There are a lot of reviews of Paranormal Activity out there saying that one should approach this movie with an open mind, not to be too influenced by the hype or set your expectations too high. Luckily for me, I didn’t know anything about this movie when I started watching it. I was simply looking to be entertained for a while. Only after watching the film, I went digging to find out a bit more about Paranormal Activity. The hype, I must admit, is very confusing…
The short version – don’t watch this film. It’s a waste of time and quite frankly I’ve had softdrinks that were scarier and more engaging than the 86 minutes that this film ran for. If, on the other hand, you do watch Paranormal Activity and manage to be entertained, even marginally, please seek professional help, you’re in danger of being an idiot.
Paranormal Activity also proves just how far the bar has dropped when it comes to what the general public considers entertainment. This is movie making for the reality TV generation, the kids who assign comic value to bodily functions.
The basic premise is that a young couple is haunted by a demon in their home. The demon seems to be specifically interested in Katie and we’re told that it will follow her regardless of where she moves to. Katie’s boyfriend Micah buys a camera in order to document any paranormal activity that may transpire. The camera is set up in their bedroom by night and Micah carries it with him by day.
To put it bluntly – the characters in this film are idiots. They’ll make you want to bash your head against a wall just to make them stop talking. They’re one dimensional, illogical and neither of them seem to have any semblance of a life, they don’t work or study (even though this is the story dished out at the start of the film). There were a number of times I wished that I could inflict physical pain on Micah – the low IQ, chauvinistic male lead in the film. He is contradictory, childish and fails to endear himself to anyone, his girlfriend Katie included .
Katie is whiny, equally annoying and generally phony. It becomes very obvious why the characters only have one friend in the film. We’re subjected to their everyday life and this life doesn’t contain a sense of humour or a single intelligent conversation.
Part of the problem with having such annoying characters is that I had no sympathy for what happened to them. I found myself wishing that the demon or even a neighbour would appear and kill at least one of them to numb the pain of their dialogue.
There is none. The characters mill about aimlessly waiting for the demon to do something. The demon slams a door at night. The characters continue to over-act their roles as idiots. Repeat. Cut to night shot. Slam door. Cut to day and trite conversation. Repeat ad nauseum.
The demon was the biggest disappointment in the film – like I said it should have done everyone a favour and killed the lead characters within the first 10 minutes. Personally, I think that the reason it couldn’t attack by day was because of the protective force field created by meaningless dialogue and bad acting. The force is strong here. Once the suckers were asleep, it was time to scare the hell out of everyone. And how do you do that I hear you ask? Why you slam a door of course. In the first 80% of the film the demon seems to be channelling a doorman as all it does it slam doors and occasionally stomp its feet.
I think that even if my life depended on it, the only way to watch this movie is to start at about 80% in and take it from there. Sitting through the whole film induces so much boredom and subsequent cinematic resentment that any marginally scary scenes are lost on you since your brain has been bludgeoned by boredom for the past 80 minutes by inane dialogue, idiotic characters, yawn inducing ‘plot development’ and genuinely stupid door slamming.
As the only person in our group who managed to sit through the whole film (everyone else got bored and left) I’m genuinely angry. I want my 90 minutes back along with the brain cells that died while watching this tripe. I’m not a violent person by nature, but I would really like to deck the cast, the director and anyone touting this as a film, let alone a good one. Yes you imdb.com.
I think that if I find the time, I’d like to edit this down to about 10 minutes. I think that this is about how much action there is to use, including dramatic pauses and suspense inducing long shots. Maybe I’ll post it to YouTube, I’ll let you know.