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amore eroma » Movies, Movies - Horror » Paranormal Activity

Paranormal Activity

Paranormal

Paranormal Activity (2007)
Written and Directed by Oren Peli
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1179904/

As a horror movie fanatic with hours and hours of horror movies under my belt, I was happy to hear that something new and amazing was on the scene. Sadly, I was not blown away as the lights came up in the theater after I viewed PARANORMAL ACTIVITY.  It wasn’t something super different and didn’t manage to send me running from the theater in terror. And, while I wasn’t scared silly, I was very uncomfortable several times. The movie stuck with me. The audience was blown solidly away hands down.

I adjusted my experience and thought about what I saw and I have to say that I have never been in a theater where the audience reacted to the movie as strongly as they did with this one. Ever.

I caught the midnight showing of ZOMBIELAND a few days before seeing PARANORMAL and audience members lingered around the auditorium entrance talking about the film. They seemed upset and happy at the same time. Like they saw something and felt something in a movie that they had never felt before. This wasn’t the “Oh dude, that scene was dope” crowd. These folks seemed like none of them wanted to leave the comfort of the larger crowd and head back to their homes. Safety in numbers.
But why?

Strong characters, attention to detail, and some genuine scares that did manage to have me thinking about it into the night and through the next day.

This is a simple film with a simple plot. A couple has something ghostly in their home and decide to try and catch the happenings on tape. Terror ensues and is relentless in it’s building feeling of dread and horror as the poor couple is subjected to nightly happenings that continues to get worse and worse. ((…all the while keeping the shaking camera to a minimum! Thank you!))

The film builds brilliantly and the view really feels the anguish and horror that the couple goes through. There are no cop outs like cats suddenly leaping through a room for a jump scare. There are audio clues that fill you with dread because they foretell nastiness about to happen. And worse of all, you believe the whole of it and feel the scares in your bones.

Scares and thrills aside, the thing that really impressed me about this film is the reaction from the audience. People groaned and whimpered, they screamed, and they were not able to keep still as the film unfolded before them. When the screen text plate came up with “Night 10” etc, people moaned and were both excited and scared to move forward in the film. The groups of people that moved out of the theater chattered away about how disturbing the film was and how they would not be able to sleep when they got home. Jokers pounced out of the shadows and scared their friends. Huddled groups moved to the parking garage and stayed tight and together in packs.

Yes, like I said, I’ve seen tons of horror films and am numb to them now for the most part, but this film had me thinking and smiling and talking about it for a long while after. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY will send a shiver up your spine and will have YOU thinking about “What Happens When You Sleep?”

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