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Review of Paranormal Activity

I had been waiting for this movie since first seeing it advertised many weeks ago. I was disappointed with its initial limited release, and was gratified to see it was popular enough to be released nationwide a week later. The film was originally released in 2007 at the Scream Film Festival.

The marketing strategy included showing audience reaction to the movie with scenes of people screaming and crying while watching the film. Many people on Facebook commented on how frightened they were after seeing the movie. My daughter works with a couple who had to sleep with their lights on all night afterwards.

Filmed in a documentary style similar to that used in “The Blair Witch Project,” this is presented as a film made by a couple living with paranormal activity in San Diego, California. Katie and Micah are a funny and loving couple, and we immediately like them and enjoy their witty interaction.

Micah and Katie have been hearing odd sounds such as voices, growls, scratching sounds, loud thuds, and footsteps in their attractive home. Micah has purchased a video camera and wants to record everything. Katie is not at all receptive to this idea, and has made an appointment with a psychic, Dr. Fredrichs, who is to arrive the following day.

It comes out as Micah records their lives over the next few weeks, that Katie has had similar experiences before in her life. The psychic determines that the entity is attached to Katie, and not the house. He further states that it is not a ghost, but a demon, and he is not able to help them. He recommends a demonologist.

Micah is still skeptical, and makes fun of the psychic. He is reluctant to bring a demonologist into the picture, and asks Katie to wait a while before contacting him.

He continues to tape their daily lives, and also records each night as they sleep. The activity continues to grow and become more frightening. Watching all the creepy events that occur in their room and the adjoining hallway make one wonder what might be happening in our own bedrooms as we lie sleeping and vulnerable!

Micah wants to purchase an Ouija board, but Katie puts her foot down. She does not want to open a gate that can’t be closed.

Micah promises that he won’t purchase a board, but “borrows” one from a friend. He also attempts to antagonize and challenge the entity. Katie is very angry with Micah for doing this, and as events unroll, she has great reason to be.

While the couple is out one evening, the camera which Micah has left on, records the planchette moving all over the board, before a small fire erupts on the board leaving an odd design imprinted.

Micah puts powder on the floor in at attempt to see if footprints are left while they sleep. Of course, “something” leaves odd prints all around the hallway, ending right by their bed. The prints out in the hallway lead to a closet with the attic door inside. The attic door is askew. Micah climbs up, and finds a partially burned picture of Katie as a young girl (all of her things had been destroyed in a house fire years previously).

One night, the camera records Katie getting out of bed and just standing by it for hours. This scares Katie considerably, as she has no memory of this at all.

Katie attempts to contact the demonologist, but he is out of the country. She calls for Dr. Fredrichs again, but his second visit is useless.

At one point, Kate is pulled out of bed and dragged down the hallway by an invisible force. Micah rescues her, but she is left with a large bite mark on her back.

The couple finally decides to stay in a motel. Micah packs the car, and goes back for Katie. She is holding a crucifix gripped so tightly in her fist, that her palm is dripping blood.

Katie calmly tells Micah that she doesn’t want to leave anymore. She tells him that they need to stay, and to trust her. Her behavior is very odd at this point.

Katie awakens in the middle of the night, climbs out of bed to walk around and stare at Micah as he sleeps, for several hours. She then walks out of the room. We hear an awful screaming which awakens Micah, who runs out of the room to help her, without his camera for once.

I don’t want to spoil the ending for you, but I was not happy with it. I thought the movie was darned scary up to the last minute of the film. Amazing how watching Katie standing next to the bed watching Micah sleep could be more frightening than seeing Freddy, Michael Myers, or Jason Vorhees slicing and dicing up his victims, but it definitely was exceedingly creepy!

Evidently there were several different versions of the ending released initially. The one released nationwide was recommended by Stephen Spielberg, who believed the film to be haunted. He said his bedroom doors locked by themselves, and he had to call a locksmith to get out.

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranormal_Activity_(film)



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