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Paranormal Activity (Review)

Engaging micro-budget horror flick is effective until you leave the theater

By tt stern-enzi · October 13th, 2009 · Movies
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Katie (Katie Featherston) and Micah (Micah Sloat) have a perfectly anonymous and quite ordinary life: a condo in an upscale community, the student/financial industry professional upwardly mobile work dynamic (even during these troubling times) and the lurking questions regarding the next step in their relationship (is marriage on the horizon)?

But there’s also an 800-pound gorilla (metaphysical/meta-spiritual, if you will) that is taking over their lives. It seems Katie is haunted by a ghost that over the course of their videotaped misadventures in Paranormal Activity escalates into a full-blown catastrophe, based on the poor choices couples like Katie and Micah make both in films and in everyday life.

The spiritual presence leads immediately to Micah purchasing expensive equipment to document all of the possible shenanigans to uncover the secret and end the haunting as only a loyal and loving all-American guy can.

We’ve seen this play out before, and we know what’s going to happen. But somehow Paranormal Activity rises above the level of both The Blair Witch Project and more recent fare like Cloverfield, at least while you’re sitting in the theater. Writer/director Oren Peli has crafted an engaging micro-budget feature that sucks you in and creeps you out until you leave the insulated confines of the multiplex and start asking questions about these two crisis-laden simpletons. Questions — like where are their friends and why don’t they ever leave the place — that, as they begin to mount, will leave you with the realization that they got exactly what was coming to them. Grade: C

 
 
 
 

 

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