Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Paranormal Activity


Paranormal Activity is an independent horror film so good that, as these things go, soon critics will be beating one over the head in a race to see who doesn't like it. That always happens. A small film comes along, becomes all the rage, and there's always a segment of the population that will sneer.

Bah. This is a scary film. It's a small, intimate, often hand-held movie with no more than four characters and one set. Sound familiar? Go ahead: comparisons to The Blair Witch Project are inevitable. That was a scary little film that used the conceit of characters with handicams to tell a story on digital video, and here is another one.

But it is scary. The story, of a young couple who have started videorecording their lives because the girl is hearing strange noises at night, starts out light and gradually gets more tense and dark. I've never seen such effective use of the date and time stamp on a video image, nor such perfect use of understated special effects. I don't want to spoil anything. Go see it and then spend your next evening listening for footsteps in the hallway.

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