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Paranormal Activity


Back in 2007, a very clever writer/director named Oren Peli created a film in ten days, with unknown actors for a total of $15,000. Scary, funny and suspenseful, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY grossed nearly $200 million globally and has inspired six sequels so far!

Katie (Katie Featherston) and her husband Micah (Micah Sloat) live in a comfortable two-story, suburban home. When they start to experience paranormal happenings in their home, Micah grabs a video camera and starts recording around the clock, hoping to capture something on film.

As the film opens, it’s set up as evidence, that collection of Micah’s videos found by police at their home. It’s a clever set up, keeping the entire film set in their home and using basic special effects to create some truly scary moments.

Peli didn’t give his actors scripts, he simply set up guidelines of the story and what to talk about and cut his actors loose. Filmed in his own home, Peli had complete control of the set.

Featherston would go on to star in four of the sequels and Peli’s TV Series “The River” and her chemistry with Sloat is terrific, even as he drives her (and US!) mad by taking his camera everywhere 24/7.

Steven Spielberg was genuinely spooked when he got a chance to see an early cut and worked with Peli on the final edit for the theatrical version.

I’ve never cringed when seeing the time stamp on the bottom of a recording before, but damned if I didn’t clench up every time the film got to the witching hour. 2 to 3:30am is NOT a good time to be in this house. 3:15am is a good time to hide under your own covers as Katie & Micah sleep under theirs

Just as Spielberg structured “Poltergeist” there are tiny scares to start, but they grow in scale and duration until the tension becomes almost unbearable. It’s damn creepy!

I had a hell of a good time seeing this in the theatre with Kristin and it brings back great memories of jumping in our seats together. She LOVED horror movies.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY still holds up well as a great example of slow build terror and just how much you can accomplish with very little money and a whole lot of creativity.

It gets a B.

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