Paranormal Activity

Yesterday, my Main Squeeze and I decided that we'd go to the movies. He wanted to see Paranormal Activity, I reluctantly agreed. I may have said in the past, I'm not good with horror. I hide behind cushions, jumpers, doors and people. I jump and squeak. Even in dire horrors when the film-maker practically shouts 'This is a scary bit! Scary bit coming up!' I still cringe and quake.

When he first floated the idea, I did a bit of research on the interweb and thought it looks promising. It's a ridiculously small-budget film, that has grossed millions. Someone, somewhere is rubbing their hands together. It's done in the same style of the Blair Witch Project, everything filmed on hand-held camera, which given the subject matter, works very, very well.

Meet Katie and Micah, two normal love-birds with a spot of bother happening in their new house. Micah buys a camera to try and document the parnormal activity surrounding Katie. This has been happening on and off since she was 8 years old.

The film itself is exceptionally well paced. The escalation is gradual and more importantly, believable. Micah is the sceptic, who wants to play with technology and Ouija board, not so much scared as fascinated. Katie on the other hand, is uncomfortable with the camera, concerned that it is inviting trouble, which of course it does. A psychic visits early on in the proceedings and delivers the news that it isn't a ghost, but a demon. He suggest contacting a demonologist and states that they can't out run the phenomena. Micah doesn't want to bring the demonologist in, in a very sweet, but misguided opinion that he can sort things out. When he eventually realises that events are moving well beyond his control, the demonologist is out of the country. The psychic comes back, but is so uncomfortable by 'the presence', he is soon forced to leave. The couple now thoroughly frightened want to leave the house, however, 'the presence' has other ideas.

Because it is presented so normally, you are drawn in to the characters' experience. They are likeable, quirky and seem to have genuine chemistry between them. The film manages with little effort, to get you to suspend your belief. You leave with a creeping feeling of 'Oh My God, this could really happen'.

I didn't watch the movie from under my seat, a fact of which I'm quite proud. Though, that could be due in part to the pint of cider I had beforehand. There were bits that were uncomfortable and really made me jump. I would recommend it, definitely. That was time and money worth spending.


  1. I tend to motion sickness, so movies with extended hand-held shots bother me. Movies shot entirely hand-held put me off the experience and make me think "couldn't they at least have rented a steady-cam or tripod?".

  2. Well done for braving it, I don't fancy this one at all.

    Generally speaking I hate horror films unless there's a hottie in it. For example the terrible remake of the Amityville Horror had Ryan Reynolds in it. Chopping wood. Shirtless.

    Worth watching for that alone.

  3. xl ~ I passed on Cloverfield for precisely that reason. I've not regretted it yet. I have to say there are very few camera wiggles. Nothing that made my stomach churn.

    beth ~ Ryan Reynolds isn't selling it for me I'm afraid. Now, Holmes coming out round XMas, I'm dribbling already. Mmmmm....Robert Downey Jr...

  4. I tend to shy away from paranormal horror movies as they do tend to freak me out a little. Normal horror I have no problem with but as soon as you throw ghosts into the mix I'm not a happy bunny. I will watch them but try to avoid where possible.

    I'm with you on the Robert Downey Jr thing, its the main reason i want to see the Sherlock holmes . yummm...

  5. curious ~ I prefer ghost stories to be honest, I can't bear slasher flicks. Ugh. Actually, I'm just not a huge fan of horror, full stop. Though I lurve reading it.

    Robert Downey Jr.....sorry drifted away there...mmmm....

  6. Good for you! I am a complete wimp when it comes to horror movies. Something gets me in the gut and says you have to get out of here. Or I hate it when they do something stupid just to prolong the horror/goryness or it all. E.g like Cloverfield the whole thing was silly. Hmm rant over :)

  7. Nothing like Alien then?

  8. archivegirl ~ I'm not convinced at the stereotypes that go on in horror films, I'm really not. The sceptical bloke "there must be a rational explanation for her head turning 360'." The stupid "I'm going to ignore this really good advice." Grrr...

    I still can't face Cloverfield because of the camera shakes. My stomach won't stand for it and truth be known, it gets boring after awhile.

  9. dave ~ no, it was nothing like Alien. Thank goodness. Or I would have followed through on my promise to end up in his lap a quivering wreck.


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