Volume 47, Number 5 - October 19, 2009

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Monique Dos Anjos
Monique Dos Anjos

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Paranormal Activity Lacks Suspense

By Monique Dos Anjos

 In “Paranormal Activity”, nothing could be further from fact than this mockumentary based on a couple experiencing mysterious happenings in their home. Rule number one for couples: find out if your significant other has a history with demons in his or her family before you decide to commit.

In Oren Peli’s “Paranormal Activity”, it might remind you of a certain film done in 1999 filmed in black and white with a shaky camera. Maybe you’ve heard of it: “The Blair Witch Project.” Although it was one of Peli’s influences for the film, the location in which it was shot was originally his own home.

“After people watch “The Blair Witch Project” people said, ‘I’m never going camping again.’ Peli said. “But if you set up the setting for all the horrific things in someone’s bedroom then that’s what you’re going to be thinking about when you’re lying in bed trying to fall asleep.”

With many moments that proved brief scare tactics and screams from easy moviegoers, the film looked like it was made in a week, because it was.

Trust me when I say that this movie is nothing you have not seen before. Never before have I seen so much hype about a movie, so much so that the trailers tell the people to request it in their area if it’s not yet playing. The “word-of-mouth” promotions from Paramount Pictures are genius.  Peli’s budget for this film was less than $15,000 and the domestic gross income is $9.1 million, so far.

A couple starts to experience haunted behavior in their house due to a demon that has been following the girlfriend since she was eight years old.

 “Paranormal Activity” only opened in select cities unless it was demanded elsewhere. The film is “supposed” to be released on Nov. 5, but at the rate of high demand, most likely everyone that would have wanted to watch it will have seen it by then.

The suspense is too stretched out and the plot is very obvious. The couple, played by actors Micah Sloat and Katie Featherston, was given no script.

“For this kind of a movie to work when it’s supposedly a documentary, the most important things to do is to create performances that are very natural so it doesn’t look like the actors are reading lines or memorizing lines,” Peli said.

Go when there is a packed theater or go with a group of friends. When the hype dies down it  won’t be that much fun because there is no surprise. The movie is enjoyable, but still, watch it soon if you have any interest in watching it at all.

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