There has been a lot of hype building up over a low budget film called PARANORMAL ACTIVITY.
The low budget film made by a director and cast and crew that no one has ever heard of has been an Internet and word of mouth phenomenon.
Trailers showed audience members literally clasping their mouths and jumping out of their seats in fright.
My wife and I went to check it out on Saturday and thoroughly enjoyed it.
It wasn't so much the hype that sucked us in to see it, but the fact that (believe it or not), we have been experiencing paranormal activity in our OWN home for some time now. I am not kidding. We have documented a wide variety of ghostly occurrences with multiple witnesses and pieces of evidence.
Katie and Micah are a young twenty something couple who have been together for three years. Katie is convinced there is something very odd about the San Diego home they are living in and Micah skeptically decides that whatever may be lurking cannot hide from the all seeing eye of the video camera he purchases.
He decides that if there is something amiss, they will solve the mystery by setting up the camera at the foot of their bed every night and letting it record all night long.
I will not reveal anymore of what happens or is captured by the camera. Let's just say, Micah becomes less and less skeptical by the day (and night). He becomes obsessed with chronicling every moment of their home life with the camera, driving Katie to anger in the process. He is set on getting to the bottom of their supposed "paranormal activity".
I will reveal this much. Those of you wanting blood and guts and typical Hollywood schlock are better served by Rob Zombie's movie than PARANORMAL ACTIVITY. This movie thankfully does NOT resort to the cliched horror movie props and traps.
It harkens back to the days of Hollywood imagination--where what you DIDN'T SEE scared you more than what you DID see. I have said that the movie CLOVERDALE was 10 times scarier BEFORE they showed you the monster up close. What your imagination creates can usually outdo the best special effects artists.
The story behind PARANORMAL ACTIVITY is as impressive to me as the movie.
The writer-director, Orin Pelli, came to America a few years ago from Israel and developed animation and video games.
He got the idea for the movie after hearing strange sounds in his home. He didn't think it was paranormal, per se, but did think it would be interesting if anything was captured by a video camera during the night.
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY was actually filmed IN the director's home! It was completed in just 7 days back in 2006. He screened 150 actors and actresses. His selection of new comers Katie Featherston (Katie) and Micah Sloat (Micah) couldn't have been more perfect. They both do a wonderful and believable job as the lead characters in the movie.
The filmmaker saw his vision go from a brainstorm to a finished product to film festival screening. It was seen by DreamWorks executive who recommended it to his boss, who currently serves as the president of production at Paramount Pictures.
The rest, as they say, is history.
It is rated R, but only for language. This is refreshing for the modern day horror movie because usually the bodies start rolling and the bodies start piling up before the first reel is up.
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY didn't make me jump out of my seat...but it was close a few times. The sense of dread and anxiety comes early and doesn't let you go. In fact, it follows you to the very, very end.
It's a movie that you will talk about with those you saw it with, and most likely recommend to those who haven't seen it yet.
It's the little film that could.
And it will make you think twice about things that go bump in the night.
Maybe it'll even convince you it's time to set up that video camera, too.
Happy ghost hunting.
Trust me, I know...What happens in your actual home may surprise you.
But this...is...only...a movie.