Friday, October 16, 2009
REVIEW: Paranormal Activity - In Wide Release TODAY
For those living under a rock or, put politely, just out of the loop, Paranormal Activity is an independent film by first-time writer/director Oren Peli that made a big splash at Slamdance and Screamfest last year.
The film garnered an on-line buzz and was soon scooped up by Paramount Pictures. Originally to be remade by the studio, after some test screenings it was deemed to be working just as it was and in a brilliant stroke of marketing: was pushed through Twitter and Eventful.com as a "Demand it in your town" event.
The rest, as they say, is history and after numerous sold-out screenings in a handful of cities, the film goes into wide release TODAY.
The film centers around a couple living in sunny San Diego who believe their house to be haunted by someTHING and they set up a video camera in their bedroom to record any goings-on while they sleep.
THAT... is all you're going to get about the plot.
I do this to try and mitigate a hype that befell a similarly themed and shot movie called The Blair Witch Project. Similar in many respects to Paranormal Activity, I feel the over-hype and large media push backfired against what was a very small, simple, scary film.
And really, that's all this film is too.
Using nothing more than four actors, one video camera, and one set Peli delivers a well executed, excellent thriller that will scare you to your core.
Is it the end-all, be-all of horror? No.
It IS a must-see in the theater event that causes audiences to "scare-bond" an event only a small handful of good horror films deliver.
My advice: go with a few people and, if it's not too late, be on a personal media blackout.
Don't read reviews, don't talk to people about it, don't watch the trailer--- just go.
Check it out and let me know what you think.