Paranormal Activity   April 25th, 2010

Originally Written 10/22/09

I saw Paranormal Activity tonight. I had mixed feelings about the film, but it was interesting to watch and discuss afterwards at dinner.

What the film gets right, it does quite well at. It was effective at being understated and not needing to explain too much for the most part. The nighttime shots started out slow and built the tension very effectively and there were several scenes that were quite creepy and unsettling.

But there were some threads that seemed too overstated, both in trying to show and trying to explain too much. A scene with a ouija board was too deliberate and kind of over the top at the end. And while the movie built the tension well, there were some parts in the middle act that dragged on too much and took away that energy.

The camera-POV style of shooting, like Blair Witch or Cloverfield was pretty good, but at the same time the characters didn’t totally work for me, especially the annoying boyfriend. Paul and I both wanted to slap him but we also came to independent questions as to whether or not there was some subtext on relationships, with the hapless woman and the controlling alpha male. I have to think some of that was deliberate, which made for an interesting layer to the horror story.

The movie was a mixed bag and it didn’t totally work for me, but it was worth checking out. It’d be a good rental if you like this kind of film.

This entry was posted on Sunday, April 25th, 2010 at 5:13 pm and is filed under Movies and TV. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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