If indeed you have not heard of the buzz surrounding the newest Horror (particularly fresh after the release of ‘The fourth Kind’) to latch on to this season’s newest phenomenon, paranormal activity, this very may well be to your undoubted advantage. Originally shown to audiences in October 2007 at the USA’s Screamfest Film Festival, it eventually came out on extremely limited release in September 2009! Extroadinarily making over $100 million by the end of its 4 week theatre tenure, truely astonishing for a film with a budget of $11,000.
So now officially the most profitable Independent picture in cinema history, for people who ar eunaware of the plot and its workings, it works as a sort of Docu-Film, shot solely by the two unknown protagonists Micah and Katie (which is also their real names) who suspect (from Katie’s side) evidence of paranormal activity in their house. As Katie becomes more aware of the ‘presence’ boyfriend Micah decides to purchase a camera to set up for night-time shooting in the bedroom to see if theres any evidence of disturbance to them or their house in order to reach some sort of conclusion. As the nights go by the activity gets more and more auspicious and harmful, with earthquake-esque house tremors to…well it would be ruining the experience for you if I declaired (view trailor for more).
The effectiveness of this film comes from its anonymity, rather like entity chiller ‘The fourth Kind’ the use ‘actual evidence’ and ‘real footage’ compiled with a lack of scoring or hollywood technique (blood, guts and teenage screaming) the use of time, space and just two characters (only four appear in the total) immerse’s the viewer into the experience, the growing intensity and experiences that occur as it progresses become genuinely stomach churning, with the crowd behind me gasping and squeeling as if this was there first horror experience!
At the request of Steven Spielberg the theatrical ending alters drastically form the initial test cut, although I believe this to be to its advantage, with the final 10 minutes nothing short of terrifying (I defy anyone to come forth and declaire they were not in some way distressed from the final period of the film) which culminates in making this undoubtedly one of the scariest horrors of all time. It has to be up there with any of the greats (Halloween, Blair Witch, Alien, Scream?) simply for its believability, its eerie reality that this is an extremely plausible film that could happen to any ordinary couple, which makes it one of the most effective films of 2009. Although this is unquesitonably not one for the faint hearted.