Who Made It? Oren Peli Who’s In It? Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat It’s Out:Dec. 3rd 2009 It’s Rated: M It’s Goes For: 86mins
Even though this is just coming out in Australia, it has already become the most profitable movie ever made. Paranormal Activity was put together over two years ago for around $15,000 and after finally being released in September, has so far made nearly $110,000,000! Now that’s good marketing! The distributors filmed audience reactions at test screenings and released them as part of the films trailer. So there’s obviously something about watching someone shit their pants that makes people wanna get involved. It’d also have to do with the “video camera / ‘this is real footage that was found’” way the movie was shot that intrigues us, even though ‘horror’ has been the most disappointing genre in recent times. You could probably count the number of scary movies in the last decade on one hand, but, the hype surrounding Paranormal Activity does not hold back from putting it up there with those select few. So is it “one of the scariest movies of all time”?
Weeeelllllll…probably not. Is it scary? Hell yeah. The tense, slow build-up tactics they use are extremely effective in creating a sense of uneasiness. As well as the play on “people’s most basic fears”, like loud noises in the dark, they all work really well. I also liked that it wasn’t all about the ‘paranormal activity’ during the night. We go through what the characters are going through, from a care-free beginning to a haunted finish. (I really wish I could share the best frights, but I don’t wanna spoil it for you).
What I really like about these sorts of movies (Wolf Creek is where I first realized it) is how the characters interact with each other. The dialogue is very natural. If you sit back and listen to the way most movies have their characters speak to each other, you’ll probably react the same way I did: “that’s not how we bloody talk!”. In these movies, it’s almost as if the actors ad lib a lot of their scenes and talk to each other how they really would in the given situation. That style helps this movie in particular become scarier; it really is like watching two real people.
It might not live up to the claim as one of the scariest movies ever made, but the chilling bedroom scenes and overall mystery of the ‘thing’ doing the haunting will probably have you sleeping well under the sheets, even for the summer.
Rating: 3½ stars When You Should See It: Late at night is preferable, but you’ll want to go to a quiet session, or just go by yourself…it’ll help get you in the mood. What You Should Take In: Water will suffice.