I admit it. I’m behind the times when it comes to seeing Paranormal Activity, a movie that the whole world seems to be raving about. A flick called the scariest movie ever. After many months, my husband spotted the Paranormal Activity DVD and bought it as a gift for me. I was very excited and couldn’t wait to see the film that so many people are talking about both online and off. Unfortunately, the movie didn’t prove to be the scariest movie ever. To that end, I was disappointed.
I was not disappointed with the plot of Paranormal Activity however, in fact I was impressed. It seems that the writers of the film really did their homework as far as paranormal activity and the acceleration of activity goes. The scene where Katie’s keys are on the floor is a bit too obvious, but true to life. I once spoke with an investigator that found his keys missing in an active home only to discover them days later under the burner of his stove top. I’ve seen strange objects show up in pots and pans, in a totally separate room from where they were placed, and I’ve also found unusual objects on sites where nothing can explain where the objects came from or how they got there.
In the movie Paranormal Activity, the activity gradually accelerates as the entity is provoked, and the common occurrence of negative activity in the wee hours of the morning was well depicted, especially between 1 am and 3 am. Half way through them movie I did wonder to myself why isn’t anything happening during the daytime, but I was not disappointed. Eventually activity started to occur even when the couple was awake.
The movie was also quite truthful when it came to the depiction of the isolation that people experience when going through activity. The arrival of the psychic was also a truthful depiction; sometimes people will call on a group, a team, a psychic or an individual that doesn’t specialize in demonic haunts and the people experiencing activity will be referred to someone else more familiar with the type of ongoing activity in a location. What was also realistically depicted is how some groups, individuals, psychics, and researchers of the paranormal are viewed by others; Micah often pokes fun at, mocks, and ridicules those who are part of the paranormal field. This depiction, unfortunately, is all to true, and even with societal interests high in the paranormal field there are still many members of society that do not take paranormal researchers and investigators seriously.
I was surprised to see a psychic depicted that enters Katie and Micah’s home and immediately starts asking questions about the place instead of going through the place to see what he can feel or sense first. It would seem more practical to try to pick up on psychic sensations first and to follow up with questions later so that preconceived ideas are not developed about the paranormal events going on at the location.
I like the fact that the movie points out the idiocy of provoking spirits and demonic forces. It is irritating to see people provoke spirits and then to be later surprised when they are attacked by unseen forces. The movie clearly conveys the dangers in doing so. I also like the fact that the movie illustrated how mundane occurrences can seem paranormal; the scene early on in the movie when the icemaker makes a strange noise and causes Katie and Micah to investigate where the noise is coming from is realistic. Sometimes strange sounds and events just are not paranormal at all.
Some points in the movie were all too predictable. When Micah is waiving around the knife in the kitchen scene early on in the movie it screamed that the knife would eventually play a role in the movie later on. It was a moment that was way overdone – Micah whipped the knife around all about like he was a magician waving his wand over his next big magic trick.
The scenes involving transient possession in Paranormal Activity were also quite realistic, and it is a sad but true fact that many people put off calling in professional assistance until activity has accelerated or it is just too late. It is clear that somebody did their homework and the scenes and depictions were well-researched.
Paranormal activity included a lot of the common signs of supernatural happenings and overall I was impressed by the realism. Water turning on and off by itself, unexplained scratching, banging, doors slamming, footsteps, appliances turning on and off by themselves, people experiencing nightmares, people experiencing lost time and memory losses, unusual personality changes and behaviors, attacks from unseen forces, shadows, and even some of the investigative techniques used were depicted. What’s more, Micah’s use of the Ouija board was also a well depicted scene; despite the dangerous associated with the board’s use it is often the first thing that many people think of when activity starts in hopes that opening up a pathway of communication might somehow curb the activity going on. The movie also aptly depicts how sometimes paranormal events are haphazardly approached without regard to the consequences thereof.
I preferred the theatrical ending over the alternate ending of the film. What I found strange about the DVD is that the credits were nearly invisible at the end of the movie, the listing for playing just the alternate ending was hard to get to for some reason and I had to force my way to the scene by skipping through all the scenes in the entire movie, and then some strange listing of words or something kept rolling at the end of the DVD. It was too fast to read and looked like repetitive binary numbers: not really sure what that was all about!
Paranormal activity is definitely not the scariest movie I have ever seen and maybe it is because I am desensitized to it. Of course, I then have to ask myself the question, “what is the scariest movie I’ve ever seen?” The answer is: I haven’t seen it yet.