PA was very effective because it tweaked your imagination and the way it used sound to unsettle you was brillaint.
The sequels started to show more but even then they used the visual aspect to elicit scares and create tension sparingly .
They earned the shocks in those films instead of having the equivalent of a cat jumping out at random they built the tension with intriguing storylines and an expert narrative . They are like master classes on how to create and sustain suspense in the most simplistic of ways .
I never had a problem with the acting in those films, they always felt natural and believable .
Don't want to compare them to VHS, i can't anyway because i haven't seen it yet but i'm not expecting another PA type film, the only similarity i see is that it's considered found footage