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…
Okay, so here's the deal with this franchise: I can't stand found footage movies and I can't stand ghost movies. And I dislike both for the same reason: they're often cheap. Someone runs around with a camera for two hours. A door closes. A ton of jump scares by shaking the camera / making a noise. I dislike both. So in essence, a combination of both shouldn't work.
And yet... I would be dishonest to say that it didn't keep me interested. For such a small budget ($15,000), two actors and a couple rooms, it's decent. It's flawed. It's really, really flawed. The pacing is awful, the escalation of the demon is awful (cue in Anchorman meme). The acting is…
Its safe to say weve all been freaked out by this film at least once. While watching i would yawn and look forward to the end, but its after the film i would start to freak out about possible demons dragging me off. Sure, it wasnt really a great film. It was fine but not great. Personally i found it boring and slow, i would beg for it to speed up a bit or just end already, my reasoning for giving it 2 stars. BUT, besides that, I give it an extra star because it did stick with me for a while afterwards. Ive never been scared of the dark, but after watching i would stress over whats IN the dark.. 3 stars out of possible 5.
This does not deserve to be a franchise but this somehow works on some levels.
Paranormal Activity has a few creepy, unsettling moments: an unidentifiable screech in the middle of the night, a chandelier swinging for no apparent reason, footprints in talcum powder on the floor. They're few and far between. The relationship between the couple living in the house is fun and enjoyable at the beginning, but becomes less and less interesting as the story moves along. And it's not clear why they didn't leave once they realized the house was haunted.
I don't blame this movie for what came after it. A surprisingly effective found-footage horror movie.
Sure, it's influential. Sure, it's one of the most important horror movies of the 21st century. And sure, it has scared millions of people around the globe. But... how do I put this?
My reactions to watching Paranormal Activity (from memory)
10 Minutes In: "Wow, this acting is really bad. I hope the scares will make this worth the watch."
20 Minutes In: "So far, the only scary thing that has happened is that a door opened. For the love of god, let this get better."
30 Minutes In: "ZZZZZZZZZZZ..."
Yep, I almost fell asleep during this movie. I was so bored that I didn't even finish it. It's fine if you like this movie, but I just don't get the hype.
I really think that these found footage films appeal to my interest in voyeurism. I promise I'm not a peeping tom, but when it comes to cinema, I definitely have some sort of off fascination with voyeuristic pictures. There's something about seeing something that we're not supposed to be seeing that is appealing to me. It's almost taboo, I suppose. The public was never meant to see the events that took place on Micah's video camera, but within the confines of the film - one thing lead to another and the tapes were made public. I also tend to love compelling films that employ non-actors. I've always been a big fan of the film Open Water, a movie that uses…
My former list was dated, messy and incomplete. So I decided to create a new one.
Top 100 HM from…
a list that is trying to contain every horror film made that is not lost and is found on the…