Am I the only one who thought Paranormal Activity was awful?!

Utter crap. Two thumbs way down.

Why did I dislike it so much? Let me count the ways:

  1. Saw it on DVD and immediately noticed the sound was grainy and indistinct. This was an attempt to replicate the rawness of the filming technique but was a distracter. Had to watch the movie with subtitles on.

  2. The scenes in between the nighttime shots were nothing but empty filling. Absolutely nothing even remotely interesting happens except the for the couple constantly sniping at each other and some nondescript fiancée’s girlfriend who shows up once or twice who in one scenes helps in some arts-and-crafts beading thing. (Beads???)

  3. The two lead actors do not have the star power to take up 95% of the frame. They’re simply not that captivating.

  4. The nighttime bedroom scenes. I get the building of tension that they were trying to accomplish but even these were boring. You can only get so far on implied horror. And while you don’t need blood, gore and guts to make an effective horror film, the opposite end of the spectrum doesn’t work either. There has to be some pay off.

  5. The ending, which I won’t spoil, was in a word -stupid.

There’s more. Like the psychic dude who is in the film for about 12 second but at least provides some respite from watching the two leads and then the demonologist they’re constantly waiting to contact -inexplicably for too long- who never materializes, but I think I’ll stop for now.

I got chills a couple of times. I think if it had been a one hour television episode of an anthology series (remember those), it would have been considered to be a very good episode.

I enjoyed it, but I can easily see why others wouldn’t. This film is overwhelmingly about expectations, I think. First, if you went to see this independent movie about a haunting or something, without knowing more, you’d enjoy it a lot more than if you’d seen the trailer and had every. single. scary bit. spoiled, or if you’d been bombarded with the message that ZOMG the scariest movie evah!!!1

Second, the assessment of this as a quality film is more about the ratio of cost to quality than quality standing on its own. Given how much money is spent on most movies, the fact that this maintained a somewhat coherent story, reasonably well drawn characters, and a certain amount of suspense, all on a shoestring, makes it much more impressive than a similar film with lots of resources would be.

It was spottily effective, but overall pretty unsatisfying. The chick was terrible; she made it impossible to believe for a second that this was “found” footage. And it ended just as it started getting good. They should’ve seen this cut, and said, “OK, good first cut, but we need to cut out some of the filler and ramp up the scary stuff; build to a bigger, more sustained climax.” It was like the dramatic arc was just getting off the ground and then it ended. Badly. If they had gotten the arc of the ground sooner, and made it a steeper curve, it could’ve been almost unbearably scary.

Still, it proves that the scariest stuff in a movie is the stuff that goes on only inside each audience member’s mind. A demon made out of a rubber mask and fake claws can never be as frightening as a demon made out of your own private worst nightmares.

I was scared shitless in the theater, doing the whole slowly sliding down my chair thing, and I lost sleep that night. It was great.

The end bit freaked me out, but movie itself was way too long and I spent most of it wanting to slap both main characters silly. Eh, it was all right. Living in Korea, we were insulated from most of the hype, so that probably helped.

The theatrical ending was better than the dvd one. I kind of liked the male female dynamics.

You know, this film but from the demon’s point of view could be a great comedy-horror. :slight_smile:

Didn’t like it much. I didn’t hate the acting the way a lot of other people apparently did (I found both leads good enough not to be distracting, and much of the bored underacting that went on in the first half added to the realism) but I guess the trailer and word-of-mouth had led me to believe it was going to be another [REC] (which I still consider the scariest film ever made).
Off-topic, I saw [REC 2] last week, and it was plenty scary, though not as good as the first one.

Good point–this is what I came away with. I thought it was effectively creepy and not at all dull.

I liked it- there are moments of real suspense- but I hated the ending. It wasn’t because the ‘demon’ or whatever wins
so much as I thought that while the film in general had a Blair Witch feel to it, the ending was a total rip-off of The Blair Witch. True, a teeny budget camcorder horror movie can only go so far plotwise, but even so there were so many points of similarity that I’m surprised the Blair Witch crew hasn’t filed suit.The screams off camera
The camera falling on its side
The unnatural lighting, etc.

reminded me of a bright trio of friends watching BLAIR WITCH and saying “Let’s see what we can do!” and then either not being able to come up with an ending or else using their budget to hire Stephen King to write it. (Except that would have involved a spider dropping an atom bomb or something wouldn’t it?)

Does anybody know if the actors were compensated more than the original $500 after the film became a huge hit?

PS- If this happened to me- if I were Micah- I’d have said "It’s been wonderful and if I haven’t mentioned it you shag like Helen of Troy with her ass on fire* and make a great quiche florentine and I thank you for both, so if you’re ever un-possessed please look me up again’. Then I’d go sleep on a pew at the Our Lady of Righteousness and Holiness Rock Fire Holy Blood Tabernacle (Reform) because it stands to reason that if demons are real then at least some of the Fundie ‘how to kill or at very least annoy and piss off a demon til he leaves’ shit is real too.

Surely San Diego would have more than one exorcist, incidentally. Now that would have been a better ending: rip off GHOST instead of Blair Witch and get a TV “Demonbusters” show type exorcist (or better yet a cable access demonbuster- a Richard Heene like “wannabe” cable show celebrity) to come in, go “HOLY FUCKING SHIT THIS IS REAL!” and then somehow fall assbackwards into saving the day. Bonus points if TV demonologist is played by Stephen Root or William Sanderson.
*ROME reference.

I was bored for most of it, and not scared for any of it.

I thought the girl’s performance was pretty good, and parts of the relationship reasonably believable (apart from the lack of shagging), though the guy’s extreme-skeptic reaction to the investigator was out of whack with the general narrative.

But generally, I thought it was a huge disappointment, and I’m glad to see I’m not the only one.

This one played out as a more of a comedy. It was awful from a horror movie perspective and mediocre from a comedic perspective. I was not pleased.:mad:

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