Saturday, 28 November 2009

Paranormal Activity


People that visit here regularly know that I have a taste for the macabre. I love horror, but it doesn’t scare me. Now spooky, thats another matter. Paranormal Activity is not a Horror as such, its more a genre which I would define as Spooky. Now Blair Witch, The Haunting (original) and the BBC’s brilliant Ghostwatch fall into this zone firmly and to me it is far more challenging then just plain old gore. If you notice some typos it is because I have watched Paranormal Activity and I am still rather spooked…vlcsnap-00001
The film is firmly in the style of Blair Witch and Cloverfield being filmed entirely on camcorder, which one of the protagonists (Micah) has purchased purely for the purpose of documenting his girlfriend Katies demonic stalker. We follow this investigation in a strictly linear path with night vigils interspersed with daytime conversations.vlcsnap-00002
The cast of four (yes four) are outstanding and entirely convincing with the events escalating throughout the movie from spooky noises to… well that would spoiler. The film has no score and does not need it. Effects are all recorded on the handheld and very effectively done. Unlike the Blair Witch Project, you will see something and it will make you consider sleeping with the light on.vlcsnap-00005
The complete beauty of PA is the escalation. Each nights vigil is masterfully shot with either fade to pass time or the brilliantly effective timelapse (this gives the perfect impression that this is REAL footage) and each time you enter into the nights events you wonder just HOW they can up the ante. But they do, every time. Even when you think it cant get any worse, it will. All this is made far worse by the fact it is not occurring in a house that is anywhere near spooky, it is all done in a very nice and wealthy pad that most people would love to own.vlcsnap-00003
If you like your films to have answers, tight plots and stories that progress rigidly (if a little unfeasibly) then PA is not for you. If however you want to see something that follows a realistic progressive pattern and will leave you feeling ever so uneasy for days after. PA is the one. I can honestly say that this is the first film to make my skin crawl and my hackles stand up for a very long time indeed. vlcsnap-00006
Well and truly recommended, go see.

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