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Paranormal Activity
Paranormal Activity
Actors: Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat
Director: Oren Peli
Genres: Horror
R     2009     1hr 26min

This intense edge-of-your seat horror film follows a young suburban couple who record the sinister disturbances in their home while they sleep ? even as the domestic haunting becomes more frequent, more threatening and all...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat
Director: Oren Peli
Creator: Oren Peli
Genres: Horror
Sub-Genres: Horror
Studio: Paramount
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 12/29/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2009
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 26min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 17
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, Spanish
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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Member Movie Reviews

Reviewed on 11/15/2012...
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jonathan H. (bigjohn84) from WILLIAMSTOWN, KY
Reviewed on 1/3/2012...
good and scary.
Chad B. (abrnt1) from CABERY, IL
Reviewed on 6/15/2011...
The modern day version of The Blair Witch Project. Made for appox $16,000 using video cameras and editing software bought in regular stores. I was surprised how well this film turned out. It does a decent job of building suspense and the supernatural attacks r handled quite well. Worth checking out.
Joseph F. M. (joe424) from HICKSVILLE, NY
Reviewed on 4/12/2011...
Not as scary as I heard, but still a good movie. Ending was kind of messed up.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Be Prepared To Use Your Imagination
James Morris | Jackson Heights, NY United States | 11/26/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"A well-written review of any film should never label its subject "good" or "bad". Rather, it should give you an idea of whether or not you can expect to enjoy it, based on your own preferences and expectations. Paranormal Activity is a particularly controversial film when it comes to the potency of its terror. Most reviews either complain, with great disdain, "I hated it - it wasn't scary at all" or exclaim in total satisfaction, "It scared the pants off me - I loved it". There seems to be little in-between.

I saw the film today, having read enough reviews to know pretty much what to expect. But before I reveal my own reaction to Paranormal Activity, I would like to offer a few ideas that those who know little about this film may find helpful.

Alfred Hitchcock, the celebrated director who was known as "The Master of Suspense" held many interesting theories about what frightens an audience. Hitchcock believed that, when properly stimulated, the viewer's imagination was far more powerful - and far scarier - than many direct images that may or may not frighten the average viewer. Directly depicting a ghost, a monster or a demon for example, even with today's special effects, may scare many viewers, but that will depend solely on the quality of the effects. And even if well done, many viewers may find the images unconvincing or downright laughable, for they may have other ideas about what a ghost, monster or demon should look like.

However, if the filmmaker merely implies that a supernatural event is taking place, and sets up the situation with enough skill, the viewer's imagination can take over and sometimes yield a far more frightening experience than any vivid imagery ever will. After all, people go to horror films to be frightened, and what could be more frightening than unseen terrors from one's own imagination? By setting the mood with dark rooms, low lighting, eerie shadows and other effects that many people will associate with their greatest fears, an innocent image of two people peacefully sleeping, unaware of what may be going on about them or to them, can become very frightening indeed, even if few special effects are used. This is especially true if the moviegoer has developed enough empathy with the characters to place themselves in the same situation.

Many modern horror films rely on blood, gore and violence, with horrible creatures conjured up by special effects and vivid scenes involving battles with ugly demons or manic killers in order to provide thrills. That can be a lot of fun, and certainly very scary. But it can also be argued that, as CGI effects advance and become more vivid and frighteningly realistic, many viewers become inured to violence, blood and "creatures" while depending less and less on their own imagination, and in the process, they will sometimes forgo a far scarier experience. I know that no special effect ever came close to my own nightmares, because my nightmares are stirred by the things I fear most, and not the things that I've been conditioned to find scary. In short, no amount of vivid terrors can match the human imagination, provided that the imagination is properly stimulated.

Well, this is the basic idea behind Paranormal Activity. Largely on a shoestring budget, the writers/director/actors of Paranormal Activity have managed to create an old-fashioned thriller that relies almost exclusively on the viewer's imagination. Those who like their "scary movies" full of CGI, monsters, blood and violence are warned; you will probably be extremely disappointed. But if you have enough respect for your own imagination, and can allow yourself to be frightened not by what you see, but by what you think is there, you just may find Paranormal Activity to be every bit as frightening and well done as many people say it is.

By the way, I saw it with a friend. He did not find it frightening at all. On the other hand, I definitely expect to have trouble sleeping tonight. Whether or not you will agree may depend on how effective your own imagination can be.

Things That Go Blah In The Night
JC | New York | 01/03/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Ok, unless you live in Siberia or something, you all know the story, a young couple Katie and Micah seem to be visited, mostly at night, by a ghost or demon in their new home and Micah takes matters into his own hands by videotaping and recording every single moment, literally. This is it in a nutshell, "Night 1", they toss and turn, a slight noise, next day Katie whines and Micah checks it out on his computer, tapes Katie in the bathroom. "Night 3", toss and turn, bedroom door moves back and forth, next day Katie whines some more about being scared, Micah gets into it, tapes her some more in the bathroom. "Night 6" toss and turning, loud thump, Katie calls a psychic and he stops by and does nothing, and so on and so forth. LOL! Sorry, that may not be exactly it but...I will admit that I did enjoy the very end, you can skip the alternate ending, but up until that point I just didn't believe any of it or the characters. It's a shame because I really was looking forward to it.

I'd like to congratulate the marketing folks who did an amazing job with this film, creating all kinds of buzz and hype and sucking almost everyone in the world to go see this film and/or buy the DVD. I must say I am the latter and boy was I duped! I have to say maybe I'm just a "doubting Thomas" but I don't go for all the "ghost hunter" tv reality shows and the like and when I heard the premise of this I just couldn't pull myself to go to the theater and see it. In any event I kept reading, not in great detail as to spoil any expectations, review after review praising and saying how scary this was, much to my dismay.

One reviewer said, " Paranormal Activity is the most raw horror film since the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre. It's very realistic and unsettling." But then in the same breath goes on to say "The only thing I didn't like about the movie was the stupid characters", how can you have a movie that is both realistic and has stupid characters? You got me, I thought the characters were very unrealistic most notably, which no one seems to mention, the visiting "psychic" played by Mark Fredrichs. His dialogue was horrible and stiff and was so completely bad that it shot was credibility it had right out the window. At some points Micah was pretty unbelievable too when he is yelling out to the spirit, and the whole cliche using the Ouija Board was almost laughable. On top of all this as the story unfolds, I won't give it away, but it just became more increasingly lame, ie the story on the computer and the past. Come on, you tell me you really got into that?

Anyway, I could really go on and on but I won't. Like I said from the start, maybe I'm too much of a "doubting Thomas" or just don't jump on the "bandwagon" like most, I don't know, I do know this was NOT the most scariest movie ever nor should it be compared to some of the great classics! And I slept like a baby that night. Oh, I almost forgot, I did get my name in the credits! LOL! I wish I hadn't now that I know how bad it was. I've also put my copy up for sale on Amazon. Anyone want to buy it? Oh, and please don't do a sequel with Katie. LOL!"
Don't believe the hype! This "Paranormal" movie is nothing a
Jelly Jar | Collinsville, IL USA | 12/31/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I saw this in the wonderful Moolah Theatre in beautiful downtown St. Louis, MO. To start with, the awesome speaker system there did nothing for the terrible sound quality of the movie. They may have wanted it to sound more like the filming was being done by a camcorder, but gritty muffling throughout did nothing but detract from the entire experience.

Another reviewer alluded to this movie as having the type of appeal that would attract eight-year-olds or those with eight-year-old intelligence levels (using much more degrading words, of course.) I wouldn't necessarily agree with that notion. On the contrary, the eight-year-olds and teenagers were the ones who were LAUGHING in the theater. NOBODY screamed until the last ten seconds.

The bore factor here was incredible. Time crawled by while two shallow characters, Micah and what's-her-name, dealt with a supernatural entity that was never seen. Hey, it's okay to not show the demon; I understand that that's supposed to be part of the fear factor, but saving the best part of the movie for the extreme end when it could have been introduced as a foundation early on and then built upon for additional scares was a HUGE golden opportunity missed by everyone involved. But that's not all as far as missed opportunities go...the whole thing with the psychic, or whatever that character was supposed to be, was flawed and underdeveloped. That individual situation could have been expanded upon to create a whole different angle and level to the movie.

So why all the hype, you ask? I have two theories. It may be one or the other, but its most likely a combination of both:

1. Exceptional marketing, whether deceiving or not! 'Nuff said.
2. When horror is presented in such a way that it is less about the grandiose, over-the-top, literally unbelievable, Hollywood presentation like "Poltergeist," for instance, and more about something that is so subtle that it could actually happen to "YOU," it opens the door for personal fears to creep through and subject the subconscious to a taste of a not-impossible reality.

That being said, I give the movie and its makers three stars for effort, but keep in mind viewers, MOST of this movie is VERY boring.

Three Stars ***"