Review: (3.00 / 5) Paranormal Activity is a low-budget film written, produced, and directed by Oren Peli. I guess by doing everything himself it helped keep the costs low; he didn’t spare much on actors either, hiring a whopping five! Paranormal Activity is the first in a series of seven. The total budget for the first movie was $15,000, and the actors were rumored to have been paid $500 each for their work. I hope they negotiated a raise based off the profits because the film grossed nearly $200 million worldwide.
I’d heard good things about the film, and with series of seven, I expected to have the shit scared out of me. Perhaps I’m just a big boy now—no pun intended—because the fear factor for me never came to fruition. The entire movie took place pretty much in three rooms. For the first 80 minutes, the film repeated itself starting in the kitchen for breakfast, the living room for the day, and then at night in the bedroom where the hauntings took place.
I think one of the failures in the film is that Peli signaled when the activity would happen. The rumblings each night prevented me from getting scared. Every time the bass kicked in, I knew what was coming, and I scanned the room for signs of the demon. One night it was knocking, the next foot steps, then door slams, and finally air moving across the room. One evening Katie was pulled out of bed and dragged out of the room.
The final act was a give away. Micah discovered a website of a girl whose life pretty much mirrored Katie’s. The site stated that the girl had become possessed and eventually died. I expected the same to happen to Katie. In fact, I knew the film was 90 minutes, so when there was ten minutes left, I looked for the grand finale. I expected to see Katie become possessed, and figured I’d see a close-up of her face in the camera.
As expected, the final scene showed Katie standing over Micah while he slept. After two hours, she turned and walked out of the room, into the hall, and disappeared into the darkness. Suddenly there was a loud scream and the bedroom door slammed shut. Micah jumped out of bed, opened the door and ran to help his girlfriend. You could hear him yelling that he’s on his way to help, and then everything goes quiet. After a few seconds, we hear footsteps, and then a body is hurled across the room and into the camera. You know its Micah because Katie is standing at the doorway with what appears to be blood on her shirt. Her hair is covering her face as she walks to the camera, sits next to the body, and then what I was waiting for, her possessed face looks directly into the camera lens and the movie ends.
Katie was the better of the two actors, then again we rarely saw Micah because he was always behind the camera. The other two actors made brief appearances here and there, and I have no clue when they showed Ashley. I fail to see why the movie had so much success. Based on this film, I have NO DESIRE to watch and of the sequels.