Sound Off: Oren Peli's Paranormal Activity - Your Thoughts?
by Alex Billington
September 25, 2009
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? Normally we only have these kinds of discussions for big blockbusters, but because Paranormal Activity has so much buzz right now, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to stop and talk about it (as it just hit theaters today anyway). Is it comparable to The Blair Witch Project? Is it better than Blair Witch? Is it as scary as everyone is saying? Is it a good movie, a brilliant movie, or just deceptive and dull? Did you want more from it? Did it live up to your expectations? Sound off below, write down your comments, and let us know what you thought of Paranormal Activity!
To fuel the fire, I saw Paranormal Activity for my very first time in Telluride at an outdoor theater and was scared out of my mind. I'll admit that I'm a wimp and I'm scared easily, but this movie really scared the shit out of me. I'm so glad that I didn't go home to my apartment afterward or I really wouldn't have been able to sleep. For what it is, I think it's brilliant. Their use of minimal amounts of suspicious activity to make the audience tense is incredible; and the comedy during the daytime is great as well. And all on a budget of only $11,000, too, is just amazing. I don't think I can say I loved it because it was so scary, but it's a great movie.
What did you think of Paranormal Activity? Best horror/thriller in years or just overrated?
Reader Feedback - 34 Comments
Pretty scary for such a low, low budget.
Jimmy on Sep 25, 2009
Well I'm scare of low, low budget movies.
Baron the Curse on Sep 25, 2009
Nothing is really scary these days (for mature audiences)-- just shock and awe schtick. But this could be something worthwhile. Haven't seen it but i'd love to. Release date?
Jon E. on Sep 25, 2009
this film is the real deal. in our special screening in SF we had people screaming, crying, and leaving the theater early because of the intensity of the film. this film is scary as hell and of the most intense and disturbing of horror films to hit the scene in a longggggggggg time. SCARIEST FILM EVER??? it fights for that title blood-hungry!!!! demand it in your city!!!!
Marcus B. on Sep 25, 2009
little heads up- due to fantastic fest, alamo draft house is showing this NEXT weekend instead of this weekend, so as to make room for woody, romero, and jemaine amongst others. so can we call a time out on this until then so we austinites can chime in, too?
seanathan on Sep 26, 2009
Marcus B. - Need some free advertisement? These low budget films heavily rely on publicity stunts to hype it up. Thats said, RT is giving it a high score - http://uk.rottentomatoes.com/m/paranormal_activity/
dom on Sep 26, 2009
Honestly, Paranormal Activity is funnier than it is frightening, which works well to relieve tension, and to keep the film interesting during the scenes that aren't meant to scare the audience. The scares it does deliver, however, are mostly genuine; you aren't going to be forced to leap from your seat because of some cheap jump cut spliced together with a loud noise. The parts meant to disturb you are due to the film's images, not its editing techniques. But all in all, it's not really going to be that frightening unless you're one of those people who goes into the theater knowing that you're going to be terrified for the rest of the night. Those of you who dare the film to scare you will grunt and shrug: "That wasn't scary, bro. I'm from Detroit." You know who you are. You're not going to scream and pee your pants, but Paranormal Activity is still worth your time. It's engaging and suspenseful and definitely worth sticking around for the big finish at the end.
Matt Larner on Sep 26, 2009
@7: Thanks for the measured response. This is on my 'to see' list, but I can still recall sitting with my arms folded throughout Blair Witch thinking "Is this all it is?" and feeling I'd been taken in by the hype promising something so different. Different, yeah. Effective, no. Don't want the same thing here, so I'll eagerly await with caution.
Sleepykid on Sep 26, 2009
I saw this film ages ok at a screening in Sydney and it was awesome. Hands down a scary brilliantly done shocker.
Dude on Sep 26, 2009
I saw this movie a long time ago and it scared the fukk outta me. I never watched a movie that made me jump out of my seats.
Barnaby on Sep 26, 2009
for as much as i frequent this site, i need to keep-up on my movie drops. i didn't know this movie started this wknd. (same for 'surrogates' lol). the preview for this looked so uninspiring, which makes me want to pass. mixed reviews leave me questioning this film. i'll wait for the torrent.
JL on Sep 26, 2009
It was scary, but not as endlessly terrifying as many reviews would have you believe. Some truly effective scare tactics, but also some tediousness and lame sequences, especially during the day. Anyone interested in my full review, check out the following link: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2216477/review_paranormal_activity_2009.html
Aaron on Sep 26, 2009
crap...I live in a podunk shose main population is made up of illegal immigrants so I doubt it is going to be playing here anytime soon if at all..seems only major cities are getting this....doubt if DVD will have the same quality...shame...the trailer looks like it would be fun...
cornholio_by_the_sea on Sep 26, 2009
@12 if its more then the jump and suprise boo schtick or the gore fest of junk like Saw which calls itself horror then its a win for me.
JimD on Sep 27, 2009
Sounds like something to add to Netflix.
Tra la la la la di da on Sep 27, 2009
I felt that it was fairly scary, much more so than The Blair Witch Project, which I somewhat enjoyed, and for a film made for $11,000 it is phenomenal. The ending was what did it for me. Highly recommended.
Shu on Sep 27, 2009
Scariest movies I've ever seen, period. It was also supremely well done! Highly recommended.
Antioch on Sep 27, 2009
Does anyone know when it will get to south africa?
Vus FromJoburg on Sep 28, 2009
I don't know how it was because I live in a city that never gets any movie -- NYC. This and Trick R Treat are 2 movies I wanted to see that never came here. And we usually get everything... It's frustrating, wanting to see something right now and you can't.
BONO on Sep 28, 2009
at my screening there was a puddle of vomit in the bathroom sink
florian on Oct 5, 2009
i have to say that this movie was WAY more scary than i expected. i like to think that i can handle any movie that comes my way...but i honestly was wanting to leave the theater from being so scared. let's just say that this movie is worth it, i had to sleep with the lights on! hahahaa. i highly recommend this to any and everyone. 🙂
LatriceShannel on Oct 9, 2009
The final scene is easily the most frightening sequence ever put to film. When the first credit came up there was people running out of the theater, and not just women.
shadow on Oct 11, 2009
Is it just me that thought it was spoiled by the trailer? EVERY scary scene was shown in the trailer minus the dragging (scary) but you knew that Micah would hit the camera and she would get bit etc at the end because it had been shown and spoiled in the trailer. I wish I hadn't seen the trailer and then I would have got scared but I thought it was a let down.
Sean on Oct 18, 2009
I saw this movie last night, and I could not sleep with my feet out from underneath the covers. So worthwhile, it's fantastic.
Kate on Oct 19, 2009
I saw this movie today. Gotta tell you it's FUCKING scary!!!! It's also a brilliant film
Victor on Oct 24, 2009
I was very excited to see this before and was quite disappointed. I was bored, not scared and I feel as though I (and my wallet) was raped. I want my money back. Waste of time. When it was over, I was sitting there saying "Really? That's it?" I was appalled. It was like Blair Witch all over again. Nothing really happens and then it ends.
xCloudbox on Oct 24, 2009
I seen it today, scary movie.... u have to watch it.
GILROY408 on Oct 25, 2009
26 is the best possible review for the movie "Nothing really happens and then it ends." In my theater we had little girls who were like 12 screaming but everyone around me was laughing at all the jokes me and my friends were making. This is a film that cannot be taken seriously. I applaude it for being an 11,000dollar budget but it's not scary and the bad acting just ruins the whole thing.
movieraider321 on Oct 26, 2009
26+ 28: you are tards. if you don't want to be scared by a HORROR film, and didn't like blair witch, then why go? you wasted your own money and you're idiots for doing so. this was one of the scariest movies of all time, but if you are high or drunk (or don't like horror films), you won't be able to appreciate it.
nate on Oct 27, 2009
29: Did you read my post? The first thing I said was "I was excited to see this" I love horror films. I'm a huge horror fan and the majority of my collection are horror films. It just was not scary. I was neither high nor drunk when watching it, but I'm sure if I was it probably would have made the movie better. I saw it with a friend of mine who gets scared very easily and even she was appalled by how horrible this movie was. Also, nowhere in the trailer does it say "sucks as much as Blair Witch" If it did, I would not have gone to see it.
xCloudbox on Oct 30, 2009
Nate, you're kidding me. I'm a horror fan, and collect horror movies of all types from all countries. And "Paranormal Activity" was boring as hell. Nothing of note happened for the duration, and I can't believe it has scared anybody, quite frankly.
Cal on Dec 4, 2009
The only scary part was the last 20 minutes. She goes crazy. I am scared of Her.
Allister101 on Apr 4, 2010
I literally had to get online and read wtf the movie was about in random message boards after watching it on dvd just now. Turns out, I gave up on it too soon. It's pretty creepy. But you definitely have to be paying attention to every little bit.
B-ry on Jun 19, 2010
it was amzing, and im 13 and am still scared of the dark.!!!lol
Jacob on Oct 13, 2010
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