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Paranormal Activity(2009)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Oren Peli

Starring:
Katie Featherston/Katie
Micah Sloat/Micah
5 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
Some dude (Micah Sloat) and his babe (Katie Featherston) just moved into a pad in Diego. They think it’s haunted, so they plant a video camera around, hoping to catch some ghostly happenings; and unfortunately for them they do.
THE LOWDOWN
I missed the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY hype when it infected the continet. I was in Spain at the Sitges Film Festival at the time. Funnily enough the flick screened there and everybody told me it sucked Lama nuts to high hell. Then I got back to North America, people protesting me, spitting, calling me baby killer and all sorts of vile crap, and next thing you know, the flick is a fan/critic darling and a huge money maker. Shit you miss in 5 days man. Anyways, finally got around to spanking the bitch and here’s what she yelped.

I’m gonna say this once and then let it go: BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. Yup enough time has passed (10 years yo) since BWP and did its thing for PARANORMAL ACTIVITY to slam down the same card and make its shtick feel unique. Putting a story out and pretending that it’s real while using the DV format to bring us closer to the happening onscreen. It also had no name actors (who kept their real names in the film) that we’re supposed to believe are real folks while having scares that were of the less is more variety. And ya know what? Half the time it worked on my ass. The flick sported lots of moments where I BELIEVED that these two were a real couple (the often natural performances sure helped) dealing with real ghosts (or should I say demons). And when the spooks kicked in, yup, they creeped me the f*ck out. Kudos to the filmmakers for pulling off an infectious build-up and their supernatural shenanigans on camera hence augmenting the impact of them bits.I literally got chills traveling up my spine a couple of times. A wind machine can do wonders! In fact, one of the last demon attacks really got to me. Last time I was that frightened was when some dame told me she was pregnant (she wasn’t, thank Zeus).

Alas, as opposed to BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (okay I lied, I am mentioning twice, sue me) where I believed that these were real folks in a genuine macabre situation the whole way, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY didn’t always sell me. Some of the “every day life” interaction between the couple didn’t ring true to me. It felt like actors doing a scene i.e. the chemistry and the dialogue were forced. The same went when the plotline upped the ante as to its storyline with the whole possession thing. Eventually, it didn’t come across as realistic to me. You can make me believe that things go bump in the night, but possession? COME ON! They lost me there and the overall sad sack execution as to that subplot didn't help. And was I alone in getting annoyed by Micah after a while? I know they had to make him obsessed with his camera to justify the constant filming but it went so far that it became improbable. All I thought is how a healthy back-hand would set this dude straight. Take care of your woman fool and stop serving the plot!

Tag to that a handful of dumb moves by the characters and a subplot having to do with some psychic that was well built but then dropped in an improbable fashion quicker than I can spell over-hyped and you get a little indie with its dark heart in the right place but not all its sluts in a row. With that, when I got back from the theatres that night and went to bed, I wasn't feeling tip-top.  I had to turn on the TV like a sissy (got haunted by an infomercial for a juicer…hey…I ordered it) just to fall asleep. So pat on the tush for the flick managing to stay with me after it was finito. Looking back PARANORMAL ACTIVITY was an honorable effort, but one filled with flaws right, left and up somebody's ass! PARANORMAL THIS!
GORE
Shoddy looking scars on a chicks face aside, nothing here. The film was not about that, it was suspense driven. Hey! ALL GOOD!
T & A
Katie Featherston in a night gown is the most we get. Wanna put my 2 cents out on this. Been reading some fan postings online about her being fat and how she shouldn’t be acting in films. WTF? Chick is a regular chick with meat on her bones, nothing wrong with that. Have we all been spoon-fed Hollywood rakes for so long that we can’t digest a REGULAR GIRL on film? F*cking sad. I’m done. Soapbox has been burned to a crisp. Oh and Katie Featherston! I'D NAIL YA!
BOTTOM LINE
I respect PARANORMAL ACTIVITY. It gave me a compelling story, two leads that I warmed up to on SOME LEVELS and managed to give me the willies - all that with a chump change budget. On the downside, I didn’t always buy the actors as real people, the plot shot itself in the crotch when it tried to do be too much, hence closer to a Hollywood horror film and farther from the reality it was shooting for and this couple did some reality stupid shit that I couldn’t forgive. A small movie that made mucho coin? Yes. Some potent frights at work? Oh yeah! The be and all of horror movie in 2009? Not for this jerk. Am surprised that they wanna do a sequel to it to be honest, guess the Studio doesn't remember the box office returns of Blair With 2.
BULL'S EYE
Oren Peli's next films are AREA 51 and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2.

Micah Sloat was about to quit acting before he got the role in this film.

Katie Featherston had a role in the low budget 2006 horror film MUTATION.

The flick had another ending before Paramount picked it up. They re-shot the ending some say under the advice of Steven Spielberg.

SPOOK THE P.A. OFFICIAL SITE HERE