"Paranormal Activity": Girl, Don't Go in There!

I just got back from a midnight screening (well, actually, 12:25 a.m.) of Paranormal Activity, which has already achieved some kind of mythological status even though it's barely been released. (It was made for $15,000 and fought a long battle to get bought and distributed—a detailed account of the movie's journey is recapped in a fascinating episode of KCRW's The Business, one of the only podcasts I listen to.)

Avoid the trailer at all costs because it's full of spoilers, and the less you know going in the better. You need a brief summary? Sure. Because a woman claims that her house is haunted, she and her boyfriend set up a video camera in their bedroom to see what happens when they're asleep. The audience is supposedly seeing actual footage of what occurred over a two-week period in 2006.

The only other thing you need to know is that Christopher M., Jake, Will, and I were four grown men who had the shit scared out of us. Filmmaker Oren Peli has managed to fashion an old-fashioned fright flick that's shockingly (and refreshingly) free of gore and torture porn. The film may be slowly paced—but what better way to jangle your nerves, get under your skin, creep you out, and make you fear going to sleep at night?

No, as a film, I don't think it's the Second Coming or anything (Them and [REC], which I saw recently, tower over it), but, at least for a night, Paranormal Activity will fuck your shit up.


For those of you who need a deeper reading, the plot of Paranormal Activity could be seen as a metaphor for male-female relationships. You see, it seems that a demon is after our heroine's soul. One could argue that the film is about how women show their demonic side only after men have fallen in love with them and committed to them; Christopher thinks it could also be about how it's the men who bring out the worst parts in the female species. Ah, another look at the battle of the sexes, and where you land could very well say a lot about you.


  1. Oh yes, my friends are watching that at the Sitges film fest, I hope it gets released in my neck of the woods. I do like a good scare!

  2. Oh dear, apparently the verdict was 'rubbish'. Someone wrote 'Paranormal Tranquility' over the promo poster.....