In 2007, Screamfest Horror Film Festival screened a found footage film titled, “Paranormal Activity.” Directed and produced by Oren Peli, it’s about a couple named, Katie & Micah. The former encountered a ghost since childhood. Micah uses a camera to record proof of evidence. As the story progresses, the couple become paranoid. The crowd praised it as something they’ve never seen before. An employee of Creative Arts Agency or CAA for short, enjoyed Paranormal Activity giving Oren a golden opportunity to make it in Show Biz. One day, Oren arrived at DreamWorks presenting a DVD of the film to executive producers and Steven Spielberg. After viewing it, they immediately sent the DVD to DreamWorks then distributor, Paramount Pictures. Two Years Later, the film was finally distributed worldwide.
Paranormal Activity was released worldwide in 2009. (same year Coraline came out) It became a sleeper hit making a lot of money and earning positive reviews from both critics and movie goers alike. As a result of a massive success, Paranormal Activity spawned five sequels released in 2010-2018. It was spoofed at “The 2010 Academy Awards,” “A Haunted House” & “Scary Movie 5.”
An upcoming installment know as, “Paranormal Activity: Next Of Kin” will stream on Paramount Plus two days before Halloween. During the month of October, I’ll be selecting certain horror movies.
Today’s review contains no SPOILERS. I’m giving many of you a chance to see the first installment of the Paranormal Activity series. Keep in mind fellas, this article is pretty short. The film is not a complex psychological thriller as in “Gone Girl.” Just an hour and half low budget flick. So bear with me.
Strong & Weak Elements
Strong: Oren Peli did a fantastic job directing and producing the film.
Practical Effects were heavily involved to create suspenseful moments. Post-Production trickery altered certain effects.
Scare Factor only relies on building up the ghost’s presence. Rather than brutal Death Scenes and no in your face Jump Scares. A unique concept that immerses the viewer like you’re with Katie & Micah.
Chemistry between Katie & Micah served as the main highlight. Their scenes with one another moves the story forward.
Katie & Micah’s dialogue is mostly improvise to make their predicament realistic.
Katie mentioned when she was a little girl, she first encountered a ghost. Her childhood was further explored in “Paranormal Activity 3.”
The house is actually Oren’s place.
Paranormal Activity is set in 2006. Back when Oren shot the movie.
As the film progresses, night terrors are more intense than ever. When I first saw the film, it gave me the heebie jeebies. To this day, I frequently lock my doors over my fear of “house sounds” at night. That’s right, when I’m alone in my room, I have a fear of hearing sounds in the background either inside or outside.
The movie is influenced by “The Blair Witch Project” responsible for influencing other found footage movies including my all time favorite Kaiju flick “Cloverfield” & “Chronicle.”
The Ending takes place on October 8th. Two days after “The Departed,” “Employee Of The Month” & “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning” came out.
For those who don’t know, Alternate Endings were shot until Steven Spielberg handpicked a definitive version. If you wanna know which ones are different, look em’ up on YouTube or Bonus Features on DVD/Blu-Ray. The original ending was only viewed at The Screamfest.
Weak: I couldn’t find nothing wrong with this movie. I’m giving The Cast & Crew an Extra Point for making a flawless film as possible.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
Paranormal Activity is one of my favorite horror movies alongside John Carpenter’s “Halloween, (my personal favorite) “Aliens,” “American Psycho,” Zack Snyder’s “Dawn Of The Dead” & John Carpenter’s “The Thing.” If you’re open to watch The Next Kin, go ahead and watch all the Paranormal Activity films.
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The film that put Blumhouse on the map.