Paranormal Activity ended up being one of the most talked about smaller films towards the end of last year. It was the little film that could, made for basically nothing it grossed millions at the box office and got a wide release. The film was being called one of the scariest films ever made, and needless to say it did not live up to that for me. But my issues do not only stem that I was not scared (rarely do films scare me these days) but I found this was a really badly made film.
Paranormal Activity had a good idea behind it, there is a couple who have moved in together and the woman since she was younger has had strange experiences with the paranormal and it has started again. Determined to get to the bottom of it, her boyfriend buys a video camera and they plan to tape every day in the hopes of picking up something on camera.
Now that does sound like a good idea, a creepy premise, adding realism by using a hand held camera Blair Witch style. Well good idea, bad execution I am afraid. I found the two characters to be extremely unlikable and very irritating and annoying. In a film like this I want the characters to be people I like, people I can relate to. I really did not get that at all and I wanted to really just grab a baseball bat and smash them one! Not only were they irritating, they were extremely stupid as well. Sure there are things that were done to serve the plot but it made no sense and it came off stupid and annoying. I am sure they could have written something better, no much potential down the drain.
The acting was hard to watch at times, it made me laugh at times I really shouldn’t have been laughing. No offense to the actors, I am sure they tried their best. But it came off so bad at times and the more intense it was supposed to get the worse the acting got. Some of the things that happened were supposed to be scary, but again I laughed so hard, it was really that stupid. Now this review is going to go into *SPOILER* territory so you have been warned. There was a scene where the boyfriend is in the bedroom and the girlfriend is screaming, he goes to help her but he runs back to grab the camera. Now I understand without the camera we can’t see whats going on but really? She could be in danger but apparently its more important that it be filmed … stupid, stupid, stupid. It wouldn’t have hurt this film to have had hidden cameras around the place and have the hand held stuff doing other things. Then there are the things that are meant to scare, a door slightly moving, um no not scary. The girlfriend apparently being possessed and spending hours at night watching the boyfriend sleep, um no. I laughed so hard watching it, it looked really silly! I can see some people might be freaked out, but sorry it didn’t work for me. Power footprints, silly! A Ouija board working on its own and then catching fire, man that was the dumbest and most hilarious part of the film! It did not work and it looked so stupid and fake (again hard to do on a small budget), and even worse the boyfriend was told not to do it, so what does he do? Find an Ouija board! Back to the stupidity of this film, the boyfriend! He is an idiot who does not listen and basically because of him the shit hits the fan. Why did the girlfriend put up with such a dick??
The psychic they call recommends they call this demon expert immediately, and that is what they should have done. But no, the boyfriend says no and it isn’t until this demon thing has taken over that they call him and he isn’t available, yes of course he isn’t. All this stuff is introduced and it goes no where. This film has three different versions and I watched the theatrical cut, the ending of the original version was changed at the suggestion of Steven Spielberg apparently. The ending in the theatrical cut just made this already terrible and stupid film even worse. It did not fit in with anything going on and obviously left open for a part 2. The original ending which I watched worked better and fit in with the film, and it was probably one of the only decent things the film did. I didn’t see the third ending but I read what happens and even that seemed better then the theatrical one.
I can’t recommend this film at all, it is really terrible I’m afraid. One of the worst films to come out of 2009 yet it managed to be one of the most hilarious and very unintentionally.