Lives up to the hype of the trailer
Rick H | NC | 09/22/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Seems that today's generation can't appreciate a good old-fashioned style jump-out-your-seat horror film if there's no slash & gore involved as I've seen this movie torn to pieces over on IMDB, enough to make a bad Shymalan review seem glowing by comparison. But this is a pretty creepy movie regardless of those negative reviews and the Blair Witch-type-"filmed on a camcorder" faux reality approach to the production. In fact, that production style works better with this film than it did in Blair Witch (which I think is very much over-rated). Who hasn't at some point in their life felt frightened lying in bed at night and hearing a noise in another room in the house, especially if that noise is coming from downstairs? This movie excels at exploring that fear and the "reality"-camcorder style really brings that fear into better focus - it gave me the willies especially in the last 20 minutes or so. Seeing this movie on DVD and not in the theater I can only imagine how much more scary it would have been on the big screen. I'm looking forward to the sequel."
Scary and creepy, does not leave your mind
Amit Talpade | New York | 10/02/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"`Blair witch project' showed us that a video camera and a mystery could produce some spectacularly chilling effects. Paranormal activity is the result of the same experiment and proves that minimalist experiments can be chilling. The entire movie takes place in an apartment of a couple who are being haunted by a supernatural force. They decide to record the happenings with the help of a video camera and the movie is the result of the lost footage which was found later. The buildup is slow at first but the movie manages to scare us by the end. Horror Films are among my favorite genre and this is one of the scariest films that I have seen in a long time. I cannot wait for the 2nd part. I recommend that you watch the theatrical version and well as the alternate ending. I personally enjoyed the theatrical version. I Loved it. Five stars. 9/30/10"
Not bad, but it shot itself in the foot... (This review cont
A Hermit | Southwestern Pa. | 10/02/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Back in 1999, "Blair Witch" started a trend which I feel, has started to wear out its welcome. SO many movies now have the hand-held camera and unknown actors to give them a "real" feel, and where using people who aren't on the A-list is a good idea, this film is just another(!) one of those "real" films which try to look convincing, sometimes with limited success.
As any movie usually does, it has a somewhat slow start, not a bad thing, slowly building up into something which is a genuinely scary film. It is very well-staged, and several times I forgot it was a work of fiction. In many ways, this film is a retread, but some of the best ever made, were also retreads; you, the viewer, know exactly where it's going, but how it gets there, is where the enjoyment of this movie comes in. There are some surprises along the way.
The featured couple are subjected to some visits, if you will, from some unseen presence from another realm; it isn't human (enthusiasts of this type of thing say some spirits are human, others aren't), and it doesn't want to just say "hello." It has pain, fear, and death on its mind.
One area where this film works so well, is the absence of over-the-top special effects, and the ones used are used sparingly. If you were to have a problem of this type in your own house, this is how it probably play out. You don't need a Steven Spielberg budget to made a good scary movie. And this movie is good. And scary. Nightly visits from something you can't see, when this thing doesn't have your best interest at heart, will, in time, send you over the edge. Like "Blair Witch," a major part of this story, is the breakdown of the people who are dealing with this. Psychological thrillers often hit their mark with far more accuracy than some splatter-fest; where the latter isn't without merit, in terms of craftsmanship, these kind of movies aren't particularly scary. They're just gross.
The thing which cost this otherwise good film a star, was the ending. All the way through, it has a realism to it, which makes the slow-moving story interesting, but the use of a computer-generated visual effect in the last scene, to jump out and yell "BOO!" at the viewer, is the self-administered shot to the foot mentioned in this review's title. It is an anti-climax, given the standard it set for itself early on. In the features section, an alternate ending is included, which I feel (a personal opinion, mind you), was far more effective, and convincing than the "official" ending. It was a poor decision to edit it as they did.
But in all, this is a very good psychological thriller."