Paranormal Activity Review

After a young, middle class couple moves into what seems like a typical suburban "starter" tract house, they become increasingly disturbed by a presence that may or may not be demonic, but is certainly most active in the middle of the night. Especially when they sleep. Or try to.

Where to begin, where to begin. My first question is since we voted Paranormal Activity into a wide release in theaters, is there a way that we can vote it out? I haven't felt this let down by a film in a very long time. We're talking let down by epic proportions. I was so completely disappointed, I almost wanted to stand outside the theater door and warn people going in to save their money, don't believe the hype, go trade your ticket in for Zombieland. I can't believe I'm saying this, but wait a week and go see Saw VI. It has too be more entertaining than this.

Before I go on, let me get the one good thing about this movie out of the way. It won't take long, believe me. The movie does serve as a warning to people to not mess with the supernatural and occult which, in my opinion, is a very good position to take on the subject. A lot of movies make it look fun to play around with the occult and such, but this is definitely not one of them.

Now, on to the rest of the film. I guess I'll just start from the top and move down the list. I may have to abridge some of this since if I actually went into what all is wrong with this movie, I would have to start another website. We begin with the filming technique. The shaky cam is something that was first used as a horror gimmick for film in The Blair Witch Project. This film wishes it was The Blair Witch Project. Never mind the comparisons - it truly WANTS to be that film. I'm over it. Done with the shaky cam crap. I'm tired of leaving the theater feeling like I want to go blow chunks on the director. It was cool the first time. But to keep making movies like this for me to watch is like asking me to keep riding that rollercoaster that I know is going to make me want to barf half-way through it.

I don't know why Oren Peli is being praised for this thing. All he did was walk around with a video camera and shoot stuff. There is nothing even remotely artistic about this. You set a camera up in the corner of a room. People get in bed and out of bed. You use some cheap parlor tricks to make doors move and have somebody downstairs banging stuff. Wow. Now that is art. The rest of it is shot like a home movie, just focusing on a room or a certain person.

What you get with this film is 20 minutes of footage that has some very quick scares and then 50 minutes of people talking about what's going on. Honestly, I would have felt better and been more entertained if they would have just released the 20 minutes of bed footage and been done with it.

Scariest movie ever or of the year? I think not. This entire film is made up of cheap thrills and loud bumps to make you jump. It's like that bad remake or rip-off of The Exorcist you accidentally rented off of Netflix last week. The only people who will be scared from watching this movie are moviegoers who are completely unfamiliar with horror films and do not go see them regularly. I mean real regularly. There's no way if you've watched even two scary movies this year that this thing would get more than a cheap momentary jump out of you.

Paramount and everyone involved in this thing has done quite a number on the public. It makes me wonder if this wasn't planned from the very beginning. That it was somehow orchestrated from the get-go. All I can say, I got taken. If you don't feel like you've gotten taken when leaving the theater after seeing this, then they've truly done a number on you. I walked out not believing that renowned websites that I rely on for my movie news have actually been promoting this thing as truly scary and brilliant. Has everyone bought into a big lie? Not me. I do have to applaud Oren Peli, though. He has somehow taken an $11,000 heap of film project and used it to rise to the stature as of being the director of The Blair Witch Project of the 21st century. We saw how well that panned out for the original directors of that film. (Review by Eric Shirey)

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