Paranormal Activity

October 25, 2009
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I was shocked when Paranormal Activity garnered nationwide attention. Whenever I saw the pop ups on the internet with fans screaming during the movie, I would close out of them. But the film played its “limited” two week release, and was then extended and released nationwide. The film’s commercials now advertise, “You Demanded It!” There is no question that Paramount Pictures has really pulled a marketing marvel with Paranormal Activity.
I have heard about kids staying awake for nights after seeing the movie, and others sleeping next to their parents in fear. There were a few acquaintances who thought it was extremely boring. After screening the film myself, I think that how affected you are by Paranormal Activity depends on what scares you. Personally, I am really frightened by demonic or ghostly story lines. It affects me more than gore and grit. And I also get freaked out when it seems real. So, this type of film was really a match made in hell for me.
There is some humor mixed into it with the manly boyfriend aggravating the demon. This comic relief was a welcome interlude between the building suspense. For some people, the first 90 minutes moved a little too slow. But too me, it just added to the tension and my fear. There was no need for crazy graphic effects, because the suspense created coupled with the climax at the end is perfect for this type of home video movie.
The director Oren Peli’s greatest feat was that he has scared so many millions of people with $11,000 and one week of filming. But the relative simplicity, the unknown actors, and a fresh take all are what make this film a scary movie that actually scares viewers.
In a world where movies like Saw are oversaturated and horror films are a little too over the top, the subtleties are what make Paranormal Activity creepy. And the ending is what makes this movie spine-chilling.

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