Monday, October 12, 2009


I finally got to see the much-anticipated Paranormal Activity this weekend and in a word: WOW.

PA is a brilliant horror film for many reasons. Like The Blair Witch Project, as the viewer, you are immediately drawn into the film, seeing what the character Mika sees as the action takes place in he and his girlfriend Kate's house. As Mika swings his camera around, you are kept waiting for what might jump out at you.

By using little more than light, shadow, sound, and excellent acting, director Oren Peli captures a mood so dark and closterphobic that I found myself completely engrossed and gripping the armrest of the theater seat.

There is no gore, no fireworks, chase scenes, or even music. The film's subtlety is what makes it so hair-raising. What happens in our imaginations, after all, is always more frightening than what a director can show us.

There are plenty of screamer moments, however. Peli's pacing is impecible, turning tense moments into jaw-dropping gasps in the flick of an eye. The audience screamed, myself included, more than a couple times.

As my friend put it, the film is a "slow burn." The sinister presence lurking in the house starts out slowly, tip-toeing into the film, gradually getting more intrusive as the days in the story go by, finally stirring up terror that's breathtaking.

Definitely worth the hype.

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