Paranormal Activity review

The short, alliterative review of Paranormal Activity: plotless and pointless.

The longer, non-alliterative review: The flick demonstrates how technology can allow even a low-budget movie look and sound good these days. There are even a few moments of suspense. But someone forgot to include a story in this tale of a young couple (well acted, too) plagued by a demon with poltergeist tendencies. As the pressure of the nocturnal visitations increases, the pair become increasingly stupid. Maybe it’s the lack of sleep.

The movie is filmed as a first-person shooter, the alleged ‘found reel’ concept that helped make Blair Witch such a hit, with the couple filming themselves in hope of proving the existence of the activity plaguing their two-bedroom abode. What this means is that, while initially an effective way of creating immediacy and intimacy and some measure of authenticity, much of the drama is lost as the action ramps up and disappears off-screen. It also means an increasingly unbelievable tendency for one of the pair to pick up the camera during the midst of the action, such as it is.

As for story, well, there isn’t much. The haunting is ascribed to being a completely random hit on the young woman who is powerless to fight back. No assistance is forthcoming, though the pair make feeble efforts to attain it, and seem to be unable to use their footage as leverage with either the authorities, the church or members of the demo-hunting fraternity. There are some other inane moments, one in which the demon apparently warns the pair about itself, but I won’t go on. I’d hate to spoil the surprise.

The only credits were a disclaimer shattering the movie’s illusion of this being a depiction of real events, so you can look up cast and crew at always dependable IMDB, and watch the trailer at the official site.

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