REVIEW: Paranormal Activity

10 10 2009

Fear is a common emotion, and filmmakers constantly work to goad it out of us.  The horror genre is most likely to instigate the aforementioned sentiment, and directors often resign to employing quick thrills and flashy graphics to force it out of us.  But with four actors, one camera, and $10,000, Oren Peli has shown that fear can be found in even the most ordinary places.  He conceived “Paranormal Activity” out of his own fear, stating,

“I think a lot of people can relate to the question of what happens at night when you’re most vulnerable.  You have no idea what’s going on.  This taps into the most primal fear, if something is lurking in your home and there’s not much you can do about it.”

Peli’s vision of horror is nothing short of brilliant, finding the surreal in the real and the paranormal in the normal.  The result is a truly terrifying experience for audiences.

The story revolves around the haunting of couple “engaged to be engaged” Micah and Katie.  We enter the story in medias res as they are beginning to deal with the suspicious incidents occurring in their home.  A psychic tells them that the culprit is most likely a demon that has followed Katie since childhood and something has occurred to aggravate the spirit.  Although Micah laughs off the opinion, Katie is deeply bothered and scared.  Micah purchases an expensive camera set in hopes of capturing the demon on film, and the entire movie is told from the vantage point of the camera lens.  As the days go by, events seem to point towards the validity of the psychic’s opinion.  But will the camera capture anything other than a distraught and disturbed couple?

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