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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.

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11:25PM on 01/05/2011

NOT A REMAKE AND BETTER THAN MOST REMAKES MADE THIS PAST DECADE

This movie started off slow and started picking up. For some reason when Katie was gawking for hours at Micah when the film was in fast forward that creeped me out. I like the psychic, I thought it added a nice touch to the film because he was scared to come into thier home after a few visits. An the ending I did not see coming.
I mean to all who thought Micah was annoying, how could you not like the ending?
Not a masterpiece but it did give me chills.
This movie started off slow and started picking up. For some reason when Katie was gawking for hours at Micah when the film was in fast forward that creeped me out. I like the psychic, I thought it added a nice touch to the film because he was scared to come into thier home after a few visits. An the ending I did not see coming.
I mean to all who thought Micah was annoying, how could you not like the ending?
Not a masterpiece but it did give me chills.
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7:40AM on 01/20/2010
This film was terrible, it was not remotely scary at all. I hated the characters they were so annoying, I wanted to grab a baseball bat and shut them up, seeing as the demon thing wasn't doing it in a hurry. The acting was very poor, especially when they were supposedly getting more scared and paranoid. Urgh! I mean the ideas were there but for me it did not work. I laughed a hell of a lot through this film, to me it was a comedy and on that level it worked. As a scary movie, no where near it.
This film was terrible, it was not remotely scary at all. I hated the characters they were so annoying, I wanted to grab a baseball bat and shut them up, seeing as the demon thing wasn't doing it in a hurry. The acting was very poor, especially when they were supposedly getting more scared and paranoid. Urgh! I mean the ideas were there but for me it did not work. I laughed a hell of a lot through this film, to me it was a comedy and on that level it worked. As a scary movie, no where near it. I am sorry but a door moving is not scary, strange noises, nope not scary. Power foot prints? Freakin hilarious! The ending, was awful! The original ending was much better and made more sense.
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+0
1:49AM on 01/02/2010
Just made the mistake of watching this alone in the middle of the night... scared the living fuck out of me, and I'm usually not scared by movies.
Just made the mistake of watching this alone in the middle of the night... scared the living fuck out of me, and I'm usually not scared by movies.
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+0
1:29AM on 12/13/2009

*

i see, thought Spielberg had the brains to keep this movie a bit original and that the director fucked it up himself.

my bad. i tend to read posts of people who rate movies 4/4 a bit too hastily... no offense
i see, thought Spielberg had the brains to keep this movie a bit original and that the director fucked it up himself.

my bad. i tend to read posts of people who rate movies 4/4 a bit too hastily... no offense
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1:01AM on 12/13/2009

K

Sorry, I don't take the opinions of people who rate things 0/whatever seriously. No offense.

"The director should have listened imo"

Did you even understand what I said? The original ending was very good, but the director CHANGED IT because Spielberg asked a typical Hollywood ending for retarded cheap jump scares fans (which is probably the ending that you saw).
Sorry, I don't take the opinions of people who rate things 0/whatever seriously. No offense.

"The director should have listened imo"

Did you even understand what I said? The original ending was very good, but the director CHANGED IT because Spielberg asked a typical Hollywood ending for retarded cheap jump scares fans (which is probably the ending that you saw).
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+0
5:31PM on 12/11/2009

!

If 4 points is for the absolute summum, 3 for a very good movie, 2 for a decent one, 1 point if it's bad, 0 points if you hated it.

I hated it...

You can't expect to earn 1 whole point for 3 good moments (not even scenes in my book) on 86 minutes of footage.

It's cool that some people like it (a lot), but i just ain't one of them.

Nice to know the background info on the ending. The director should have listened imo.
If 4 points is for the absolute summum, 3 for a very good movie, 2 for a decent one, 1 point if it's bad, 0 points if you hated it.

I hated it...

You can't expect to earn 1 whole point for 3 good moments (not even scenes in my book) on 86 minutes of footage.

It's cool that some people like it (a lot), but i just ain't one of them.

Nice to know the background info on the ending. The director should have listened imo.
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5:21PM on 12/11/2009

?

0/4? That's just pathetic. Give that to a movie that doesn't have ANYTHING good.

About the camera movement: No comment. You knew damn well that the camera movement was gonna be like that. Unless you expect any couple to have the filmmaking talents of a big director...

By the way, the theatrical ending is NOT the original ending. Spielberg asked the director to change it for dumb retards who prefer cheap jump scares over tension and suspense.
0/4? That's just pathetic. Give that to a movie that doesn't have ANYTHING good.

About the camera movement: No comment. You knew damn well that the camera movement was gonna be like that. Unless you expect any couple to have the filmmaking talents of a big director...

By the way, the theatrical ending is NOT the original ending. Spielberg asked the director to change it for dumb retards who prefer cheap jump scares over tension and suspense.
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+0
5:15PM on 12/11/2009

i want my money back!

Why? Well, first of all i got sick as hell from the camera movement. At times i had to look away from the screen to avoid me from getting all queezy. And no, unfortunately, it was not because i was too scared.

Maybe if wasn't sick of watching this flick, i might have been able to appreciate the build up a bit more but in the end, this was just a total fraud. I mean, it took waaay too long before anything good actually happened. Those first nights you hardly got to see anything and
Why? Well, first of all i got sick as hell from the camera movement. At times i had to look away from the screen to avoid me from getting all queezy. And no, unfortunately, it was not because i was too scared.

Maybe if wasn't sick of watching this flick, i might have been able to appreciate the build up a bit more but in the end, this was just a total fraud. I mean, it took waaay too long before anything good actually happened. Those first nights you hardly got to see anything and they then analyse for minutes on end about sth you already saw and didn't find interesting AT ALL!

Anything good about this one?
Well, the big bang while they were trying to listen if they heard a noise and shook up the entire theatre worked like a charm.

When she got dragged into the hallway, very nice.

When she creams in the end, it's like they're cutting her in pieces, nice lungs!

But that's where it ends. And it ends in a ridiculous fashion. Come on, the 'let me trick you scary e-mail ending'... so cheap.

So overall, i paid for something i didn't get to see. Fyi, i loved the BWP so it's not that i hate this genre.

I guess Martyrs remains untouched at my nr 1 spot of best movies.



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11:47AM on 12/10/2009

Superb

2.5 out of 5? Come on Arrow you're slacking! PA is an excellent low budget shocker. I haven't been left with an uneasy feeling after watching a horror film since I saw the Exorcist for the first time. Excellent FX, yeah Micah did piss me off but there's always at least one annoying character in every horror film. I'd like to see more of this kind of movie, ultra-low budget flicks can sometimes bring out something very special indeed (JC - Halloween).
2.5 out of 5? Come on Arrow you're slacking! PA is an excellent low budget shocker. I haven't been left with an uneasy feeling after watching a horror film since I saw the Exorcist for the first time. Excellent FX, yeah Micah did piss me off but there's always at least one annoying character in every horror film. I'd like to see more of this kind of movie, ultra-low budget flicks can sometimes bring out something very special indeed (JC - Halloween).
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11:38PM on 12/01/2009

LOVED IT

I saw it tonight and wow. All I can say is I'm finally glad to see a "scary" movie that actually scared without having to resort to "boo scares" and gore. Nicely done...but no sequels please!
Oh and I'd totally nail Katie Featherston too so fuck the assholes who say she's "fat". I like a girl with some meat on her bones thanks!
I saw it tonight and wow. All I can say is I'm finally glad to see a "scary" movie that actually scared without having to resort to "boo scares" and gore. Nicely done...but no sequels please!
Oh and I'd totally nail Katie Featherston too so fuck the assholes who say she's "fat". I like a girl with some meat on her bones thanks!
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7:20PM on 11/15/2009
An incredibly disappointing snooze. I had the same problems with it Arrow had to a T. Micah annoyed the piss out me, the relationship and interactions never really felt natural and most of the time I was bored as hell. It did have few really good chills thrown in, but other then that its nowhere NEAR the hype its getting. Masterpiece?
An incredibly disappointing snooze. I had the same problems with it Arrow had to a T. Micah annoyed the piss out me, the relationship and interactions never really felt natural and most of the time I was bored as hell. It did have few really good chills thrown in, but other then that its nowhere NEAR the hype its getting. Masterpiece?
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6:30AM on 11/14/2009
One of the best of the year, an absolute horror masterpiece. :)
One of the best of the year, an absolute horror masterpiece. :)
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2:49AM on 11/12/2009

AH Arrow! Come on rate it higher!!!

Hey man even though I think you should have rated the film higher, I think it's great, I do agree with you on one thing. I was so wanting Katie to just slap the living shit out of Micah...what a tool. He really only wanted to satisfy his own curiosity and never really gave a shit abut his girlfriend or her safety in the situation. I was just hoping she would kick him in the balls.
Hey man even though I think you should have rated the film higher, I think it's great, I do agree with you on one thing. I was so wanting Katie to just slap the living shit out of Micah...what a tool. He really only wanted to satisfy his own curiosity and never really gave a shit abut his girlfriend or her safety in the situation. I was just hoping she would kick him in the balls.
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7:30PM on 11/11/2009

Am I the only one?

I really didn't like this movie. At all. I thought it was overhyped and really just wasn't scary at all. It's not that I don't have a short attention span or that I need action and nudity every 5 minutes, I really just didn't find this movie entertaining at all.
Micah was just a d-bag. He really annoyed me through the whole movie. I'm assuming that was the whole point of his character, but it was a bit much. He made fun of his girl more than he helped her. Honestly, they're living together
I really didn't like this movie. At all. I thought it was overhyped and really just wasn't scary at all. It's not that I don't have a short attention span or that I need action and nudity every 5 minutes, I really just didn't find this movie entertaining at all.
Micah was just a d-bag. He really annoyed me through the whole movie. I'm assuming that was the whole point of his character, but it was a bit much. He made fun of his girl more than he helped her. Honestly, they're living together you'd think he'd have more respect for her than what he showed. At the very least, you'd think he'd "play along" with the fact that she was scared. This guy annoyed me to no end.
Another qualm I had with the movie was the fact that it just wasn't scary. Save for night 20 and the end, the movie didn't move along at all. I'm all for subtlety, but this movie really pushed past the line of subtlety and absolutely nothing happening...ever. There were a few of the haunted house tricks, but really nothing else.
As a character flick, this film really missed the beat too. The only interesting character was Katie and they really missed the ball with telling her story. There was so much potential there and they did nothing with it. Instead, she is pretty much shown as a weak character, both to Micah and to the demon.
This movie really didn't work for me, if that wasn't apparent already. Outside the final two nights, I really can't justify seeing this movie. And between the two nights, that may be 10 minutes of movie. The rest of the film is a snoozefest. There was no tension, no scares, nothing. It was really disappointing
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2:55PM on 11/11/2009

Good Movie

Good review. I saw this movie and i dug it. I DID find it a tad overrated, but i was still scared. I just didn't find it the masterpiece everyone found it to be. But i still found it to be a good movie with good realistic acting =] and likable characters.

AND THANK YOU for saying what you did about Katie. I've been getting SO pissed off at everyone calling her fat! I thought she was adorable as fuck and if i wasn't gay i'd rather have a girl like her than a girl like megan fox
Good review. I saw this movie and i dug it. I DID find it a tad overrated, but i was still scared. I just didn't find it the masterpiece everyone found it to be. But i still found it to be a good movie with good realistic acting =] and likable characters.

AND THANK YOU for saying what you did about Katie. I've been getting SO pissed off at everyone calling her fat! I thought she was adorable as fuck and if i wasn't gay i'd rather have a girl like her than a girl like megan fox ANYDAY!
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12:23PM on 11/11/2009
It's a pretty good review, Arrow, as always. I did like the movie but I do respect your opinion and can see where you're coming from. Yeah, Micah was a bit of a douche in this movie. I understand it was to serve the plot, but after a while you'd think he would get the idea that this demon is nothing to mess with! If I were Kate's boyfriend (which I wouldn't mind) I would have respected her and called that demonologist immediately when the psychic told me to!

And speaking of, high five on
It's a pretty good review, Arrow, as always. I did like the movie but I do respect your opinion and can see where you're coming from. Yeah, Micah was a bit of a douche in this movie. I understand it was to serve the plot, but after a while you'd think he would get the idea that this demon is nothing to mess with! If I were Kate's boyfriend (which I wouldn't mind) I would have respected her and called that demonologist immediately when the psychic told me to!

And speaking of, high five on your 2 cents of Katie. Just because she weighs more than girls like Megan Fox doesn't mean she isn't attractive or can't act. But most people who say that are really immature, and if they can't handle how hot she is, sucks to be them!
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11:10AM on 11/11/2009

Good review

I had very high expectations (something I usually try to avoid because you end up disappointed 90% of the time) for this movie and I wasn't disappointed at all! It's awesome! I've seen over 1000 horror movies and Paranormal Activity is definitely one of the best I've seen (top 50)! It's not one of the best I've seen only because it's one of the scariest, it's also one of the most realistic and it's the movie I've always dreamed of! I've always wanted someone to make a realistic movie like The
I had very high expectations (something I usually try to avoid because you end up disappointed 90% of the time) for this movie and I wasn't disappointed at all! It's awesome! I've seen over 1000 horror movies and Paranormal Activity is definitely one of the best I've seen (top 50)! It's not one of the best I've seen only because it's one of the scariest, it's also one of the most realistic and it's the movie I've always dreamed of! I've always wanted someone to make a realistic movie like The Blair Witch Project about a family or a couple filming in their house to catch ghosts and this movie has everything that I wanted! It's very suspenseful and it has some truly effective scenes! A lot of people say that it's boring and I really don't get it! It's WAY too suspenseful to be boring! I've been trying to understand why the people that thought that it was boring went to see it since it was released! Why does someone who get bored easily go see a movie about a couple filming in their house? Why does someone who hate The Blair Witch Movie go see a similar movie? While we're at it, why does someone expect to be scared in a theater full of people? The fact that there are idiotic teens that can't stop talking and laughing 90% of the time doesn't help. Personally, I can't imagine finding a movie scary with 30 persons around me. I thought the movie was scary (compared to most movies), but I watched it alone in the dark with an headset. The fact that I believe (or want to) in ghosts/demons helped as well. Actually, I can't imagine someone who doesn't believe in ghosts/demons finding a movie about them scary. What makes ghost/demons movies scary is the fact that maybe they exist. Anyway, the first few minutes of the movie is the only time I didn't feel uneasy! The atmosphere was simply creepy! Hell, even a few parts with nothing but the couple talking were creepy! I guess it was the expectation that something really bad was going to happen. The movie doesn't rely on cheap jump scares and/or scary images and doesn't have any over-the-top scare, it's all about tension and suspense. Anyway, when the movie was about to end I felt bad because I really didn't want it to end and any movie that makes me feel this way deserves 4 out of 4. I Can't wait for the DVD.

Not for impatient teenagers who need action every 5 minute and can't use their imagination.
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