Two years after its filming, the mockumentary Paranormal Activity has incited a storm of buzz that nearly rivals its stylistic predecessor The Blair Witch Project. Filmed on a low, low budget of about $11K, Paranormal Activity is the simple tale of a San Diego couple who are experiencing a haunting. The film uses no special effects, no gore, so it is up to the principle actors and some off-screen noises to try and sell the story to its audience.
Clearly, by the wealth of positive response this worthless, 90+ minute heap of shit has received, I am living in a world where most of the population has either lost its mind, or become compromised somehow...might be aliens, might be a shadow government, might be cats. I don't know. Normally this line of thought leads only to confrontations, but never in my life have I been so convinced of some sort of mass media conspiracy to overhype such a shoddy and pedestrian film.
Let's be completely honest. Take one of the horrible re-enactment scenes from any of those full-of-shit 'paranormal', 'reality TV' shows (like Paranormal State). Change the scene to first person with a camera, stage a single house, and then throw every generic ghost movie cliche possible at the audience. The floor is creaking upstairs. A demonic whisper can be heard. A door moves on its own. A ouija board moves by itself! Something leaves baby powder on the floor in weird patterns with footprints. A trap door to the attic is suddenly open. Sheets move on a bed. OH NOES! MOTHER FUCKING GHOSTS & DEMONS R SO LIKE SCARY. Alongside these 'hauntings', the relationship of Katie and Micah begins to dissolve, since we are subject to the usual genderization politics: the guy wants to solve the problem, using technology. The girl just blindly accepts all that is happening, she's the smart one, the believer! But she's also possessed! The two attempt to present a realistic series of conversations and events, but who cares?
I sincerely hope this mockumentary style dies in a fire, and soon. The Blair Witch Project was alright, a little strange and morbid. [*REC] used the technique to create a believable, if average, zombie film. Cloverfield at least had a giant monster trampling a city, which tickled me...somwhere...even if the movie kind of sucked. Paranormal Activity offers NOTHING, and the ending is dumb as a stump.
I do not care if someone is 16 years old. Or 30. Or 60. Or born YESTERDAY. There is nothing even remotely frightening about any part of this film. The cliches have been filmed thousands of times before, and in almost all cases, more effectively. The interpersonal conflicts feel forced, like the director is trying to provide some actual substance alongside the extremely boring supernatural elements. I didn't care whatsoever for either of these pretty young people who live in a nice home and expect me to believe they have a problem.
As someone who converses with demons and ghosts on a fairly regular basis (oh just trust me, believe me, I am telling the truth), I can assure you that:
1. They have already graduated from this life.
2. They could not care less about you and your problems.
3. They think you are extremely stupid.
4. They would never harm or kill you, because they have no desire to share their afterlives with you.
One point for a Monty Python reference and a few seconds of death metal.
Verdict: Epic Fail [1/10]