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Oct 15, 2009

Fletch's Mini Film Review: Paranormal Activity

Is it possible for a film to live up to your expectations and be a letdown simultaneously?

Of course, by virtue of my having asked that question, you should know that my answer is "Yes." Paranormal Activity mostly delivers on its promise; it's a genuinely chill-inducing film, with some creepy haunts and tactics that ought to stay with you for a few days (they're still with me). However, by also being exactly what we thought it was (with thanks to Denny Green), it's a disappointment of sorts. Liked The Blair Witch Project? Then you ought to like this, because it's the exact same movie, only set in a house this time.

Maybe a "phenomenon" like this is necessary every decade or so to keep the kids freaked out at the theaters, since it's likely that no one under 21 has seen Blair Witch. It's comforting to know that movies made on shoestring budgets can a) get major theatrical releases in this time of 200 million dollar megabudgets and b) be just as entertaining (if not purposeful or thoughtful) as your standard cinema fare.

No one's reinventing the wheel or genre here, but if you'd like a nice visceral thrill, minus the excessive blood and gore that plagues the horror landscape, it's a worthy choice for your cinematic dollars.

Fletch's Film Rating:
"You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you."

Shaky Cam Rating (details):LAMBScore:
Large Association of Movie BlogsLarge Association of Movie Blogs

P.S.: If you are remotely interested in this and have yet to watch the trailer, don't. A pretty major plot point is revealed, kinda like that extended cut Legion trailer where they totally show you how and when XXXXXX dies. Lame on both counts.

8 people have chosen wisely: on "Fletch's Mini Film Review: Paranormal Activity"

Mrs Fletch said...

Did you happen to read up on what their budget was? They had good actors, and the house looked well set-up, not all empty like a lot of low-budget films.

Kinda creepy that it's "bizarro our house".

Fletch said...

Indeed I did. Wiki sez the budget was $11,000 or so.

And yeah, I forgot to mention that. Added creepiness for Mrs. Fletch and I...the kitchen, living room, master bath, door handles, and phones were all eerily similar to our house.

Hokahey said...

Very interesting reaction. I think I was more disappointed than you were. I thought Blair Witch was much better. This one had potential, but it takes too long with the gradual build up - with too much fooling around by the very irritating Micah. At night, when the camera is on the tripod and we see the dark hallway - there's lots of tense potential there. Also, the psychic added credence and gravity to the situation. But, for me, it was a scary concept, but not enough happened. If you care to peek, I wrote a review on my site.

JLG said...

I kind of expect it to be lame, but I'm super-psyched to see it anyway. Like you said, it's different than modern horror films. I used to love horror movies but I can't watch them anymore. They're not scary - just disgusting.

Um, and I'm sorry you live in a haunted house.

Fletch said...

Hokahey - will definitely check out your review. Though I think you need to revisit Blair Witch; this followed the exact same model. I'm fairly certain that one was just as slow to build and had just as many annoying characters (though neither had a character as annoying as the cameraman from Cloverfield, who you couldn't wait to see die).

JLG - Though this one didn't bring anything new to the table, I definitely prefer this model of horror flicks to the extremism of today's stnadard slasher flicks. Try to actually scare me rather than gross me out, ok? As always, less is more when it comes to horror.

Robb said...

I TOTALLY agree with your first statement. I'm not sure if I had more fun being scared at the movie, or that it was a shared experience with a crowded theatre of frat boys and sorority girls. (I heard several girls debating whether the movie was a real documentary or not. Awesome.)

Blair Witch was scarier for me, and while I can't say this movie was GOOD, it was still very fun. And yes, the less you know beforehand, the more you will like it. Doesn't take much to ruin it.

Francisco Gonzalez said...

Cant wait to see this, all the buzz its getting is insane! I liked Blair Witch Project just the way it is, so Im thinking I will be enjoying this one. Ill probably have to wait for it on dvd though.

elgringo said...

"And yeah, I forgot to mention that. Added creepiness for Mrs. Fletch and I...the kitchen, living room, master bath, door handles, and phones were all eerily similar to our house."

You live in a nicer place than I do. :)