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Horror Whore: Paranormal Activity

October 13, 2009
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By Shannon

home_onesheetAfter more than a year of anticipation, I finally got to see Paranormal Activity.  The following review will be short and sweet.

First of all, there is no way this movie is going to live up to the hype surrounding it.  This film was made for around $11,000 dollars and  made the festival circuits before being picked up by Paramount, who immediately decided to remake it.  Later they changed their mind, and decided to release the original movie.

By now you have heard all about it, and seen the trailer multiple times.  It’s a good movie, but it is going to be cursed by expectations, much like The Blair Witch Project was 10 years ago.  Incidentally, this is a better film than that, but if you disliked that movie, you will not like this.  Both movies use the hand held camera work, and “lost” footage.  They also both have an ambiguous, open-ended final scene.

If you are diametrically opposed to believing in the premise that ghosts or demons exist, I can’t imagine that you would enjoy this movie at all.  It feeds on our fears of unknown things that go bump in the night. If you need to see something in order for you to buy into it, this is not for you.  Like Fox Mulder, I want to believe, so this movie was a sucker punch for me.

No spoilers here (the Paramount trailer already did that).  Basically, the movie is presented as actual footage a young couple took in their bedroom while they were sleeping.  Prompted by some weird poltergeist-like activity, the boyfriend decides to record each night’s happenings in the hopes of getting to the bottom of things.

This is essentially a two-character movie, although other people (a ghost expert) make brief appearances.  As events escalate, the couple’s relationship is strained, fueled by stress and lack of sleep.  In my opinion, the boyfriend makes some extremely unrealistic decisions, but the rest of the movie rang true.

I found the movie to be very creepy, but the ending did not work, and rumors abound that  Paramount changed the ending after they acquired the film, which makes since after viewing it.

If you plan on seeing this, read as little as possible.  The less known, the bettter.

8/10

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