I heard about Paranormal Activity last month. I heard that it was terrifying. I also heard it compared to The Blair Witch Project and I did find that one a little creepy. So I was excited when there was a campaign to get Paranormal Activity released nationwide. I live in the kind of place where limited releases never go. I bought tickets for the midnight showing last night and stayed up way later than I should have so I could see a movie that might actually scare me.
The movie started with Katie and Micah (pronounced ME-ka) talking about the new expensive camera he bought. The beginning of the movie was trying to establish the relationship between Katie and Micah. They had uninteresting everyday conversations and flirtations. They also had minor arguments. It was supposed to make us believe that they had, in fact, been together for 3 years. The problem here was that the actors/characters were so aware of the camera that everything they said sounded false. They never once forgot the camera was there. This falseness was particularly noticeable with Katie's friend (not sure if she had a name) and the ghost expert.
Speaking of the ghost expert... he was bad. As an "expert," shouldn't he have been able to recognize the description of a demon over then phone? Did he really have to drive to another city to tell Katie what she already knew and that he could not help her? He tells he doesn't want to help her and give her a number of someone who might. It wasn't until this point, honestly, that anything started to happen. If I recall correctly there was once instance the night before, but this was about the time that the characters tell us that Katie has been haunted by something that has been following her since she was 8.
The remainder of the movie takes place in the bedroom and in someone's hand as they run up and down the stairs calling "who's there?" Each night, something a little bigger happens and Micah decides he wants to use a Ouiji board despite Katie's demand that he not go buy one. So you know what he did? He borrowed it... so therefore he didn't lie when he said he wouldn't buy one.
With that, let me take a moment for the characters. Micah was a douche bag. That is all I can say about him. During the part with the Ouiji board, I pictured Spencer Pratt there instead. Katie made me want to slap her. Could she not have lines other than "Please, please, please. Please? Micah, please?"
But back to the movie. After the Ouiji board, things started to pick up and the demon starts getting more physical. They try to contact the demonologist and he is (surprise, surprise) completely unavailable. They call the first guy back and he barely steps in the door before he's telling them that the demon is pissed and he has to leave right away and can't help them at all. This is the beginning of the end.
Apparently there were 3 different endings. This is the end that I saw...
Katie convinces Micah to stay the night and they go to sleep. During the night, Katie gets up in a jerking motion and stands next to Micah, watching him for a long time. Then she goes downstairs. The camera is still taping in the room and you hear Katie screaming. Micah jumps up and runs downstairs without the camera and then everything goes silent. Suddenly, Micah goes flying through the bedroom door and into the camera. Katie shows up in the doorway, blood covering her shirt and possessed by the demon. She leans down and bites, or licks maybe, Micah's dead body and then looks into the camera with a demonic face. The very last part said in text that Micah's dead body was found days later and Katie was nowhere to be seen.
*ENDING SPOILER OVER*
One major problem that I had was the camera movement. I felt carsick with all the close moving shots. I had to look away or close my eyes a lot when they were not having any paranormal activity.
Another thing I didn't like was the random things that reminded me of other horror movies. The TV turning on (Poltergeist) and the Ouiji board and cross (The Exorcist) to name a few.
Final thought: So not worth the time or money it took to see this movie. It absolutely did not live up to the hype. It was not scary. There were a few startling moments, but startling is not the same as scary. I was not so excited that I paid over $20 for 2 tickets and was up until at least 2am to see Paranormal Activity. I could have watched Paranormal State on tv for free.