I know I am late to the party, but I have just watched Paranormal Activity. And I also know that many, many people think this is one of the scariest movies ever made. (Rotton Tomatoes reviewers give it over-whelmingly thumbs up and even many mainstream reviewers raved about it.) But I was so disgusted with this film and the time I wasted on it and then reading dozens of reveiws in a vain attempt to see what I had missed that I have to express my feelings. Apart from the fact that it was almost impossible to see clearly because of the “filming” technique used and the dialogue was often incomprehensible, it wasn’t scary. I didn’t for one minute identify with or care about the two characters. And dumb? Jeez, if you get up in the middle of the night to investigate strange noises, what’s the first thing you would do? I’d turn on some lights! But they wander around in the dark. If you think something is coming into your bedroom in the middle of the night, what would you do when you go to bed? I’d close the bedroom door! And maybe block it. I certainly wouldn’t leave it wide open. I’ve seen an awful lot of horror movies over the years, but this one is at the bottom of the barrel.
You did better than me, I switched it off after about 30 minutes!
If you disliked Paranormal, you’ll slit your wrists after ten minutes of Paranormal 2.
Scared my 13 and 12 year olds.
I thought it was awful, too.
Never even wanted to see it. My impression is it’s just a feature-length version of the cable TV shows without the “documentary” framework. Sorta like Blair Witch Project? If it’s not then they didn’t promote it properly. Am I even remotely correct?
I think the scariest movie I’ve seen in the last 10 years was Idiocracy–that one was a chiller.
I saw it in the theater. It’s an interesting concept, and moderately impressive when you take into account that it was made in the director’s own house with a few cheap video cameras. If you’re willing to play along, the first 30 minutes constitute a pretty good setup, I think. After that, the contrivances required to keep the plot going for 80 something minutes start to tear down the success of the first 30 minutes, and by the end it’s pretty clear that you’re not going to get anything close to a satisfying payoff. I left the theater disappointed, but I still found value in what they were able to accomplish with so little.
Well, I wasn’t too impressed by “PA”, but worst movie you’ve ever seen?
You apparently have never seen Satan’s Cheerleaders. To name just one example.
PA was competent, but dull and forgettable IMO.
The most entertaining bit even remotely related to PA was Roger Ebert’s review. In it he commented on the difficulty experienced by the two leads (who live in southern California) to get a demonologist to come to their house to investigate. Ebert mentioned that in his experience living in So-Cal, you’d have an easier time getting a demonologist to do a home-consultation that getting a plumber!
Moved to Cafe Society from MPSIMS.
We didn’t like Paranormal Activity, but that wasn’t entirely the fault of the film. It was the first time using our new DVD player. The captions were automatically turned on and we just assumed that this was part of the film and a choice by the director. It confused us because there would constantly be messages in parentheses like (low breathing and footsteps) or (growling and noises from downstairs) that were supposed to be subtle and barely audible, not blasted across the screen.
I actually loved this movie and it made me scream out loud. Surprises me that you didn’t like it; I usually have a super low tolerance for horror movies that leave me unscared. This one did it for me.
Ok, that’s pretty damned funny!
I felt about the movie about the same way that the guys at Rifftrax apparently did. My favorite bit of the summary:
Whatever it is, it’s up to no good, pulling off masterful scares such as moving keys off the counter, and gradually shifting a door while Micah and Katie sleep. By the way, get used to watching Micah and Katie sleep, because that’s pretty much the whole movie.
The entire conceit of the film was that it was shot by an amateur fooling around by the camera, and that’s supposed to allow you to put yourself in his shoes. If you can do that, then the movie will be immersive and enjoyable. Otherwise, it won’t be. Critics were mostly impressed by the quality of the movie for how small of a budget it had (only $15,000).
I enjoyed the movie more than my friends, but that’s only because I hadn’t seen the trailers. Apparently the climax of the movie is right in the trailers.
I also didn’t like it. The only scare is literally in the last 30 seconds. Boo!
The problem with this movie was the same problem with most horror movies. That is, it depends on the protaganists acting like complete idiots and/or unrealistically for its basic premise. For example, in this movie, the male character unbelieveable persists in antagonizing the ghoul even when it’s very clear that he is dealing with some malvolent force. Similarly, after all they go through, at the end he somehow lets his obviously possesed girlfriend convince him to stay. Such idiotic behavior completely ruins my ability to take movies like this seriously.
I loved it, but I love scary movies. I was watching it by myself in the living room (husband was upstairs in the office) and I could barely make it through the whole movie (I was so freaked out).
“Scariness” is not objective.
In an essay precluding a section of short horror stories, Orson Scott Card described the three types of fear: dread, terror, and horror. Terror is fear of the immediate: something is jumping right out at you. Horror is fear of what has happened, and is usually tied strongly to gore and unsettling images: the corpse of your brutally murdered friend. Dread is the most powerful, and it is the fear of what is to come. It lingers and builds. Paranormal Activity has 0 horror and a small amount of terror, and relies largely on dread.
While almost all fear is irrelevant if your suspension of disbelief is broken, I would argue that dread suffers the worst from that.
I thought it was well done. Not as good as Blair Witch, but certainly much better than the average horror film.
Even my kids thought it was a waste of an hour and a half they’d never get back. They didn’t like the second one, either. I didn’t like the first, and didn’t bother with the second.