Saturday, 6 November 2010

Paranormal Activity

Year: 2009
Director: Oren Peli
Screenplay: Oren Peli
Starring: Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat, Mark Fredrichs, Amber Armstrong
Running Time: 86 minutes
Genre: Horror, supernatural, mockumentary

Summary: In San Diego, California, in 2006, a young couple Katie (Featherston) and Micah (Sloat) are troubled by an unseen supernatural force. Micah buys advanced cameras and audio-visual equipment in order to document the phenomenon. As the bizarre events escalate the couple's relationship begins to break down.

Opinions: This film is basically a "found footage" film. The entire movie purports to be the footage shot by Micah's cameras, similar in style to The Blair Witch Project (1999). Much of the film is taken up by static shots of the couple's bedroom at night, the camera positioned in such a way that the shot takes in both the bed and the open door directly beside it. The suspense comes from knowing something is about to happen but not when, and also having sudden loud noises in long, silent scenes. For the most part, the events are very subtle building up slowly from the comparative mildness of the early happenings. Due to the domestic setting, the film probably works better as home viewing than it does in the cinema. It also focuses on the reactions of the couple to the events, Katie just wants to leave it alone and doesn't want to antagonise the force, while Micah wants to contact it and fight it. The movie's main problems are to do with it's style more than anything else, mainly the fact that you wonder whether the couple would film so many of their conversations and arguements, and also the fact that even when they are supposed to be really scared they always remeber to bring the camera with them. However, the film does work well, and is genuinely chilling at times. It was followed by a sequel which was released in 2010.

Sleepless nights in Paranormal Activity

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