Saturday, November 7, 2009
Paranormal Activity, Not necesssarily a review.
Ok, so with all the hype surrounding this one I had to see it. Let me start by saying that everyone I know who has seen it has tried to tell me this or that about it. I, rather intelligently, ignored them. I was musing on this today while reading some posts on a message board, a lot of people complained about this or that in regards to the film. I've got a hypothesis on the why so many people were disappointed or not happy with their viewing experience.
When there is this much "hype" about a film, the viewers know too much about it before going to see it. I believe that if someone tells people "This movie will scare the hell out of you!" then the viewer goes into the movie with the attitude that they will not be frightened. Giving themselves a self fulfilled prophecy. It's hard to keep an open mind about a film and not know too much about a film these days due to the amount of info we are bombarded with constantly. From posts on message boards, bulletins on Myspace or status updates on Facebook, we have been flooded with info about this film. Thereby skewing our ability to see it, uncolored by everyone elses opinions.
Many people have compared it to The Blair Witch Project, which in my opinion, despite the obscenely stomach turning camera work, is a brilliant film. It has a slow build up, an unseen antagonist and the ending was completely unexpected. Paranormal activity delivers the same, with much less nauseating camera work. The special effects, which were virtually nonexistent in Blair Witch, are extremely well done and effective. The story follows a couple who are in the middle of dealing with Preternatural occurrences in their home. Apparently the filmmaker Orin Peli did his homework, as the events unfold in a manner consistent with the way Preternatural hauntings are believed to occur by "Experts".
All in all I have to say that I enjoyed the film, it built tension and kept it there, with me waiting for the next occurrence. Some argue that it has to be seen with a packed theater audience, I disagree. By being nearly alone, it added to the experience for me. If I was in any way uncomfortable, or bothered by what was on the screen, there was no-one else to look at, and no distractions. Additionally, being nearly isolated in a completely dark theater aided the experience for me, as being alone is one of the natural fears of most people, and at times myself included.
I am not going to tell you how great this film is, I think that anyone interested should go out and see it. I will not tell people that it is the greatest horror film ever, or even in years. I will say that it is my opinion that this is the best film in its sub-genre in a long, long time! There are a number of people, reviewers, columnists, bloggers and Board Posters who will tell you anything you want to know about it, spoilers included. I say that if you want to disable your ability to enjoy a really good, tension building and at moments scary movie, then read the blogs, articles and reviews, etc. etc. If you want to enjoy the film, then forget what you've heard, ignore what people are telling you, go to the theater, sit down and suspend your disbelief for 86 minutes, if you do that, you'll enjoy it.
Like I said, this is not a review, it's more an opinion. If you want to know what I think of the film, I leave you with these words: "Fuckin Wow!"