Monday, November 2, 2009

What Happens When You Sleep? Apparently Nothing

A door opening and closing, sheets moving and a demon that can summon a sonic boom make up the majority of scares in Paranormal Activity.
This was the directing debut of Oren Peli who filmed the movie in his own house and on a budget of $15,000. The movie uses the same camera work as The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield and uses unknown actors to try and drag you into the world.
The movie revolves around these two unknown actors, Katie (Katie Featherson) and Micah (Micah Sloat) who just moved into a new home in San Diego. Since they moved in, Katie has been complaining about strange things happening and that causes Micah to buy a video camera.
They then start to document their home through this new camera and over the course of several nights they start to record strange things happen and hear footsteps and whispers. Then we learn that Katie has been followed by a demon since she was a child and he wants her.
That’s basically as deep as the story goes, because it’s not a movie that’s trying to get you that way it’s trying to get you with it’s scares. Because, if you sit back and think about the story after you watch it really is dumb.
Now the scares in this movie are not good or scary, I know there is going to be a lot of people sending me comments and emails about this, but the fact of the matter is that I was not scared at all. I laughed a lot, I mean if you don’t laugh at somebody getting dragged out of their bed, then what’s wrong with you?
Yes the scares are boring and we’ve seen it all before. The movie is also repetitive, the “scary” things only happening at night and the camera always has the same angle of the couple’s room. There is not much variety here and it caused me just to become bored. I wish the theater had a fast forward button so I could have gotten through the day parts quicker, they just went on forever and really never offered anything remotely interesting.
The movie does take some pointers from The Blair Witch Project mainly the camera work and the night and day system, but Blair Witch did it more effectively. When you sat down and watched Blair Witch you were going through an intense experience with the characters. Even when the sun came up in the Blair Witch you still saw the characters fighting for survival but in Paranormal Activity when the day time came it just seemed like they weren’t too fazed by what happened the night before. This could have been because the performances from the two stars was never believable at any point in the film and is one of the reasons I was dragged out of the experience the moment Katie pulls into the driveway in the beginning.
I do have to give the film credit for trying though. Even though I didn’t like it, there is going to be people out there who will love it and be scared out of their minds, but after watching hundreds of horror movies this one just doesn’t hold up.
To sum everything up the movie lacks in so many areas for me. It’s night and day system is boring and repetitive, the whole demon story line is just dumb and the actors really didn’t deliver much of a performance to make me believe in their world. I don’t understand why so many people are given this a high score it’s doesn’t deserve this much praise. It was over hyped and the movie is lackluster.
Save your money, wait for DVD or TV.