Monday, 14 December 2009

Paranormal Activity

Slow chill ...

A young couple on the verge of engagement encounters what appears to be a supernatural entity in their house. Katie (Katie Featherston) makes note of being haunted by a shadowy ghost of some sort for her entire life and this spurs Micah (Micah Sloat) to decide that it would be a good idea to try and get video evidence of this phenomenon.

Paranormal Activity covers nearly a month period in which the protagonists attempt to film their experiences while being haunted. It starts off relatively slow and continues so until around the last third of the film. The narrative never covers everyday but only those in which some ghostly activity at night takes place and a few scenes documenting the next morning. As a result, the film ends up being slightly shorter than expected but the run time works well in condensing the overall experience into what it aims to achieve: uneasiness in the audience. Paranormal Activity is not devoted to scaring at every possible turn but rather in creating an overall tense atmosphere for its finale. Advertisements seem to suggest otherwise but anyone expecting the usual horror affair may be left disappointed, and deservedly so as the horror sequences are sporadic and short. However, the events that occur have a realistic nature to them, granted you believe in the supernatural, and this cranks up the uneasiness associated with the horror.

Though Paranormal Activity is more than just a documenting of some unexplainable event as it also provides an intriguing perspective into the breakdown of a relationship. Katie is completely horrified at what is taking place yet Micah never really takes it all that seriously until later into the film. This conflict of view begins to erode at their relationship and this becomes integral to the greater understanding of the film. The narrative is not entirely ambiguous as other supernatural texts, but enough will be left unanswered to prompt further discussion on certain actions and scenes in the film.

While not performed by complete professionals, the acting is pretty decent and believable enough. The contrast of views between Micah and Katie are easily apparent, and the nuances in each character is performed adequately by the respective actors as Katie is serious and scared while Micah wavers from being jocular to devoted concern. The level of acting does decrease at times but considering the offering at hand it is not overly problematic.

The film has a budget of around $15,000 and does obviously show with the hand-held camera perspective used for the film. With this sort of restrictive camera application horror scenes have to be quite calculated. Nevertheless, the style of the film results in longer than expected intervals between horror moments.

While language usage contains merely a handful of F-words amongst others and violence limited to one or two non-graphic scenes, there is no nudity or sexual content.

Unlike the horror genre in general, Paranormal Activity is never about its different parts but rather the experience as a whole. Combined with a somewhat slow narrative pace, Paranormal Activity becomes a film that is both interesting yet frustrating. This will surely result in a clear divide between those who appreciate it and those who felt that the activity of going to see the film was wasted.


Screen date: 12 December 2009
Release date: 11 December 2009

1 comment:

hollywood actors said...

Yeah I agree with your opinion about this movie. I have seen it and it was really nice. I do like it very much.