All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
What Happens When You Sleep?
After a young, middle class couple moves into a suburban 'starter' tract house, they become increasingly disturbed by a presence that may or may not be somehow demonic but is certainly most active in the middle of the night. Especially when they sleep. Or try to.
I remember watching this not in a packed theatre auditorium filled with teenagers or in a typical horror-film marathon atmosphere, but all by myself at 2 AM with the sound cranked and a blanket tightly clasped against my face. Paranormal Activity scared the shit out of me, and every rewatch continues to prove that this little found-footage movie wasn't just influential because of its viral marketing or its low-budget conception, but because of its eerie effectiveness.
Sound design is remarkably center-stage here, even more so than the haunting visuals that escalate in terror and intensity, mainly because its the absence of any noise during the multiple "night" sequences that triggers any sound to instantly be correlated with a sinister…
Apparently the inspiration for this film came from the fact that a box of laundry detergent fell from a shelf in the director's home. It was placed far in the back of the shelf and there was no logical explanation as to how it could possibly have fallen.
I curse that box to this very day as the film it has spawned caused me to lose a lot of sleep. It is impressive what the director managed to achieve with the tiniest of budgets, but he had no right to scare me this much.
If there's one thing that scares me in horror films it's a lack of control over what happens to you. The scenes where the poor unfortunate…
LOTS OF SPOILERS
Let me save you an 85 minutes of your life by detailing what happens in Paranormal Activity, because I know practically no-one has seen this.
* A few minutes of boring crap.
* Some noises.
* A few more minutes of drivel.
* A door moves.
* More cack and a psychic pops round.
* JUMP SCARE.
* Bit more crap.
* Katy Perry goes for a wander.
* Oh look, someone switched the fucking telly on. They never put it on a broadcasting channel, do they?
* He's busted out the sodding Ouija board. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY HAPPEN.
* Some tedious arguing and pointless wank.
Paranormal Activity is that indie chiller whose unexpected box-office success brought back found footage subgenre of horror into the mainstream and spawned an era that saw almost every horror film using the POV-shot technique green-lighted into production by the studio, whether it packs in a compelling story or not being one aspect that didn't play any role.
Paranormal Activity tells the story of a young couple who move into their new house in San Diego. When the girl confesses to her camera-obsessed boyfriend that she's been haunted by a supernatural entity all her life, he sets up the camera in their bedroom to record any paranormal activity that takes place while they sleep and ends up capturing many strange occurrences…
This is a compelling, well-shot documentary that follows the story of some activity. The activity contained herein may or may not be normal. (spoiler: it's not.)
I originally watched Paranormal Activity in 2009 but I was interrupted half way through and never returned to it. At the time I found it pretty tedious outside of the bedroom sections and didn't like the characters, but I never did get to the parts where stuff actually happened so I wasn't in a position to judge it. I decided to finally watch it all the way through and, well, not much has changed - there are glimpses of a great horror movie, but these moments are few and far between as the rest of the time I was watching two characters that aren't particularly well developed do things that serve no real purpose in the long run. I especially…
Is it possible that one of the most popular horror movies of this new century does not have a single actual "Scare" in it? I would argue that it does. This whole movie is built on the startling anticipation of what might happen, and almost never what actually does. Our first supernatural glimpses are so minuscule, and it's almost never what we see that startles us but the aftermath of how these things seep into these characters' minds and torture them. Of course the ending is a metaphor, and the film endures because Peli made a movie about a relationship crumbling, not a movie about demons.
I don't believe in ghosts, but this made me contemplate the possibility. I have many friends who have had strange experiences and perhaps because I cannot account for any of my own, I have been unable to think of it as a reality. Being an atheist makes horror a tough field to navigate. It's all fantasy in my mind, so it allows me to enjoy it, but I never feel that frightened.
With Paranormal Activity, it forces that reality onto you by becoming intimately personal with a couple plagued by something. It was unsettling enough to watch people sleeping, but to see things unknown happening to them whilst they are unaware made my skin crawl.
Love it or hate it, the concept is brilliant and terrifying.
"I feel it. I feel it breathing on me."
Sooooooo...this film has not really aged too well, has it?
Maybe it's because it was the springboard upon which a hundred-million-billion shitty found footage movies were launched.
Maybe it's because the six subsequent sequels took whatever novelty, originality, or scariness the first film had, synthesized it into a repetitious formula, and pounded any and all audience goodwill down into the ground, grinding it into so much metaphorical dust.
Maybe it's because it just can't beat 'The Blair Witch Project' in terms of lasting longevity, due to 'Blair Witch' having that richly detailed in-universe online mythology complementing the low-fi events depicted in the movie, and 'Paranormal Activity' having nothing like that.…
This doesn't get better with time.
Paranormal Activity's found footage premise is tired now, but in 2007 it was the most effective and fresh use of the style since The Blair Witch Project. It arguably is the same movie for the next generation of horror fans. And it makes found footage that much more affecting by bringing the horror inside the safe haven of one's home.
It works because of its simplicity (the $15,000 budget and DIY aesthetic adds to the atmosphere) and authenticity. The film capitalizes on the very real fear of the unknown. It's what you don't see that's truly frightening, and there are no stylistic special effects dressings here, just your fear of the dark as you search the frame for what might be waiting.
Night after night, director Oren Peli creates a snowball of unrelenting suspense, right down to the final five minutes that are sheer terror. Paranormal Activity is the most effective horror film I have seen in years.
Holy shit do I hate Paranormal Activity.
From the completely unbelievable acting, to its ridiculous set ups, to that God awful paranormal investigator, to the absolute chicanery is passes off as horror, to the unfathomable amount of money and praise it received to apparent cottage industry that has spurred from it, Paranormal Activity earns my most pure cinematic disdain.
The sequels? Well, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me...you can't get fooled again.
I watched most of this movie between my fingers because I was certain that something terrifying was about to happen. It never did. The terrible ending made me feel like an idiot.
Had a few friends over on Halloween, and we decided to watch this in the morning. I'd never seen it- I wish I never had. Thoroughly, thoroughly dull.
a list that is trying to contain every horror film made that is not lost and is found on the…
I'm a sucker for a positive list of modern horror movies.