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Review: Paranormal Activity

Paranormal Activity
What happens when you sleep? So asked Israeli-born filmmaker Oren Peli, who, after moving into a suburban San Diego tract house, discovered that odd, unsettling things began to occur in the house. Books inexplicably fell off of shelves. Strange noises were heard in the night... but whereas lesser mortals may have called in a priest or even a Ghostbuster, Peli thought that living in a spook house might make for a nice little horror flick.

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Posted by Ben at 17:45 on 20/01/11
You've got a point, but it's not the same as when you're in your own house and someone you love screams. Then again, maybe for some people it is. The character here, Micah, was a bit of a bastard.
Posted by Goatboy at 13:07 on 20/01/11
I'd agree with you with the "let me get my camera" aspect, until I realised just how much of that stuff does happen. Youtube, news using phone/homeshot stuff.
Tragedy/event means people film it.
Same at gigs, hundreds of mobile phones being held aloft.
It's as if something doesn't qualify as "real" unless it's on youtube and seen by hundreds.

I don't rate us very highly as a compassionate species.
Posted by Ben at 07:40 on 20/01/11
I've only just got around to watching this and, while it had its moments, it didn't work for me. They weren't convincing as a couple that had been dating for three years, and he was a complete arse. Plus, and it's a problem with the whole handheld genre, I just can't get behind people grabbing a camera as they dash to someone's aid.
Posted by pugsly01 at 20:01 on 02/07/10
What's wrong Jingizu, Paranormal Activity was too cerebral for you? It didn't spoon feed you the CGI scares? Next time stick to the PG-13 horror - you know, like the Grudge. That sounds like more your speed. Leave the suspenseful, well-made horror to us aficionados who know good horror flicks.
Posted by Jingizu at 13:32 on 21/06/10
Oh really, I can't believe you were all scared of this pathetic excuse for a horror! It was awfully boring to me, I didn't jump once, and at the end I just thought "is this it?. The hand-held camera shit that we also had to endure in the comedy Blair Witch was just as irritating as it was then.
Scary for me would rather be something like Event Horizon. Now there was a film that had me jumping!

Edited at 13:03 on 28/06/10
Posted by Luke at 16:52 on 03/12/09
Well would you look at that.
Posted by Ali at 12:05 on 03/12/09
Hey look, user star ratings!
Posted by keyser_soze at 15:16 on 01/12/09
that sounds better, and loads creepier.......
Posted by Luke at 00:06 on 01/12/09
Original ending spoiler:
*The guy and the woman go downstairs but you see it all from the bedroom camera, which doesn't move. You hear the guy scream and the woman comes upstairs covered in blood. She sits by the bed rocking back and forth. The friend comes round and screams, then the Police come and the woman - who is still possessed, or whatever - attacks them but gets shot. They both die.*
Posted by keyser_soze at 22:26 on 30/11/09
just watched it, in parts really got me, it just wasnt as scary as i wanted it to be, its definitely affected me more after watching it than any other film, locking up at work has become ten times creepier...

in parts this film is probably the creepiest ever, also micah is one of the most annoying people of all time!!

what are the other endings????

Posted by Phyllis at 19:24 on 27/11/09
Sorry-- duplicate post.

Edited at 19:24 on 27/11/09
Posted by Phyllis at 19:23 on 27/11/09
Yeah, they definitely cut out too much concerning that girl. I think if they would have kept that bit intact, audiences might have gotten further confirmation that Katie and Micah were in very real danger, and that this demon didn't play around.
Posted by Ali at 10:34 on 27/11/09
The theatrical version I saw had the bit about the girl. Not much though, I did think they glossed over it a bit quickly.
Posted by Phyllis at 05:11 on 27/11/09
There's quite a bit of new material in the theatrical version-- I went back and watched the original and also found several scenes that were cut. Most of them were rightfully cut, but one bit in particular that I think should have stayed in the final cut concerned the possessed girl from the 60s. Truly horrifying stuff that sort of shed a little more light on the situation. I did not see the original version until well after I wrote the review, but maybe when the DVD is released they will show both versions, if only for the sake of comparison.
Posted by Luke at 22:17 on 26/11/09
Ah, what I was trying to say in my retarded little way was, if you've seen the older version, then watch the trailer for the newer version, there's a bit of footage that definitely isn't in the old film and sticks out. But I only realised that after reading what happens in the newer version.
Posted by Matt at 22:09 on 26/11/09
Jeez - I REALLY need to catch up and watch this film so I know what the hell you guys are talking about!
Posted by Ali at 22:00 on 26/11/09
Makes no difference. I saw the trailer before seeing the film, and I can say with certainty that I did not see 'it' coming, and it was no less shocking. Theatrical ending seems far simpler and more effective than the original. Sounds rubbish.
Posted by Luke at 19:18 on 26/11/09
Well I've seen both endings *the Spielberg-influenced one is actually in the trailer. If you've seen the non-cinema release then it's really obvious what bit it is. I hate it when they do that.* and I think the original is better. It's closure, for a start.
Posted by Phyllis at 12:43 on 26/11/09
I know that only one other ending was filmed, and it wasn't terrible, but it wasn't good either. I believe there was another ending talked about, but they never filmed it. Spielberg's ending was the bomb.

I was totally freaked out-- went to a midnight show to see this, and then had to go home. Alone. I was up all night, too freaked out to sleep. I kept thinking that if the lights go on by themselves, I am going to die...
Posted by Luke at 21:42 on 24/11/09
Like he lives alone, and when he went to try the handle a wolf howled?
Posted by Ali at 21:17 on 24/11/09
I hear the other endings are dogshit. Spielberg's one is perfect.

I like the story that Steven Spielberg took the screener home to check it out and his bedroom door locked from the inside while he was watching it. Bollocks, obviously, but I can totally imagine him wetting himself and crying.
Posted by Pink_Poop at 19:49 on 24/11/09
I am a total horror film geek, and pretty hard to scare, but watching this in the cinema i screamed my head off like a baby!
So scary! Fantastic film, totally agree that its your imagination that makes it! I def dreaded each night of the film, and the poor guy next to me is prob now deaf!!
Dont know if i would watch it again cos it bothered me that much afterwards! Wouldnt mind seeing the other 2 endings that i didnt see, but it may take me a while!!
Posted by Luke at 14:08 on 24/11/09
This site needs emoticons so I can do a "gasp".


That's pretty close.
Posted by Goatboy at 14:04 on 24/11/09
Stop pimping Ghostwatch, it was shit.
Posted by Luke at 14:00 on 24/11/09
Although it is basically Ghostwatch.

Edited at 14:01 on 24/11/09
Posted by Goatboy at 13:45 on 24/11/09
Loved it. Says a lot for the power of your imagination that somebody just standing there for minutes/hours can be so frightening.
Posted by Ali at 11:10 on 24/11/09
Totally agree with the review. Scared the hell out of me. Really gets under your skin, and fast.

Very much like Blair Witch: style of shooting means the barriers are down and you instantly relate to the characters. Constant dread leading up to each night, only gets worse and worse. And an almost total lack of anything obviously scary - it's as frightening as your imagination makes it.

That said, the bit with the *duvet cover flicking up* and the *shot of her standing over her bed for hours* freaked me out.

Simple concept, executed to perfection. Kudos.
Posted by Kirsty at 08:19 on 24/11/09
Noooo waaaaaay.
Posted by Phyllis at 00:21 on 24/11/09
Yep-- I went to see it with my sister, and we are both full-grown, professional women... but this movie made us scream our heads off.
Posted by Luke at 23:53 on 23/11/09
Excellent, excellent, excellent. Brilliant film. Not exactly original but so well executed it doesn't matter.
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