Movie Review: Paranormal Activity

STANDARD SPOILER WARNING: I discuss the content of the book/movie that I’m reviewing below. If you wish to remain totally surprised by anything you want to read/view later, stop and come back…but do come back after you’re done!

Paranormal Activity is, without a doubt, either a movie you’re going to enjoy or you’re going to feel was a waste of your time, but I doubt there’d be much ground in between. I bounced back and forth myself for a few minutes after seeing the movie, but I don’t think my opinion’s going to change after thinking on it. Truth be told, there’s not much to think about.

Paranormal Activity involves watching the world’s dumbest dude living with the world’s wimpiest chick and seeing how their combination actually antagonizes the spirit/demon that’s been following the chick around for years. The dude thinks he’s smarter than everyone else around him, so he decides to capture the evidence of all the crazy things that have been happening on film so he can…um…well, that part I don’t know. He *says* he wants to get proof on video, but he never says why. He *says* he wants to get to the bottom of things, but he never lets the chick do what she needs to do to get to the bottom of things. He *says* he’s going to stop certain behaviors, then proceeds to do said behavior at super reckless speed (which is twice the speed of ludicrous speed, if you’re wondering).

What does the chick do while her loving boyfriend is doing everything he can to piss off the spirit/demon? Whining that he shouldn’t be doing that. Listening to him when he makes up these quasi-believable reasonings for what he’s doing. Letting him lead her around by the nose even after she extracts a promise from him that he’ll do whatever she asks when it comes to dealing with this spirit/demon.

The real star in this movie is its staging. Seriously, how the directors did the stuff with the bed moving or with the shadows on the wall is something I don’t want to know; I’d rather just be impressed. The lights turning on and off in distant parts of the house is easy to do, and the chick screaming at the top of her lungs isn’t anything particularity difficult to do, but the tricks they pull with the sheets on the bed or with the baby powder on the floor…nice, very nice.

The major detraction of this movie was that it’s already been done, and done better. There were certain points in the movie where I could tell what was going to happen based on my knowledge of The Blair Witch Project. Come on…finding the picture? That was cool and all, but it was just like finding Josh’s bandanna with his teeth in it. I think it even came at the same percentage of time in the movie no less!  A&E’s Paranormal State does a better job with the camera work and interacting with spirits, but that’s probably because they’re way smarter then ten of the male stars put together.

Still and all, this is  a decently creepy movie.  If you like horror flicks that mess with your mind more than show you the blood, consider Paranormal Activity for your viewing pleasure.  Ignore the fact that the dude is an idiot.  Ignore the fact that the chick is little more then a sheep on two legs.  Ignore the fact that if you’ve seen TBWP, you can pretty much tell how things are going to go.  If you can get past those things (as I did even while watching), you’re going to be up late at night typing a blog entry on how you liked or didn’t like the movie.

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