Monday, October 26, 2009

Paranormal Activity

Shot on a shoestring budget, this "homemade" horror film is the heir apparent to 'The Blair Witch Project". Shot with one camera and featuring a cast of two, the story takes place inside the house of Katie & Micah, who decide to document the strange events happening in their home. The difference between this and "Blair Witch", aside from the steadier camera work, is that "Paranormal Activity" actually scares you.

The "film" leads you to believe that what you are watching is the video evidence of an actual haunting from 2006. There are no credits and nothing that resembles a "film". It's just 90 minutes of Katie and Micah trying to cope with the increasingly menacing activity in their house. The point of view is completely through Micah's video camera and computer images of footage captured while they sleep.

There are a few brief scenes with Katie's girlfriend and a doctor who communes with the dead, but it is left up to Katie and Micah to provide the creepy atmosphere unfolding through the camera. They start out rather boring and routine but build a serious sense of realistic dread as things go bump in the night. They are convincing enough to make you question whether or not this is real or scripted until the very end, which for this viewer, goes a bit over the top.

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