Paranormal Activity 2007 Movie Scene Katie Featherston as Katie standing in the bedroom after hearing strange sounds

Paranormal Activity [2007]

Eight years after Blair Witch Project scared the world into submission we got another found footage monstrosity. This time, instead of dark and mysterious open spaces we will be staying in a house in the suburbs. A big house that will soon turn out to have big problems. So, Paranormal Activity is your classical haunted house horror movie with a found footage twist. The movie is scary, using both jumpscares and creepy atmosphere to accomplish this. Oren Peli, who wrote and directed it, said he wanted something different, something believable.

Instead of crazy gore and graphic violence, he chose to make his movie as believable as possible. This is why during some of the earlier projections people thought this movie was the real deal. I can assure you that that’s not the case and that the entire thing is a work of fiction. We will be following Micah and Katie, a couple who moves into a new house and starts experiencing weird shit almost right away. I think you already know what this means. Creaky floors, strange sounds, and things moving on their own are a staple of this subgenre.

I’m not the biggest fan of these found-footage movies. Mostly because after the success of a couple of them we were drowning in bad attempts to replicate that formula. This is how I approached this movie, thinking it was going to be just another commercial blunder. What I got instead was a tight and highly effective horror movie. I remember all the hype surrounding it when it came out. Every corner of the Internet was talking about this movie. I think that the reason for this is simple: Paranormal Activity is an experience best had in the theater, with other people.

You keep waiting and waiting for something to happen and then it finally does. Apart from all the scary stuff we’ve got pretty solid character development. Katie Featherston was pretty convincing in her role while Micah was quite annoying. This is something I think they wanted to do. It feels like you stumbled upon a bunch of home videos edited into an effective haunting story. The raw filming style makes the whole affair feel more authentic, and yes, more scary. It’s amazing what you can do with a budget of just $15.000.

The entire movie was actually shot in Oren Peli’s house. I have to admit that a man does have a nice big-ass house. Ultimately, Paranormal Activity is a refreshing horror experience. Just don’t expect it to do wonders and you should be fine. I watched it with my girlfriend in a small old house and I can tell you that it really got me, listening to everything I could hear later in the night. It cleverly uses that age-old phrase things that go bump in the dark. If you’re looking for similar movies, check out the Spanish masterpiece Rec, the best found-footage movie I have ever seen. 

Director: Oren Peli

Writer: Oren Peli

Cast: Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat, Mark Fredrichs, Amber Armstrong, Randy McDowell

Fun Stuff: There was no official script for the movie as actors were getting just broad instructions on how to behave and what to say during filming.


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