Review: Paranormal Activity (2009)

By Sean Gardner

With what seems like the 324th Paranormal Activity sequel hitting theaters this past Friday, I thought it would be prudent to revisit the original for my next film in my Horror Movie Marathon. It is shot in the now overused found footage “handycam” style. With no opening or closing credits, it is reminiscent of The Blair Witch Project in its realism.  Along with Blair Witch, it has become one of the films that all other found footage projects are judged by, and for good reason.

With all of the subpar sequels and endless parodies, Paranormal Activity has become a bit of a joke. However, at the time it came out, it was a worldwide phenomenon that scared people’s pants off. It is one of the most financially successful films ever, when comparing budget to box office gross. On an extremely meager $15,000 budget, it made almost $200 million worldwide.

I really enjoyed this film. I wasn’t as scary as Blair Witch, but it did a good job at creating a sense of realism. The stars, who are no-name actors, were not given a script with lines to regurgitate. The director simply explained the situation, and told them to improvise. The fact that they are believable in every moment is impressive. The special effects, although there are few, are invisible. It is an impressive film to say the least. I would recommend it to all horror fans.

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