This weekend, for Halloween I headed to the theater to check out the very popular movie titled “Paranormal Activity“. I do want to state that I am not a movie critic. I am a paranormal researcher that likes movies, spooky movies.
I have read some mixed reviews about this flick but I made a point to not read too much or make up my mind before I watched the movie with my own eyes. I did read up on some facts behind the movie. I tried to avoid the over personal opinions about the film.
First, the movie was made with an $11,000 budget. I was worried that the small budget would leave me with motion sickness or camera shaking migraine headache, like the Blair Witch Project successfully achieved. I learned that the actors used their real names during the film, as characters, just to keep the “reality”, well, real. The location was a real home, it was not a set. In fact, the home looked like the average Americans home. Real decor and it was age appropriate for the cast. I did not research a lot of the story line as I wanted it to be fresh and new to me. I did not want to expect or seek out scenes while viewing. With basic information in hand, my family headed to the theater to get the wits scared out of us! Just in time for Halloween!
The movie started out rather slow, but it seemed to pick up about 20 minutes into it. The plot and character placement took it’s sweet time to inform the viewers of who they are in the movie. At first, the camera movements were annoying to me, but I will admit, I did get sucked into the personal relationship between the couple. As for being a low budget film, with no name actors, I did find myself believing that they could in fact, be a real couple. The dynamic between the two of them was very realistic. The script, I forgot there was a script, never really thought about a script. To me, it just started to feel as if I was peeking into someones home life, via home video camera.
The plot grew a the movie continued. I did find myself totally emerged into the storyline.
The scare scenes started out subtle, which I respected. I love suspenseful movies and I feel they pulled it off with class. Compared to movies today, where glitz, effects, music and big bucks create scenes. The producers seemed to realize that a good scare is often worth the wait. I will not list my favorite scenes because I do feel that seeing it on the big screen for yourself will help you make up your list of favorites.
It’s often hard for me to watch ghost related movies and shows and not critique them, as a paranormal researcher. This movie I did not. I was able to focus on the story line and the suspenseful events taking place in the couples bedroom. I did notice a few old school ghost hunting tactics take place during the film and I respect the writers efforts to showcase the simplicity of most “paranormal activity”. Real hauntings are never as Hollywood glorifies them. In my 11 years of researching paranormal claims I have yet to witness breathing walls and clients running down the stairs to greet me while doing a spider walk. In the movie, the basics were covered. They even used the Audacity audio editing program that most paranormal researchers use today.
The couple did call in a psychic for assistance. Which in reality, that would be what people would do in real life. I was impressed that they did not call in a “Ghost Hunting Team” to help them, to me that would have turned the movie sour. The couple handled it on their own and faced the consequences for it. The effects were simple and the unexplainable occurrences were basic. They utilized the power of suspense as they would in older movies that are also some of my favorites. I will point out the fact, that watching a movie without creepy background music was great. This movie did not have music or outrageous sound effects to build suspense.
I have read mixed reviews. The bad reviews are from movie buffs that appreciate and expect money, special effects and the impossible within today’s movies. I will admit, I am one of those people that watch movies and say, “um, that is impossible, that could never happen”. Personally, I do not like over done movies where effects have to build the story line. I am a fan of good writing, strong personal plots and the reality of the entire movie. Psychological thrillers are my favorites and I do feel that Paranormal Activity was worth the ticket price. The movie was just as fun to watch as it was for me to hear grown men scream in the seats behind me.
Was the movie amazing? I would not go as far to say that. For a good thrill and a couple nightmares, yes it was a lot of fun to watch. Was the movie horrible? The camera shaking was annoying at first, but it did get better as the movie progressed. It was not on a Blair Witch level, if it were, I would have walked out. The realistic, reality of “paranormal activity” they showcased in the movie. It’s my opinion that they did a great job in showcasing a lot of claims people make, in real life. Yes, it was crammed into an hour and a half movie, but as a researcher, I have heard and witness people make the same claims, in real life. Therefore, the reality was a truthful, up until the end. (I won’t spoil it for you)
Great movie for the season and for me, a lot of fun to watch.One thing I did notice after watching the movie, I had a couple claw marks and bruises on my arms the next day. Paranormal? Not really, I had both of my children on each side of me, holding on for dear life. For kids and teens, this is a very scary movie. For adults, it could scare you if you allow it to do so. Just try not expect big money effects and creepy music to create your fear. In reality, real paranormal activity does not have sound effects and suspenseful music leading you on. Just allow it to happen.
How do I rate this movie? I won’t. I will leave that up to the people that specialize in movie ratings. I just wanted to share what I thought about the movie, on a paranormal level. My family liked the movie and it was scary and fun. Paranormal Activity will not be a classic in my opinion, but it was done very well for a very small budget.