels out of place after 90 minutes or so brilliantly constructed around escalating tension and unseen terrors. Fortunately the DVD rectifies that by including the original ending, which is less dramatic, but more appropriate. Unfortunately for a movie with such a storied production there are no other special features, which is disappointing. There will inevitably be a special edition re-release down the road, so you might want to wait to pick this up then. (Paramount)