Steven Spielberg reportedly got so freaked out by some strange occurences that he associated with his DVD advance copy of “Paranormal Activity” that he carried the disc out of his home in a garbage bag like some toxic artifact. Nice. Turns out Los Angeles Times film critic Betsy Sharkey was also a bit wigged out by the new horror film. Here’s an excerpt from her review, with links added by me… — Geoff Boucher
Just for the record, the time to tell your significant other that an evil force has been stalking you since you were 8 is long before you’re engaged and have moved in together.
I’m not suggesting the whole demon/ghost/unidentified whatever is a deal breaker, but it should at least get a mention.
Consider the case of Katie (Katie Featherston) and Micah (Micah Sloat), the young couple at the terrifying center of “Paranormal Activity.” By the time Katie tells Micah about her “problem” and by the time Micah takes it seriously, that “thing that goes bump in the night” has really built up a head of steam.
Before the lights go back up, and at some point you may wonder if they ever will, there will be a very tight coil of anxiety buried deep in your gut that is very hard to get rid of. I say that even though there’s no hard research yet. But it is 3 a.m. as I’m writing this and what with all the lights, I’m guessing the local electrical grid is recording a spike.
The man to curse for all this darkness is writer-director Oren Peli, who has created a psychological thriller of such small scale and yet such heightened impact that no doubt Hitchcock, wherever he may be, is smiling. Though the story does not have the complexity of the master, the first-time director understands that it’s what you don’t see, and the way in which you don’t see it, that counts.
We’re dropped into Katie and Micah’s lives just as Micah is setting up a DIY surveillance system so that he can record any suspicious activity in the house. As he begins shooting footage and talking to Katie we realize that he’s merely going to elaborate lengths to prove that she is just imagining things…
THERE’S MORE, READ THE REST
— Betsy Sharkey
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CREDITS: “Paranormal Activity” image from Paramount Pictures, “Blair Witch” from Artisan Entertainment.