Paranormal Activity

I’ve been waiting for this film for a good few months – it’s not often I prebook tickets for opening night, but I simply didn’t want to hear about this from anybody else. I’ve even avoided reading any reviews, despite being exposed to various five star summaries. And I’m so glad I persevered…

This is truly the most terrifying film I’ve seen and a cinema experience to witness first hand. From the very, anxious early start to the story, right up through the build up of tension up until the climatic, blood curdling end, the audience were totally absorbed in the malevolence of the film. I witnessed two people, in separate incidents, get up and run out the cinema in fear. I saw grown men cower inside their hooded tops in a conflict between cowering terror and human curiosity. I witnessed adult couples arguing between whether they should leave or if they should stay.

Made from a budget of $15,000 by the two protaganists in the movie (it’s actually filmed in his own home), we follow a Blair Witch style handycam documentary / video blog of a couple who appear to be plagued by ever increasing displays of paranormal activity. Playing a tennis game between belief and cynicism, where the boyfriend is outright mocking of the events, looking for a factual reason for the tomfoolery, we also learn that the girl is a little more human in trying to associate the events by relating them to some form of personal experiences in her childhood past.

The movie is mostly based around the bedroom during the hours where the couple are asleep, but the genius of the film doesn’t come from what we’re shown or what we hear, it’s the things we can’t see or hear. The placement of the camcorder every night in a position that captures the couple sleeping, whilst to the left of the frame we see the open bedroom door leading to a dark corridor that darkens into oblivion, presents us with an unknown terror that plagues every fantasist when alone at night listening to the things that go bump. The juxtaposition of seen and unseen is simply genius and masterful in the art of composition and direction.

There is naturally a crescendo of activity that culminates in an ‘omg my blood has turned cold’ reaction each and every time and the ultimate gift to the viewers is the notion that here is a story you can take home with you. Being based in a real life environment, every single movie-goer can relate to this and I can guarantee everybody will go home after watching that movie and not treat their home in the same manner. My cinema partner that evening went home and slept with all the lights in the house left on.

This is true psycho-horror that takes advantage of society’s obsession with reality TV. Our protaganists become real people, we know them, they don’t appear to be acting in front of a camera and their actions are as candid as can be – all this paints a picture of realism that makes the unfolding events even more terrifying.

If you liked Blair Witch Project or REC, then please get into the Cinema to see this. It must be seen at the cinema because a) You need pitch black to watch the movie in as you eyes dart from left to right trying to see things moving in the dark and b) you need to have volume very high because believe me, you’re going to want to make out the sounds that go bump in the night!

Go see – a future classic.