I wanted it to be great. I prepared myself for the real possibility of being frightened into a spontaneous bowel evacuation. Unfortunately, “Paranormal Activity” is a fairly toothless, poorly acted, film walking heavy on a paper-thin story.
Was it scary? Not really. Certainly not for the first 45 minutes. The scares that do come are similar to the “boos” you encounter at a park district haunted house around Halloween time: “Where did that loud noise come from?” “I’m scared to see what’s around the corner!”
I’ve read stories of people leaving screenings in tears, visibly shaken. Others claimed they needed counseling because of the movie’s content. Pussies. It’s. Just. Not. That. Upsetting.
I was honestly more frightened by the pre-movie trailer for “Legion” (knowing nothing about the movie in advance, the elderly woman scene made me jump out of my seat). On a somewhat-related note, the three trailers before “Paranormal Activity” were for:
“THE ROAD”-A movie about the end of the world.
“2012”-A movie about the end of the world.
“LEGION”-A movie about the end of the world.
Hollywood’s in a dark place these days. I’m okay with that.
Back to “Paranormal Activity”, the dialog that threads the overnight hauntings together is just flimsy plot device: If this continues, I’m going to call the demonolgist!
No, let’s just wait!
Okay, but I still might call!
No need; I can protect you!
Just one more night, then I’m going to do it!
Better: I’m going to contact the demon with a Ouija board!
That’ll make things worse!
I’m still going to do it!
Paraphrasing aside, the simple point is that any “story” that exists in the movie does so to serve the inevitable sleeptime creepouts.
It’s transparently (like a ghost!) awful.
The movie ends by letting us know that the (haunted) female lead, Katie, hasn’t been seen since the home movies and the body of dipshit videographer boyfriend Micah were discovered. That’s the Spielberg touch: Get ready for the sequel.