Saturday, October 17, 2009

Paranormal Activity

Katie (Katie Featherston) and boyfriend Micah (Micah Sloat) live together in a roomy modern house while she completes her schooling and he works as a day trader. After hearing strange noises in the darkest hours before dawn, Micah sets up a camera with night vision hoping to uncover the mysterious source; Could it be prankster neighbors? Is the house haunted? The audience watches the footage; some mundane, some with creepy movement, all of which builds tension.

Katie reveals to Micah that she has experienced the disturbances before; when she was still a girl, at ages 8 and 13. It has nothing to do with the house. As the episodes escalate from annoyance to anguish, the couple lose sleep, bicker and alienate one another.

Made with a budget of $15,000, Paranormal Activity has been compared to The Blair Witch Project, which was also of the horror genre and also low budget. Both films and their box office success prove you don't need big stars or expensive special effects to induce shrieks and jumps from a willing audience. Although Paranormal Activity owes some of it's homespun approach to The Blair Witch Project, it borrows a bigger lesson from Jaws; what you don't see is way scarier.

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