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Using a simple premise of a supernatural threat targeting a young couple captured with a camera, Paranormal Activity builds a creepy atmosphere throughout as the threat gets real. You’ll want to sleep with the lights on after watching this creepy chiller.

Young couple Micah and Katie ( Micah Sloat and Katie Featherston )have been experiencing strange and unexplained phenomena in their San Diego home . The often immature Micah has decided to set up a video camera in an attempt to capture proof of a paranormal entity, though Katie is not enthused by this idea. Katie reveals that she’s had strange events akin to a haunting throughout her life when a psychic comes to visit. The psychic warns the couple not to aggravate the entity that has latched onto them and particularly. It’s not a matter of the house being haunted, it is Katie herself . With his camera and technology, Micah finds the whole idea of a haunting fun and cool. Katie , who really doesn’t see it as something thrilling, becomes increasingly more terrified as the haunting continues. To start, various household objects are misplaced and creaking doors are the extent of paranormal energy. It then becomes a lot more sinister at the days go on. The clashing of viewpoints in terms of how Micah and Katie view the strange events that befall them escalates, as Micah becomes even more interesting in finding out what is haunting them and Katie begins to fall apart emotionally. Following Micah’s blatant disregard for not bothering the haunting presence, the entity ups the ante leaving in a desperate fight to survive this malevolent intrusion. All the while, the seemingly unending threat is being captured on film by camera, often in moments the protagonists don’t see until later.

Oren Peli, who as well as being writer and director , also edited the movie,  does a superb job crafting a horror movie that’s simple but shrewdly done . It’s pretty hard to believe this was his directorial debut because of how assured his touch for suspense is What Peli gets right is the tone and gradual suspense of Paranormal Activity. He knows to to build tension without the film dragging on( it comes in at under 90 minutes) making one chilling efficient exercise in terror. Paranormal Activity deal with the presence of ghosts and haunting , yet the direction and execution of it add a veneer of reality to proceedings which in turn heightens the fear and scares it goes on to generate. And it’s also nice to see a horror movie that relied on mood and atmosphere as opposed to excessive gore. Not that I mind gore in my horror movies, I just often find myself being more disturbed by the psychological approach of dread and anticipation Although a found footage movie, Paranormal Activity has a certain level of sophistication as it doesn’t often feature spinning handheld camera. Yes there are parts of handheld camerawork, but it’s largely the times when the camera is still that the chills occur. As sets the camera up in the bedroom , we begin to observe strange events slowly but surely mainly of the nocturnal variety. We are forced to concentrate intensely to see if something subtle has occurred and whether our minds are playing tricks on us. It’s an effective trick as we get invested in the haunting and it keeps us creeped out along with the protagonists . Often we don’t see anything but the sounds and sense of dread make our minds run wild which is employed with impact in Paranormal Activity.

Special credit must go the sound design here who craft a feeling of escalating dread with every bang or loud noise. This , coupled with periods of almost unbearable silence and it’s a nerve wracking experience that awaits you. The best usage of this is one of the nocturnal sequences when we witness Katie in a seeming trance get up out of bed and stares at her sleeping boyfriend . What’s most alarming is that the camera timer shows she has been doing it for a number of hours without moving. The silence and whole atmosphere of this scene gets under your skin and is one of many that’ll have you spooked. The budget may have been low, but the chills are high in Paranormal Activity.  It’s not really original, but it’s for my money one of the better found footage movies and a downright creepy film in general.

As the two main players in the film, Micah Sloat and Katie Featherston are believable and very authentic as the couple under attack. Both feel like real people who you could know and this goes a long way in this movie. Sloat strikes the right mout of geeky curiosity and immaturity as his over eager antics make the situation at hand a lot worse than he expected. It’s Featherston who is the heart of the film; convincingly displays the deep rooted fears of a young woman seemingly haunted since she can remember. Her increasing desperation and slip into instability at the events around her is one of the driving forces of Paranormal Activity as most of it links directly to her. There are other actors in the film, but the lions share is taken up by the duo of Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat and they certainly deliver throughout.

A terrifying horror that favours psychological chills over excess gore, Paranormal Activity shows his the found footage genre can be to elicit a ruthless and efficient horror movie. Be sure to watch with someone else as terror is best in movies when shared