Paranormal Activity

October 17, 2009 - The most-hyped horror film since The Blair Witch Project turns out to be all hype and no horror. This low-budget movie features a cast of relative unknowns, primarily hand-held camera work and characters who really should have known better.

Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat play a young couple conveniently named Katie and Micah who live in a well-furnished three bedroom house in San Diego. We learn that Micah is a day trader. He must be doing well because college student Katie apparently does not contribute to the household budget. We also learn that Katie detects an evil presence in the house. Micah is skeptical and buys a pretty nice video camera to document any kind of paranormal activity.

After a few days of this, Katie calls on a psychic to come check things out. He comes for a visit and determines that it's not a friendly ghost that's haunting the house. Rather it's a demon which seems to follow Katie wherever she goes. The psychic refers the couple to a demonologist. Katie wants to call him right away, but Micah would rather keep playing with the video camera to see what the demon does next.

Overall review: * The story of Paranormal Activity is a good one. Writer/director Oren Peli made the movie on a shoestring budget. Then, a word-of-mouth/Internet marketing campaign made it a multi-million dollar hit. Unfortunately, the story Paranormal Activity tells on the screen is nowhere near as good. Featherston is fine and Sloat does OK (we hear him more than we see him because he's usually behind the camera). But, many of the film's 86 minutes are taken up by watching Katie and Micah sleep as the camera rolls and the audience waits for something to happen. Things happen, but they're mostly not very scary. In my opinion, Paranormal Activity is primarily set-up with very little pay-off.