I ventured out to the theater Saturday night to see Paranormal Activity because the suspense was killing me! I must say that I was slightly annoyed at the fact that I had no choice but to pay more to watch it in the “Director’s Hall”. The only difference between this theater and the regular one is the fact that they have leather seats and ushers available nearby so you don’t need to wait in line to order a $5.00 bottle of water…
I was happy with the fact that the armrests pull up so you can sit closer to your significant other. The movie theater armrests are always set too high and are annoying so I sucked it up and realized that it may have been worth the extra cash for this little amenity. Enough about that- let’s get to the movie.
The house belongs to Oren Peli, the director of the film who lives there to this day. He claims that the house was always full of noises but does not attest to it actually being haunted. He claims that the house was settling and that he and his girlfriend replaced the floors and spruced the place up a bit. There was an occasional object falling to the floor and creaks characteristic of an old house but these circumstance were few and far between. He really wanted to create his version of the ultimate horror movie with the idea of the audience getting afraid to return home after having watched it.
I’m not scared by very much as I’ve been watching horror movies since I was a kid so I can honestly say that this didn’t scare me- at least not while I was watching it. I would say that Peli accomplished his goal of making a great horror film because I certainly did not have the easiest time falling asleep Saturday night. The thoughts that run through your mind at night after seeing this movie are scarier than the movie itself. The suspense factor of the movie was great. There was however a large amount of time between scary events in the film and it seemed like whenever I was tired of waiting for something to happen that’s when it would pick up again. It would have been better if the movie were slightly more eventful. I think they could have added about three more scary scenes and still have maintained that quiet, building suspense. The events that did occur were created with great effects. The idea of an entity being present without actually seeing very much was also accomplished. The sound effects were frightening and convincing. I won’t go into detail because I don’t want to spoil it but there is one great scene including the moving of one of the characters bodies by the entity and it is done so perfectly you’ll think it had to be real.
The acting was good especially considering the movie couple made a mere $500.00 each for the film. The two actors were hired at the audition because they improvised so well together and made a very convincing couple. Peli was relying heavily on the acting to make this movie work and claims that he wouldn’t have made it at all if he couldn’t find the actors he was looking for. I must say that I was surprised at how believable these two were. I didn’t know that much about the film when I saw it so I actually assumed that this was an actual couple that had been together for years!
Overall I do recommend this movie. All you old school horror freaks like me will most likely not be too traumatized, but I dare you to think about what you watched right before you go to bed! It’s worth the ride but I have a feeling that Peli’s upcoming movie Area 51 might be an even better seller. It is certainly costing more to make at $5 million. Paranormal Activity cost only $15,000! Area 51 will be based on “found footage” and will bestow the same hand held video recorder type directing. I have faith that Peli can pull it off after watching Paranormal Activity because the picture still has good quality and it was not full of flashy shots that take away from the actual effects. Peli hasn’t released much info on the movie just yet but we know that teenagers will sneak into Area 51 to see what it’s all about, will find this video footage and will encounter aliens! Even though we don’t have too many details sometimes it is better that way. The rumors that have ensued about Area 51 are enough to spark our curiosity to say the least!
(Written Wed Oct 21st, 2009, by Frank Bilotta)