Friday, 13 November 2009


It's 1.15am and I am just back from a late night screening of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY on Friday 13th and I feel compelled to review the film right now... as I really don't want to go to sleep yet! Released here on the 25th November it arrives in the UK on the crest of a wave of hype that hasn't been seen for a horror movie since THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. Made on a tiny budget ($15,000), grossed $100 million at the box office and scared the crap out of Steven Spielberg. Is it able to live up to the hype... Yes!
A simple setup of a couple: Katie (paranoid and fearful that something has been following her throughout her life) and Micah (one of the worst boyfriend's of all time) using a video camera to record evidence of strange happenings in their house is used to wring every drop of fear out of the audience.
There are horror movie cliches; Ouija Board, check. Investigating strange noises in the attic, check. The couple (mainly Micah) might be stupid but the film puts a new twist on them.
The night scenes are truly creepy as the camera remains in a static wide shot of the bedroom and the audience start looking around the room for hidden dangers and scares.
The film succeeds in terrifying its audience because it sticks to the golden rule of the horror genre, "less is more". You only catch glimpses of shadows, footprints, strange noises, but your mind goes into overdrive and conjurs up something much scarier than the filmmaker can put on screen.
There will be countless moments during a screening when people will jump and scream, followed by the nervous laughter as they tell themselves it is only a movie.
Of course, there will be comparisons between this film and the likes of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, REC and CLOVERFIELD, due to the similarities in filming style and documentary-type story but it surpasses them because it is a film that stays with you after you leave the cinema.
You'll end up double locking doors, checking under the bed, etc before going to sleep in the fear that it could happen to you. The sense of fear and unease the film creates is something that I haven't experienced since watching RINGU nearly ten years ago.
Scariest film of all time? Maybe. Scariest film of the decade? Definitely.

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