By Shamal Asnani, Courier Movie Reviewer
It seems that now days all horror movies are failing to deliver in one very important element of their movies, horror, however this is certainly not the case with Paranormal Activity. The movie is centered on a young couple who have recently moved in together. Because Katie, the girlfriend, believes she is potentially being haunted, her boyfriend Micah decides to purchase a camera with the intent of using it to film what occurs while they are sleeping.
It is through this camera that the entire film is presented to the viewers. After viewing the film of what took place in the house while they are sleeping, the couple discovers many unexplainable occurrences, such as doors opening and closing by them selves. Eventually one night, Katie stands up from her bed, only to stare at Micah for two hours, and then proceed downstairs to sit on the front porch. She is unable to recall any of this as she views the footage the following day, convincing her that some sort of paranormal activity is definitely present in the house.
Despite the film’s $15,000 budget, and lack of gore and violence, the movie did an excellent job at presenting the viewers with five-star horror. It was very clear that director Oren Peli understood that fear is created from something much deeper than a ghost with a frightening face. Instead, he presents horror in this film by utilizing what many people fear, knowing something evil and supernatural is occurring around you, and not having the ability to do anything about it.
The film’s small yet very talented cast did a great job at keeping the viewers emotionally invested in them, mainly due to the natural acting that was presented. There was not a single moment where you might have believed that the cast was possibly reading or memorizing lines from a script.
From a superficial standpoint, Paranormal Activity is a low budget movie, filmed through a far-below-Hollywood-standard camera, and uses a cast that is far less than known. Unfortunately for many big time Hollywood directors that specialize in the genre of horror, they are completely outclassed by this low budget film, which proves that fear is not created through the simple use of frightening images. It is created from the manipulation of people’s minds into believing what they are seeing could quite possibly be real.