Day 19 (Alex): Paranormal Activity

Day 19 brings us to a suggestion by Jason Tindol, Paranormal Activity. 

Paranormal Activity ushered in a renaissance of sorts, bringing found footage films back to popularity. Now, I'm not always a fan of found footage films. Sometimes they hit the mark, like Exists did on my Day 14 review. And since this found footage film concerns itself with a haunting, which is a particular horror sub-genre I enjoy, it hit the mark for me as well. With a single location, and a simple story, found footage films can be a great first film for directors, so I wasn't surprised to see this was director Oren Peli's first feature. 

Released in 2007, Parnormal Activity follows the lives of a day trader (Micah) and his live-in girlfriend (Katie) as they move into an upper middle-class suburban home. It's interesting to think this happened a year prior to the stock crash the following year. Wondering if there is any correlation now. Hmm.....

Anyway, moving on. After Katie complains of episodes she claims is caused by a haunting, Micah purchases a "big camera" to chronicle said "haunting". Over the course of the film, we watch as their actions push the force behind this haunting to a near-dangerous level. 

The story is fairly well-paced, and the acting isn't half-bad. I really enjoyed watching this late at night, with the lights off, and immersing myself into the film. The sound design is remarkable on this film, and truly the best way to experience it is in the dark, with the volume cranked up. And alone or with your significant other. 

The downsides to this film is the reliance on the ultimate reveal, so I'm not sure if it will hold up on repeat viewings. For that reason, if you've not seen this yet, and plan to, follow my instructions about the lights and the sound. Another problem I have is really directed toward found footage films in general. Convenient excuses for lazy camera work, and lack of story development. I didn't see that to be too much of a problem here, and I believe Peli did a fantastic job on that front. 

Not everyone will agree with me, and that's okay. I really enjoyed it, and give it a solid 6 bits out of 8. Thanks for the recommendation, Jason!