Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Oren Peli: Paranormal Activity

Time for a movie review again. :-)

Spoiler alert below.

I went to see a movie yesterday that isn't in theaters yet ... not here, I mean. It'll open on December 4th. This was a preview screening hosted by the distributor, they'd hired one of the small screens at Colosseum. I'd gotten hold of a couple of free tickets, so I invited Anne Ida to go with me. Neither of us knew much about the movie beforehand; Anne Ida I think knew hardly anything :-) and I'd just heard that it's an extremely low-budget horror movie that's being talked about a lot and earning a shitload of money. I didn't know anything about the story or the actors and so on. But when it sounds kind of interesting and it's free, I personally don't worry much about the plot details.

Which are that there are really only two characters in the movie ... there are two more who are each in the movie for a few minutes, but basically we follow two characters, Micah and Katie. They're a couple who have been together for three years and live in what looks like a pretty new house in San Diego. There are weird things going on in the house ... but it isn't haunted, because whatever it is, it's not attached to the house, but to Katie. Strange things have been happening around her since she was eight, but recently they've gotten worse and it's starting to freak her out. As the movie opens, Micah has bought a camera with the intention of filming their everyday life, hoping to catch these paranormal activities on tape. He sets the camera up in their bedroom at night, etc. (But don't hope for anything too exciting; she makes him turn it off whenever they're going to do anything that's 'illegal in Kentucky'. ;-) He's something of a skeptic, he's not at all sure about what's happening, and he's definitely not convinced that it's dangerous. But as events progress, his opinions change ... >:-)

So this is basically The Blair Witch Project, except in someone's house and not in the big black woods. The camera captures lots of weirdness, they film each other at various times and the tape is also left running when they're out, on one memorable occasion. The situation escalates and gets progressively worse and scary things happen. Until ... :-o

Was it any good? Yeah, it's pretty good. The actors are good, I really bought this as a potential home video thing. I like the fact that they show us so little, and let us mostly just infer the scariness. What's mainly intended to scare the audience is the couple's reaction to what's going on. It works up to a point. Of course there's the typical silliness of thanking Micah and Katie's families in the opening credits, for allowing this footage to be used, etc ... which obviously nobody buys. I mean, come on. But if you can suspend your disbelief for about one hundred minutes, this is good entertainment. Well scripted, a good plot with talented actors. Don't expect too much, though - if you check out the movie on IMDb, you'll see lots of people saying that 'you won't sleep after seeing this', etc. Meh. If you're very high strung and overly nervous, maybe. I slept very well. ;-) But I did jump in my seat a couple of times, I'll admit that ... although it must also be said that those were the times when the movie practically begged me to do so. :-) *** I though the actors were convincing, and the plot was good, but I don't think any normally equipped adult will believe for a second that this is actually put together of footage left by a guy who died at home in mysterious circumstances after his girlfriend vanished without a trace. *** Oh, oops ... >:-)

The audience was filmed during this screening, so maybe you'll see a glimpse of us in the Norwegian trailer. Wahey.

Here's the official US trailer:

If you like psychological horror without blood and gore, then check out this movie, definitely. But don't expect to be scared awake all night. It's pretty good, but it's not that good. :-)

In theaters here in Norway on December 4th.


Paz said...

what were they doing thats illegal in Kentucky,transporting ice cream cones in their pockets, throwing eggs at a public speaker,dying one duckling blue and offering it for sale without more than six for sale at once, fishing with a bow and arrow, she bought a hat without her husbands consent, receiving anal sex???

Leisha Camden said...

We don't know what they did, because they turned the camera off, dagnabbit.

Is it really only illegal to receive anal sex, and legal to be on the performing end? I call foul!!

Paz said...

bet it was smuggling ice cream cones the sick f#ckers
I checked a few sites and all say that it is illegal to receive, which brings a whole new meaning to the saying "it is better to give than receive"

Leisha Camden said...


Paz said...

worst thing is that your going to hear that expression about giving and receiving over the Xmas and you are going to think of anal sex in Kentucky

Leisha Camden said...

Yes, it's one of those mental virus thingys. But at least I'll have the comfort of knowing that you'll be thinking the same thing. >:-)