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paranormal activity movie review

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"Paranormal Activity" is an ingenious little horror film, so well made it's truly scary, that arrives claiming it's the real thing. Without any form of conventional opening or closing credits, it begins by thanking "the families of Micah Sloat and Katie Featherston " and closes with one of those "current whereabouts unknown" title cards and a screen of copyright notices. This was apparently a film made without a director, a writer, a producer, grips, makeup, sound, catering or a honey wagon.

All of the footage is presented as if it had been discovered after the fact. The story device is that Micah shot it himself. There isn't a single shot that violates that presumption, although a few seem technically impossible without other hands on the camera. Those are hard to notice.

Katie is a graduate student of English. Micah is a day trader. They've been together three years, and have now moved into a house in San Diego that doesn't seem much lived in. It's well enough furnished, but everything looks new and there's no clutter. Micah greets Katie out front one day by filming her on his new video camera, which she observes looks bigger than his other one.

They've been bothered by indications of some sort of paranormal activity in an upstairs bedroom. Micah's bright idea is to film in the house, leaving the camera running as a silent sentinel while they sleep. Like any man with a new toy, he becomes obsessed with this notion -- the whole point, for him, isn't Katie's fear but his film. After one big scare, she asks him incredulously, did you actually go back to pick up your camera?

One benefit of the story device is that for long periods of time the camera is ostensibly left on with no one running it. It's on a tripod at the end of their bed while they sleep, and we see events while their eyes are closed. Some of these events are very minor, and I won't describe any of them. The fact that they happen at all is the whole point. That they seem to happen by themselves, witnessed by a static camera, makes them eerie, especially since there are some shots that seem impossible without special effects, and there's no visible evidence of f/x, looking as closely as we can.

He is frequently off camera. She is on cam for almost every shot, and of Katie Featherston's performance it's enough to say it is flawless for the purposes of this film. We're not talking Meryl Streep here, we're talking about a young woman who looks and talks absolutely like she might be an ordinary college student who has just moved in with her boyfriend. There's not a second of "acting."

Micah behaves, shall I say, just like a man. You know, the kind who will never stop and ask directions. Katie has been bothered by some sort of paranormal presence since she was a child, and now she's seriously disturbed, and Micah's response isn't sympathy but a determination to get it all down on film.

They do call in a "psychic expert" ( Mark Fredrichs ) but he's no help. He specializes in ghosts, he explains, and he knows by walking in the door that what's haunting them isn't a ghost but some sort of demonic presence. He recommends a demonologist, but alas this man is "away for a few days." That's the plot's most unrealistic detail. Having spent some time in my credulous days hanging about the Bodhi Tree bookstore in L.A., I would suggest that California is a state with more practicing demonologists than published poets.

I learn from IMDb that "Paranormal Activity" does indeed have a writer-director, Oren Peli , and other technical credits. But like " The Blair Witch Project ," with which it's routinely compared, it goes to great lengths to seem like a film found after the event. It works. It illustrates one of my favorite points, that silence and waiting can be more entertaining than frantic fast-cutting and berserk f/x. For extended periods here, nothing at all is happening, and believe me, you won't be bored.

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism.

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Paranormal activity, common sense media reviewers.

paranormal activity movie review

Indie scare fest doesn't need blood and gore to terrify.

Paranormal Activity Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

The main characters' plight is unexplained -- they

Micah isn't much of a role model, despite his brav

A simmering violence constantly threatens but rare

A young adult couple that lives together talks and

Very liberal use of "f--k" in all its variations,

The couple opens a bottle of wine at dinnertime in

Parents need to know that Paranormal Activity is a real chill-up-the-spine movie that's bound to induce nightmares in plenty of young moviegoers -- even though, as with The Blair Witch Project , the big buzz around the movie (and the prospect of testing their backbone) will likely prove irresistible to…

Positive Messages

The main characters' plight is unexplained -- they don't seem to have done anything to "deserve" what they go through. Unfortunately, they also can't agree on the methods or approaches to deal with it, and so most of their work is for naught. But they demonstrate some definite bravery in standing up to the beast.

Positive Role Models

Micah isn't much of a role model, despite his bravery in trying to face and fight the demon. He constantly disagrees and argues with Katie and often refuses to listen when she asks him for help. He tries to fight the demon in an aggressive, physical way, even though it's clear that it's not going to work. But on the plus side, Katie exhibits definite courage, strength, and good humor in the face of her harrowing problem.

Violence & Scariness

A simmering violence constantly threatens but rarely cuts loose onscreen -- there's actually very little physical violence, with only the tiniest hint of blood or gore. Micah and Katie argue often.

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.

Sex, Romance & Nudity

A young adult couple that lives together talks and jokes about sex fairly often. They both walk around the house in sleeping clothes, consisting of boxer shorts, T-shirts, and tank tops. A female guest shows off her bare midriff. The camera sometimes emphasizes Katie's ample cleavage. The couple has sex one time, but it happens off camera.

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.

Very liberal use of "f--k" in all its variations, including name-calling (directed toward the invading demon). Other words include "s--t," "ass," "hell," "damn," and "Oh my God." Micah raises his middle finger, twice, in a joking manner.

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The couple opens a bottle of wine at dinnertime in an early scene, but we don't really see them drinking it.

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Paranormal Activity is a real chill-up-the-spine movie that's bound to induce nightmares in plenty of young moviegoers -- even though, as with The Blair Witch Project , the big buzz around the movie (and the prospect of testing their backbone) will likely prove irresistible to many teens. The movie takes its cues from many classic horror films in that it only suggests the scary stuff rather than actually showing explicit gore and violence -- but in leaving much to the viewer's imagination, the effect is much, much more psychologically terrifying than any regular blood-fest. Expect frequent strong language (including multiple uses of "f--k" and "s--t") and some sex talk. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails .

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Based on 49 parent reviews

I love these

Easy one of the worst movies i've ever watched., what's the story.

In PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, Micah (Micah Sloat) brings home a deluxe video camera and starts filming himself and his girlfriend Katie (Katie Featherston) in their large San Diego house. It seems that unseen forces have been terrifying them while they sleep, and Micah hopes to gather evidence. A psychic (Michael Bayouth) warns them that the trouble is probably caused by a demon -- one specifically targeting Katie -- and that they need professional help. But Micah wants to keep filming and work the problem out by themselves. Unfortunately, the disturbances begin to grow more and more alarming.

Is It Any Good?

Made for a very low budget and with minimal actors and settings, this is an effective horror movie that's more dependent on ideas than on spectacle or gore. Like horror classics ranging from Cat People (1942) to The Haunting (1963) to The Blair Witch Project , Paranormal Activity suggests its terrors rather than explicitly showing them, which leaves far more to the imagination -- and sends more genuine chills up the spine.

The well-paced daytime scenes are comparatively relaxing as Micah and Katie try to figure out their dilemma, but the nighttime scenes offer something spookier. The couple sleeps in a static wide shot; the bed, the doorway, and part of a hallway are visible. The scary part can be a sound or an image, but it can originate from anywhere within the frame; the movie always keeps viewers off guard. Some of the characters' behavior can grate, but that's a minor quibble in an otherwise satisfying, terrifying experience.

Talk to Your Kids About ...

Families can talk about the concept of random violence in Paranormal Activity , as in the demon's seemingly meaningless attacks on Katie. What would cause someone or something to strike out without a reason? How would this make a person feel?

How scary was the movie? What scared you most, and why? How did you feel about being scared?

What would be the effect of constantly filming your life?

Movie Details

  • In theaters : September 25, 2009
  • On DVD or streaming : December 29, 2009
  • Cast : Katie Featherston , Micah Sloat , Michael Bayouth
  • Director : Oren Peli
  • Studio : Paramount Pictures
  • Genre : Horror
  • Run time : 99 minutes
  • MPAA rating : R
  • MPAA explanation : language
  • Last updated : January 3, 2024

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Scene from Paranormal Activity (2007)

  • Paranormal Activity

I t has been some time since I physically jumped at a scary movie. Horror has become a predictable genre and these days, maggoty skulls can leap out of wardrobes all they want, and we merely yawn. But in this film, all it took was one bedroom door to move 12 inches, unaided – just that, nothing else – and I felt like leaping into the arms of the person next to me. And there were ­moments when I thought I would not just need to change my trousers, but have them professionally incinerated by a biohazard disposal team.

This ingenious and often genuinely frightening film is a digital mocu-real nightmare, based on the idea of "found" video footage, comparable to The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield, lower in budget and humbler in scale than both – but arguably scarier than either.

Moreover, it elegantly solves a problem that always threatened to sink both of those films, particularly Cloverfield: how is it that the camera-person so often manages to keep the scary thing more or less in shot? Wouldn't they just drop the camera and run?

Newcomers Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat give subtly authentic ­performances as Katie and her rugged boyfriend Micah, living together in a pleasant apartment – the film's single location. As the movie begins, we see what Micah sees: his girlfriend driving up to their apartment in a cool convertible – the first and last time we will see the normal world ­outside their home. To her bemusement, Micah is filming her, and not with any old camcorder; he has bought a big professional-quality digital movie camera, complete with the fixed spotlight which in restricted light creates a harsh light-halo in the middle of the frame – the halo that in Blair Witch, back in 1999, picked out the dense foliage with disorientating clarity and also the glistening mucus and tears on Heather's gibbering face.

This isn't just a boy-gadget thing. Micah tells Katie that he intends to film their daily lives as much as possible, and more importantly, he is going to set up the camera in a corner of their bedroom, with high-quality recording equipment, in an attempt to get evidence of the nightly paranormal activity that Katie has begun to suspect. Like film of a badger's sett in some natural-history programme, we watch night-time footage of the sleeping couple with the timecode ticking over in the bottom right-hand corner. And then … very creepy things happen, subtly at first, and then not so subtly.

Most disquietingly, we watch Katie one night get up, turn, and stand by the bed, facing the sleeping Micah – asleep. Then the timecode speeds up, showing that she has eerily remained in that ­position for about an hour: sleepwalking or rather sleep-standing. The "fast-forward" effect accelerates the thousands of barely-perceptible movements we make when standing still, and so ­Katie's form wobbles and jerks. It creates something uncanny, a kind of spiritual shivering or trembling, imprinted on the video.

Having allowed us to watch these bedroom scenes directly, the film ­superimposes a second layer of anxiety by having Micah and Katie watch them later on the laptop screen, flinching and gasping just as we have done. As their lives unravel in this nightmare, we learn that Katie experienced visions as a child, and that whatever is happening has nothing to do with the house and everything to do with her personally.

Frightened and angry, Micah resents that she told him nothing of this before they moved in together, and ­despite her pleas for him to stop, he redoubles his determination to confront the ghostly invader on camera: filming is his way of staying in control of the ­situation and perhaps even his way of punishing Katie. Of course, filming does not put Micah in control: rather the reverse.

A matter-of-fact psychic expert, played with downbeat conviction by Mark Fredrichs, like a doctor making a housecall, calms their nerves for a while. But when this same man is called back in the film's final sequence, and backs nervously out of the apartment, horrified at what he can sense in the air – and that he personally is in danger – the effect is brilliantly upsetting, like a sort of nausea.

Writer-director Oren Peli has hit on such a simple idea, and such a low-cost way of making it work. How has it never been done before? Well, part of Peli's skill is making it look easy, and he has elicited tremendously believable and relaxed performances from Featherstone and Sloat. Perhaps Paranormal Activity can be read as a parable of marriage, and the impossibility of knowing another person – the ghost of their past will always return in the most intimate of relationships. Or perhaps it's simply about … well, a literal ghost. I can only say: be very uneasy.

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Paranormal Activity Reviews

paranormal activity movie review

The cast is solid, the directing is great, the set-up works, the scares are built up just right.

Full Review | Dec 14, 2023

paranormal activity movie review

Its strengths come in its subtlety, it's a roller-coaster ride that audiences buy into knowing full well that the narrative will take a backseat to being frightened with effective jump-scares.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5 | Sep 22, 2023

paranormal activity movie review

Like a rollercoaster, it’s a temporary buzz that fades as soon as the ride is over.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4 | Aug 30, 2023

paranormal activity movie review

More a fantastic advertisement for the perils of multi-storey living, than a be-respectful-of-ghosts allegory, Paranormal is still not for the faint of heart, but it has definitely lost a lot of its lustre.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5 | May 31, 2023

paranormal activity movie review

Even when you know they're coming, the scares still send a chill down your spine.

Full Review | Sep 20, 2021

paranormal activity movie review

it was awesome in the way that it was extremely, horrendously and torturously stressful... worth it.

Full Review | Sep 1, 2021

Enter the cinema expecting a clever little movie, with some neat ideas and pretty decent performances and, if you let it, Paranormal Activity will give you a pretty uncomfortable nights sleep.

Full Review | Apr 23, 2021

paranormal activity movie review

It's one thing to create a movie that functions as good narrative storytelling, but it's another to create that movie knowing exactly how an audience is going to react to stimuli.

Full Review | Dec 12, 2019

Intense, disturbing and with an ending that will leave even the most resolute disbeliever sleeping with the light on, it's as much an experience as it is a piece of entertainment.

Full Review | Original Score: 5/5 | Oct 29, 2019

paranormal activity movie review

The movie gets enormous mileage out of small, barely noticeable details-a door opening by itself, covers stirred by a breeze from nowhere, a chandelier swinging.

Full Review | Sep 18, 2019

paranormal activity movie review

Its scares are undeniably effective, but the overall product lacks a real hook to pull in the audience.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4 | Jun 6, 2019

paranormal activity movie review

[Paranormal Activity] is way more scary than Blair Witch because it takes the old conceit of things that go bump into the night, and brings it slyly into a well-to-do, middle class suburb.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5 | Apr 17, 2019

paranormal activity movie review

Paranormal Activity has some big flaws, but I find big flaws fairly forgivable in $10,000 films made by amateurs.

Full Review | Oct 30, 2018

Truly a genre re-defining moment, the found-footage phenomenon Paranormal Activity is dollar-for-dollar one of the most financially successful movies ever made.

Full Review | Oct 26, 2018

The "found-footage" format and the slowly ratcheting up of the haunting only added to the terror.

paranormal activity movie review

This is a scarily well-made scary little film, although it certainly isn't flawless... But the acting is supremely naturalistic and, for such a small-scale project, it does have an amazingly heightened effect.

Full Review | Aug 30, 2018

The terror was raw and real - all the more so because it was so understated.

Full Review | May 23, 2018

Despite the scares, the film soon becomes repetitive... simply not enough happens. That's a shame, because Paranormal Activity is at times extremely innovative.

Full Review | May 14, 2018

A movie that makes you feel this vulnerable comes along once in a long while.

Full Review | Jan 23, 2018

Though it's slow in the beginning, the ending will leave you terrified and foaming at the mouth for a sequel.

Full Review | Original Score: B | Sep 11, 2017

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The Critical Movie Critics

Movie Review: Paranormal Activity (2007)

  • MovieGoddess
  • Movie Reviews
  • 5 responses
  • --> October 22, 2009

Somebody up there likes me, and so I light a candle at the altar of the movie gods in thanks for delivering to this scare-starved horror buff a horror film worthy of the name. Written, produced, and directed by Oren Peli on a micro budget of $15,000, Paranormal Activity reinforces what The Blair Witch Project — to which it has been compared — proved, which is big budgets and knockout visual effects aren’t necessary to induce genuine terror. I can happily say this indie fright flick scared me rigid.

Fear begins in the mind, and it is in the mind where Peli works his magic. What is more frightening than the unknown? Because we human beings rely heavily on our sense of sight to function, what we cannot see — and therefore cannot know through our eyes — evokes apprehension.

So Peli puts emphasis on the use of sound effects rather than on visual effects which are used modestly here. He plays directly on our fear of unexplained sounds, those proverbial “things that go bump in the night” that jolt us from our sleep. If we can’t see or otherwise discover the source of those sounds, in the absence of that information, our minds shift into overdrive, manufacturing endless possibilities, however improbable some may be, that spin us directly into a fear state.

Like The Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield , and [Rec] , Paranormal Activity is filmed with a single handheld camera, using first person point-of-view. Operating the camera is Micah (Micah Sloat) who wants to capture on film over a period of days and nights the strange, inexplicable occurrences happening in the house he shares with his girlfriend Katie (Katie Featherston). At night, Micah attaches the camera to a tripod placed in the bedroom, the focal point of all the activity, to record what transpires while they sleep. Through the viewfinder we get a clear view of their bed and the open doorway.

Micah doesn’t take these occurrences seriously; the film experiment for him is a fascinating mystery he’d like to solve. Katie on the other hand sees the situation is no laughing matter. After viewing the first night’s footage and consulting a psychic (Mark Fredrichs) the young couple learns they are being haunted by a demonic spirit with its eye trained on Katie. The psychic advises them against contacting the spirit. But the stubborn and insensitive Micah continues filming and later tries to communicate with it through a Ouija Board. Ironically, his well-meaning actions provoke the demon and bring it into closer contact with them.

The nighttime bedroom sequences are the scariest moments in Paranormal Activity (and the most eagerly anticipated) because it is while Micah and Katie sleep that the demon wreaks havoc on their lives and in our minds. The camera lens has the effect of dividing the screen space in two with a “main stage” to the right (the bed), and an “off stage” to the left (the doorway). Initially, the action takes place off stage. It is what we hear off stage rather than what we see which frightens us because Peli gives us little to see — a swinging door, lights flicking on and off, a vague shadow moving across the door, large powder foot prints that resemble chicken feet.

The film’s pacing is pitch perfect building in intensity as each night gets progressively creepier. A feeling of powerlessness and inevitability descends on the visibly shaken Katie who begins to collapse in on herself. Featherston and Sloat don’t appear to be acting, their behaviors and dialog come across as natural and believable — they could be our next-door neighbors (but hopefully not). We care about these two because their fears are also ours.

Peli leads us inexorably toward the film’s shocking final scene which strikes like a blow to the solar plexus because we don’t see it coming. The newbie filmmaker has given us the most terrifying horror film of 2009, and one of the finest in recent years. Halleluiah!

The Critical Movie Critics

I've been a fanatical movie buff since I was a little girl, thanks to my parents who encouraged my brother and I to watch anything and everything we wanted, even the stuff deemed inappropriate for minors. I work, write, and reside in San Francisco the city where I was born and bred.

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'Movie Review: Paranormal Activity (2007)' have 5 comments

The Critical Movie Critics

October 22, 2009 @ 8:41 pm Henry

Paranormal Activity may be the most boring horror movie of 2009 not the most terrifying. Did we watch the same movie?

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The Critical Movie Critics

October 23, 2009 @ 5:37 am Laura Dee

Anyone notice it took the police like 30 minutes to respond to the ‘incident’? Now that is SCARY!!!

The Critical Movie Critics

October 30, 2009 @ 12:51 am Marc-Alexandre Duchesne

I had very high expectations (something I usually try to avoid because you end up disappointed 90% of the time) for this movie and I wasn’t disappointed at all! It’s awesome! I’ve seen over 1000 horror movies and Paranormal Activity is definitely one of the best I’ve seen (top 50)! It’s not one of the best I’ve seen only because it’s one of the scariest, it’s also one of the most realistic and it’s the movie I’ve always dreamed of! I’ve always wanted someone to make a realistic movie like The Blair Witch Project about a family or a couple filming in their house to catch ghosts and this movie has everything that I wanted! It’s very suspenseful and it has some truly effective scenes! A lot of people say that it’s boring and I really don’t get it! It’s WAY too suspenseful to be boring! I’ve been trying to understand why the people that thought that it was boring went to see it since it was released! Why does someone who get bored easily go see a movie about a couple filming in their house? While we’re at it, why does someone expect to be scared in a theater full of people? The fact that there are idiotic teens that can’t stop talking and laughing 90% of the time doesn’t help. Personally, I can’t imagine finding a movie scary with 30 persons around me. I thought the movie was scary (compared to most movies), but I watched it alone in the dark with an headset. The fact that I believe (or want to) in ghosts/demons helped as well. Actually, I can’t imagine someone who doesn’t believe in ghosts/demons finding a movie about them scary. What makes ghost/demons movies scary is the fact that maybe they exist. Anyway, the first few minutes of the movie is the only time I didn’t feel uneasy! The atmosphere was simply creepy! Hell, even a few parts with nothing but the couple talking were creepy! I guess it was the expectation that something really bad was going to happen. Anyway, when the movie was about to end I felt bad because I really didn’t want it to end and any movie that makes me feel this way deserves 5 stars. I Can’t wait for the DVD.

PS: All of the people who call the people who like this movie sheeps are immature idiots. Just because you think a movie is bad doesn’t mean that those who think it’s good are sheeps or wrong or whatever stupid *beep* bigots love to come up with.

The Critical Movie Critics

November 16, 2009 @ 10:21 pm Justin Bachelor

The movie met my expectations too. Well, I’m not amazed about the result because they had their massive ad campaign, no doubt that the movie will result to a positive feedback.

The Critical Movie Critics

November 29, 2009 @ 7:01 pm Mircea

I will agree with Henry here. Every ‘night’ from the movie was bringing high hopes of mass destruction, but except when she was pulled out of bed by the demon, nothing was interesting. :(

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‘paranormal activity: the ghost dimension’: film review.

Attempting to unravel many of the knotty questions raised by the franchise’s convoluted mythology, this sixth installment in the series brings events to an overdue conclusion.

By Justin Lowe

Justin Lowe

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‘Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension’: Film Review

An unprecedented phenomenon when it debuted from Paramount in 2009 (following the substitution of a revised ending), Oren Peli’s Paranormal Activity launched a six-film franchise based on an urban legend-like haunted house tale. Earning more than $193 million worldwide on a $15,000 budget, it also helped spawn the sometimes regrettable found-footage horror genre. So Peli’s and producer Jason Blum’s decision to bring the series to a conclusion with this final installment may seem surprising in comparison to the typical strategy of overexploiting a horror franchise, but in truth Peli hasn’t directed another film in the series since the original, moving on to a producing role instead, while Blumhouse has taken the low-budget, high-concept Paranormal Activity model and created similar successes with horror series The Purge, Sinister and Insidious .

With their first 3D release, the producers turn the directing role over to longtime Paranormal Activity series editor and producer Gregory Plotkin (making his feature directorial debut), although this time out Paramount is launching a very different distribution strategy for the film. Along with its upcoming Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse release, the studio has negotiated much briefer theatrical windows than normal with a group of theater chains, reportedly in return for a percentage of the stepped-up VOD release receipts. Other exhibitors have emphatically spurned the arrangement, however, limiting the opening to an estimated 1,600 theaters. The low-budget feature will also be directly competing with Vin Diesel’s blockbuster-scaled supernatural thriller The Last Witch Hunter, leaving the opening-weekend outcome for The Ghost Dimension uncharacteristically uncertain. Read more Paramount, AMC Theatres Strike Unprecedented Pact to Shorten Release Windows

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Rather than meaningfully reconnecting with the most compelling characters from the earlier films, the final installment returns to the original house haunted by the demonic entity known as Toby, or more precisely the property, since the home in Santa Rosa, Calif. where Katie (Chloe Csengery ) and Kristi (Jessica Brown) were indoctrinated into a mysterious cult, burned down when they were children. The new owners of the rebuilt home are Ryan (Chris J. Murray) and Emily (Brit Shaw), a married couple with a young daughter. As Christmas quickly approaches, Leila (Ivy George) is excited when her uncle Mike (Dan Gill) arrives to spend the holiday with his brother and sister-in-law, along with Emily’s friend Skyler (Olivia Taylor Dudley). While adorning the house with decorations removed from storage, Mike finds an 80s-era , custom-built VHS camera and a box of tapes. Technophile Ryan gets the device working and discovers that its sophisticated lens reveals some type of mysterious energy field manifesting in the house that’s only visible to the video-cam, a phenomenon lamely described as “spirit photography.” Playing back the tapes, Ryan and Mike review disturbing footage of Kristi’s and Katie’s grandma Lois ( Hallie Foote) and a strange man training the girls to communicate with the spirit world. As the manifestation of the aberrant energy field intensifies in his home and Leila begins speaking aloud to an ominous invisible friend, Ryan begins to suspect that the same evil presence that stalked Katie and Kristi may be after his daughter as well. Narratively, thematically and stylistically The Ghost Dimension barely diverges from the format of the first three films, as nervous homeowners take up video cameras to record the mysterious occurrences that appear to be targeting their loved ones. Even at this late stage in the evolution of the franchise, logical lapses in filmmaking technique undercut the integrity of the found-footage format, but continuity was never one of the series’ strong points, a shortcoming easily forgiven by fans. Read more Top Theater Group Won’t Oppose Paramount’s VOD Revolution

The Bottom Line Over-promises, then under-delivers.

What may be less acceptable, however, is the film’s unaccountably weak effort to sort out the mythology concerning the series of demonic hauntings , instead stacking the deck with a tricked-out plot device that’s an awkward fit with the more traditionally supernatural events that occurred earlier. Primarily referencing, and occasionally depicting, events from Paranormal Activity 3 , the current film’s team of four screenwriters, replacing longtime scripter Christopher Landon, fails to sufficiently clarify the actions and motivations of the series’ principal characters, who at this point have practically vanished from the storyline anyway. Performances are fairly perfunctory overall, never achieving a level of terror commensurate with the threats that the characters face. Plotkin proceeds much in the manner of the foregoing lineup of rotating directors, setting up a chronology of nightly video shoots, roaming the house with a handheld camera, then relying primarily on loud noises and jump scares for impact, although the 3D format allows for more sophisticated special effects, particularly those recorded by the mysterious video camera. Some may remain nostalgic for the low-budget practical effects that enlivened the first few movies, while a major ripoff of a climactic scene from a classic supernatural thriller may even turn off those loyalists as well, limiting Paranormal Activity’ s legacy to the first few installments. Overall, it’s been a fairly entertaining run, but it’s unclear whether the films as a whole will ever rate as a classic horror franchise, although it may be unwise to rule out any further occurrences of Paranormal Activity at this point. 

Production companies: Blumhouse , Solana Films, Room 101

Cast: Chris J. Murray, Brit Shaw, Ivy George, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Dan Gill, Jessica Brown, Chloe Csengery , Don McManus, Hallie Foote, Cara Pifko , Michael Krawic , Alden Lovekamp , Mark Steger Director: Gregory Plotkin Screenwriters: Jason Harry Pagan, Andrew Deutschman , Adam Robitel , Gavin Heffernan Producers: Jason Blum, Oren Peli Executive producers:  Steven R. Molen Steven Schneider  Director of photography: John W. Rutland Production designer:  Nathan Amondson     Costume designer:  Lisa Lovaas Editor:  Michel Aller Rated R, 88 minutes

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Movie review: paranormal activity, movie review: red riding hood.

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Movie Poster: Paranormal Activity

Directed by Oren Peli Screenplay by Oren Peli

Katie – Katie Featherston Micah – Micah Sloat The Psychic – Mark Fredrichs

Movie Still: Paranormal Activity

‘The Scariest Movie of the Year’ Is Meek at Best

This is the time of year when, in temperate climes, leaves riot with color, breezes take on the scent of decay, and all the cultures that celebrate All Hallows Eve prepare for the year’s first nod to the holiday season. Scary movies are a serious draw when temperatures drop and leaves start to fall—and since the only other horror film released this month has been the sixth movie in the Saw franchise (just get it over with already!), Paranormal Activity will certainly make bank at the box office this weekend. Unfortunately, it is not the kind of catharsis many look for in a horror movie, nor is it remotely as interesting as its predecessors in the home-video-horror genre. In fact, it’s downright disappointing.

When The Blair Witch Project released in 1999, half of audiences believed they were actually watching footage chronicling the last days of three student filmmakers. That film fell at precisely the correct moment in recent history for that kind of guerrilla filmmaking. Amateurish as it may have been, it preceded the communications technology with which we’re all inundated each day, each hour, each second. It seemed possible that the movie could be real because the marketing relied solely on spare, spooky trailers and an intriguingly vague website. Ten years later, Paranormal Activity tries to exploit the same shaky-cam, night-vision film—and fails.

Paranormal Activity follows a young San Diego couple (Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat) through a month in Fall 2006 in which they strive to capture the presence that’s haunting their suburban home. The premise is simple: grad student Katie has sensed a supernatural force around her since the age of eight, and boyfriend Micah, a day trader who looks and acts like a frat boy, takes the haunting personally and decides to try to capture it with a video camera. Camera phones, the social media of Twitter and Facebook, and easy access to the kind of cinematic technology that used to be found only in Hollywood and college classrooms, have seemingly compelled us all to keep the world informed of every aspect of our personal lives. So of course the film industry wants to capitalize on the overshare.

The film falls short by arranging a regrettably thin layer of spooky occurrences beneath a thicker deposit of badly acted exposition and obnoxious characters. The couple and all secondary characters are total unknowns, which fits with the idea that audiences are privy to the lives of everyday citizens. The problem lies in the movie’s inability to create believable tension. The night-vision camera, which Micah sets up in their bedroom, captures one paranormal happening after another, but the tension isn’t enough to keep the plot moving. In Blair Witch , the characters began to use their cameras as buffers between themselves and the horror confronting them nightly; in that film the behavior makes perfect sense. You try to escape what you can’t believe or categorize. Paranormal Activity ’s Micah, however, is simply the ultimate narcissist. He says multiple times that no one messes with his girlfriend and his house and gets away with it. He treats the subject with an appropriate amount of disdain and disbelief, borrowing a Ouija board and regarding the psychic Katie calls with utter contempt. As things progress he gradually becomes a believer while Katie descends into mentally unstable territory.

The movie touches briefly on theology—according to the resident psychic, the malevolent force responsible for slamming doors and amphibian nighttime footprints is no ghost, but an angry demon. The film only provides the audience with a fleeting nod to evil forces whose mythology should be utterly terrifying. Micah finds an article online telling the story of a “woman from the 60s” whose haunting bears a striking resemblance to Katie’s, but not enough information is conveyed to create adequate apprehension. There are a few genuinely spooky moments and one particularly jarring instant (which for some reason the filmmakers included in the trailer). But ultimately the film never lives up to the kind of tension it’s supposed to create, and the end is a cringing nod to every other movie in this subgenre.

The marketing campaign for this film is pure genius; the internet has been abuzz with reviews touting it as the scariest movie of the year. Frankly (and luckily for the filmmakers), 2009 has been a meager year in the realm of horror. The filmmakers strove to capitalize on the phenomenon created by The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield . Unfortunately, although the dollars will undoubtedly roll in for all involved, this movie fails to live up to its more worthy predecessors. For a good home-movie scare this Halloween, rent the utterly terrifying [REC] or its American remake, Quarantine . Watch Blair Witch again (at the very least, its foreboding Maryland woods set the scene for autumn). Although Paranormal Activity may tweak some viewers’ nerves, don’t go into it hoping for the most terrifying movie you’ve ever seen, lest you leave feeling duped..

Paranormal Activity trailer

Julia Rhodes

Julia Rhodes graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Communication and Culture. She’s always been passionate about movies and media, and is particularly fond of horror and feminist film theory, but has a soft spot for teen romances and black comedies. She also loves animals and vegetarian cooking; who says horror geeks aren’t compassionate and gentle? Bank Routing Numbers

paranormal activity movie review

Julia Rhodes graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Communication and Culture. She's always been passionate about movies and media, and is particularly fond of horror and feminist film theory, but has a soft spot for teen romances and black comedies. She also loves animals and vegetarian cooking; who says horror geeks aren't compassionate and gentle? Bank Routing Numbers

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Paranormal activity review.

'Scariest Movie Ever' is a tall order to fill, but Paranormal Activity is definitely a serious fright flick that will continue to creep you out long after the movie ends.

Screen Rant's Kofi Outlaw Reviews Paranormal Activity

[Check out our Paranormal Activity 2 review ]

Paranormal Activity is a little film that was reportedly made for $11,000 over the course of a seven-day shoot by writer/director/producer/editor Oren Peli, and stars newbies Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat and the couple's camcorder.

The ghost story is pretty straightforward: Katie and Micah (the actors use their real names in the film) are a young couple who have been together for about a year or two and have recently taken the plunge of moving in together. Soon after, they begin to experience weird paranormal activity taking place in their home - lights and sinks turning on and off, doors slamming, etc. Katie soon reveals that this isn't the first time she's been "haunted by ghosts" - when she was 8, she had re-occurring visits from a shadowy apparition and her family's home was eventually burned to the ground without explanation. Since then, the apparition has followed Katie wherever she goes, "visiting" her from time to time, up to the present. Micah wishes that Katie had told him all this BEFORE they moved in together.

Katie is freaking out about the reappearance of her ghostly stalker, but Micah (of course) is too MANLY to believe in such nonsense, so he invests in a top-grade camera, some top-grade mini microphones and sound recording software, in order to wire the house for a ghost-hunting experiment. Our POV is that of the camcorder and boom mic, as they record the paranormal happenings taking place in Katie and Micha's home over the course of about three weeks.

That's the setup, and it would be hard to go much deeper without dropping some major SPOILERS.

I can tell you that Katie and Micah bring in a psychic (Michael Bayouth) who determines that what they're facing isn't a ghost trying to establish communication, but rather a malevolent demon, hell bent (pun intended) on claiming Katie's soul. The psychic tells Katie and Micah that they need to bring in a "demonologist" to help exorcise the evil spirit - only the guy is currently vacation, so they'll have to wait it out. In the meantime, the psychic breaks down a few demon rules for the couple (and us) to understand:

  • There is no running from it - leave the house and the spirit will only follow.
  • The spirit feeds off negative energy (anger, fear, etc).
  • Don't do ANYTHING to enrage or attract the demon - especially buying a Ouija Board.

Of course, if you've ever seen a horror movie before you know that the rules are only there to be broken by doomed fools. Katie is all nervousness and pragmatism ( "Honey, let's just stop and ask for directions..." ), but Micah, the skeptic, would rather "man-up" and handle things his own way (read: pacing the house, challenging the evil spirit to show itself). Smart idea.

The best horror movies are the ones that exploit our deep-seated anxieties about real-life events or situations. The Exorcist was every parent's worst nightmare: their innocent child suffering a terrible affliction; Rosemary's Baby played upon the high-anxiety of pregnancy and child-rearing; Hitchcock's Psycho gleefully exploited the near-universal fear of random, unprovoked violence. Paranormal Activity will stand out for a long time in my mind (and I'm sure others) because it hits just the right panic buttons inside the brain: the familiar fear of the creaky, empty house at night - but more importantly, the high-anxiety of being in a relationship.

The latter theme is only subtly touched on, due to the nature of the POV (it would've stupid to have the couple record their dramatic fight moments), but that current is always on and running, coursing through the cinematic subtext. Anybody you partner with in life is bound to come with baggage - Katie's baggage just so happens to be a freaky demon. Micah is portrayed as something of an alpha-male stereotype - brash and insensitive a lot of the time, you know the picture - but also as a guy who is genuinely trying to help his chick sort out all of the crazy in her past, so they can be happy together in the present. And, like real-life relationships, sometimes the best intentions...

Continue reading our Paranormal Activity Review

Of course we have to address the filmmaking techniques and the issue of the "shaky cam" POV. People have heard the concept for this film and worried that they were going to get another Blair Witch Project (too boring) or Cloverfield (seizure inducing camerawork). Paranormal Activity is only short one star for me because the pacing for the first half-hour of its 99 min run time was kind of slow, and offered more creepy atmosphere than actual scares. A slow half-hour in camcorder POV can feel like an eternity - luckily for us, Featherston and Sloat are good actors, with good chemistry, and they, along with Peli, manage to establish an air of almost total authenticity. Katie and Micah's home looks and feels like MY home and their relationship seems so genuine and natural (even the way girl and boy treat the watchful eye of the camera differently ;-) ) that it's easy to forget you're watching a movie, and not actual home video footage. And since there are tripods set up around the house, shaky cam wasn't really much of an issue. When the actors ARE holding the camera, every swipe and turn has you nervous that something is lurking just beyond the peripheral of the lens light.

The authentic feel is really the selling point of this film. It exploits enough realistic common ground  to make it feel personal (who HASN'T heard that strange sound echo through their home now and again, or woken up to the feeling that somebody is standing over them?), and since few of us actually sleep with a running camcorder in our bedrooms, who's to say we AREN'T being visited in the night by something evil?

Paranormal Activity succeeds in taking our most relaxed and intimate moments - at home, cuddled up with our loved one(s) - and transforms those moments into sources of high anxiety and fear. I've been with my girlfriend for eight years now (I know, I know), and after we came home from the screening last night we were definitely creeped out - and not just by the creaky floorboards in our apt. We glared at one another through squinted eyes up until bedtime, wondering about any skeletons (no pun) hiding in the other person's closet, or mentally comparing Katie and Micah's emotional trial to the real-life instances where one of us had to help the other through a crazy circumstance. I'm sure we both slept with one eye open.

If you haven't read about it on our site, Paranormal Activity has become something of a phenomenon in the movie industry, ever since Paramount chose NOT to remake it into a big-budget studio flick. As Paramount Film Group President Adam Goodman told us before the screening (and I'm paraphrasing), "This is the future of the movie business, right here...good films by visionary filmmakers made for next to nothing...It can be done these days." I suspect this film will be successful in its grass roots efforts - especially after I watched hundreds of eager line-waiters get turned away from the door. People want to see this film - if not in theaters, then certainly the masses will eat it up on DVD. However, I hope it gets the support it deserves, as it is certainly theater-worthy.

Paranormal Activity is currently doing a "You Demand It!" release campaign: If you want the film to play at your local theater, get some friends together online, go to THIS SITE and cast your vote.

Just don't be mad at me if you're too scared to go to sleep that night...

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paranormal activity movie review

  • DVD & Streaming

Paranormal Activity

  • Horror , Mystery/Suspense

Content Caution

paranormal activity movie review

In Theaters

  • September 25, 2009
  • Katie Featherston as Katie; Micah Sloat as Micah

Home Release Date

  • December 29, 2009


  • Paramount Pictures

Movie Review

Some people have bad dreams. Some even have night terrors. But both of those would be a welcome break for Katie. Since she was 8 she’s had what amounts to an evil spirit siphoning off her slumber.

Nobody else has actually seen this thing or shared in Katie’s horrors. But she’s convinced that a demonic boogieman burned her house down when she was a kid. And since then she’s suffered with nightmares and had a recurring sense of a shadowy figure lurking at the foot of her bed.

Of course, the now twentysomething Katie neglected to mention any of that to her boyfriend Micah before he moved in. (How do you bring up the topic of a demonic entity that lounges around in your bedroom?) Even after he finds out, though, her knucklehead beau doesn’t seem to mind all that much. To him, the stories are just a great excuse to go out and buy a cool video camera so he can try to capture shadowy thumps and bumps in the night. Not that he really believes in any of this stuff.

Katie, however, believes . And she gets a bit frantic after a visiting psychic reports that negative energy or attempts at poltergeist communication could make things worse. So Katie begs Micah to drop the late-night videoing.

It’s too late.

Micah’s already recorded the bedroom door moving all on its own at 2 a.m. And he’s getting excited. He’s determined to “solve the problem.” So it’s full steam ahead on the paranormal express.

Positive Elements

In spite of some of his goofy choices, it’s apparent that Micah has strong feelings of protection and love for his girlfriend. As their situation becomes progressively more dangerous, he puts his wellbeing (and eventually his life) on the line to stand by Katie and save her from her spiritual stalker.

Spiritual Elements

The whole premise of Paranormal Activity revolves around dark supernatural happenings taking place in a young couple’s home. The frightened pair never turns to the church or God for help, however. Instead, Micah and Katie consult a professional psychic who professes to be an expert in hauntings perpetrated by “human spirits.”

The psychic says he quickly senses that the threat is demonic in nature. And that’s when he warns Katie not to “encourage” it by giving it any attention. He strongly states that using such “communication” tools as Ouija boards might have disastrous results.

Katie listens and takes the advice to heart. Micah doesn’t. He pledges to obey Katie’s new rules about dealing with the demon, and his oath ends with, “So help me God!” But he’s already borrowed a Ouija board, so the damage is already done. (Its pointer ultimately begins to move on its own and it bursts into flames.)

Katie talks of praying as a child that the demon would go away. Almost catatonic, she clutches a small wooden cross so tightly that her hand bleeds.

Sexual Content

Katie wears a number of formfitting tank tops and T-shirts (with lightweight shorts) in and out of bed. She reveals cleavage on a number of occasions. Micah wears a T-shirt and boxers to bed.

Early on, Micah tries to tempt Katie into performing a striptease and having sex with him on-camera, but she refuses his advances. He does fire up the camera after having sex—he is shirtless and she has the sheet pulled up over her chest. We see them kiss several times. They spoon as they sleep. Micah zooms the camera in on Katie’s clothed backside as she walks up a staircase. And he tries to peek into the bathroom with it as she’s sitting on the toilet. (She slams the door.)

A few illustrations in a book on demonology are of horned creatures with bare female breasts.

Violent Content

Doors bang and heavy things thump and crash through a variety of jump scenes, but the violence connected to all the smashing and screaming is, with one exception, out of the camera’s frame. That exception involves Micah being picked up and thrown through a door.

In other cases we see the results of the offscreen thumps and shrieks. After being dragged out of the room by an invisible presence, for instance, Katie lifts her shirt to reveal teeth marks on her lower back. We also see her in a T-shirt covered in blood.

Crude or Profane Language

Close to 40 f-words. A dozen s-words. “D‑‑n,” “a‑‑” and “h‑‑‑” pop up. God’s and Jesus’ names are each misused about a half-dozen times. (God’s is combined once with “d‑‑n.”)

Drug and Alcohol Content

Back in 1999 a little independent horror flick called  The Blair Witch Project took moviegoers by surprise. That shaky-handed, one-camera pseudo docu-thriller was presented as an amateur movie project made by three students who supposedly disappeared during its making. The film itself was mediocre. But the viral popularity that sprung from its groundbreaking use of the Internet—including a Web campaign that suggested the footage it contained was the real deal—made the little film into a mega-blockbuster.

Paranormal Activity has very clearly pulled its filming and distribution strategy from that same successful playbook.

Reportedly shot by writer/director Oren Peli in his own house on a miniscule budget of only $15,000 ( Blair Witch came in at $60,000), the mostly ad-libbed piece was created in a week. When the big studio boys picked it up, they were intent on re-shooting something more polished for the theatrical run. But after test-screening the original, the audience’s gasping reaction changed their minds.

That led to midnight-only showings of the pic in a handful of college towns. And Internet blitzes on Facebook pages and Twitter. Voilà, box office gold scraped from the sheer face of the cultural cliff. Impressed, an executive from a rival studio told Deadline Hollywood , “Look out, cuz there’s a freight train coming, and Paramount is going to make a TON of cash on this pickup. Cuz they ain’t spending anything on it, and who knows where the ceiling is!”

Considering the fact that this slowly paced, one camera, low-budgeter eschews CGI special effects for long minutes spent watching the two central characters sleep (Coming next summer! Grass grows in Vermont!) , its preternatural popularity may seem totally unbelievable. In fact, on paper it feels, er, yawn-inducing at best.

But the simplicity of the presentation somehow works as it plucks at viewers’ primal fears. The claustrophobic feel of a little tripod-bound camera watching two defenseless people—separated from the evil supernatural happenings around them by only a thin cotton sheet—delivers a very visceral creepiness.

That doesn’t, however, translate to: “Wrangle up the whippersnappers, Ma. We’re goin’ to an old-time skeery flick!” Because in spite of the lack of Saw -style gore, this is still a pretty messy R-rater. We are dealing with demonic stuff here, after all. And the frequently exploding f-bombs are dropped with the careless abandon of a world war.

Would Hitchcock, were he directing now, have laced The Birds with bombastic obscenities like that? I can only hope not.

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After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.

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Review: New “Paranormal Activity” movie is frighteningly decent


After seven entries in the “Paranormal Activity” franchise, the flying chairs and door-slamming haunted house shenanigans start to seem like normal activity. Luckily, “Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin” — the franchise’s direct-to-streaming return after a six-year hiatus — remixes just enough of the series’ familiar material to feel worthwhile nearly 15 years after the original film became a cultural sensation.

For the first time in the franchise, “Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin” tells a completely stand – alone narrative, a decision that positions the film as a reboot of sorts. In fact, the script written by Christopher Landon could as easily be a reworked “Blair Witch Project” sequel as much as a “Paranormal Activity” one. After being abandoned by her Amish mother as a child, Margot (Emily Bader) gathers two of her friends, Chris (Roland Buck III) and Dale (Dan Lippert), in the hopes of making a documentary about her family lineage. This venture leads them deep into a strange, secluded Amish community in the middle of winter where bizarre events occur at every turn.

As with the series’s previous entries, “Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin” employs a found-footage presentation to situate the audience in the eyes of its main characters. However, this film uses characters who are filmmakers in order to raise the production value ever so slightly with better equipment than characters would typically use. “Paranormal Activity” films are some of the cheapest horror flicks to produce, with budgets around $5 million and consumer-grade cameras used in order to reflect the idea that this footage was created by a regular person. The presentation of this new entry, however, allows for higher-grade cameras, slow-motion footage and drone shots to breathe some visual creativity into found-footage horror — a genre that died out many years ago. It leads to a visually dynamic end result that occasionally produces some surprisingly stunning images for this series , like a grotesque creature running through the snow or drone shots of the Amish community.

Like the found-footage genre’s forefathers , “The Blair Witch Project” and “[REC],” among others, much of the appeal for a “Paranormal Activity” dissipates after the veil of authentic verisimilitude gets lifted. Much of the appeal in the first “Paranormal Activity” rides on the assumption that what audiences saw truly happened, a notion which quickly faded away with each passing sequel until this new film has no qualms about playing make believe. Therefore, while the other films toyed in the realm of invisible ghosts moving furniture in the night, “Next of Kin” introduces a cave-dwelling monster and eerie cults to mix in a more direct fashion. The end result is a blend of folk and cult horror akin to “Midsommar” with the “Paranormal Activity” zest applied evenly on top. 

Unfortunately, many of the tropes commonly associated with the franchise again appear in “Next of Kin.” For one, the found-footage aura is enforced quite haphazardly. Many scenes are shot in a way breaking the illusion that the characters are the ones recording — whether that be through a misplaced cut or placing the camera down to frame the action a little too well. It would be hard to imagine that everything would be in perfect focus while running away from mortal danger. 

Another frustrating element is the overreliance on cheap jump scares. The structure of a “Paranormal Activity” film calls for a number of extended tension sequences where characters either attempt to hide or search around until a loud noise disrupts the silence and jolts the audience. In some cases, these jump scares can be done well — there are even some effects moments later in “Next of Kin” — but an overuse of them creates an annoying exploitation of audiences expecting earned horror.

Any franchise eventually runs out of steam at some point, and that moment of creative bankruptcy will be immediately clear to audiences. “Next of Kin” leaves the “Paranormal Activity” franchise somewhere near its deathbed but with enough juice to squeeze out a worthwhile — if slight — horror film.

  • Christopher Landon
  • Dan Lippert
  • Emily Bader
  • Paranormal Activity
  • Paranormal Activity review
  • Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin
  • Roland Buck III

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Paranormal Activity

Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat in Paranormal Activity (2007)

After moving into a suburban home, a couple becomes increasingly disturbed by a nightly demonic presence. After moving into a suburban home, a couple becomes increasingly disturbed by a nightly demonic presence. After moving into a suburban home, a couple becomes increasingly disturbed by a nightly demonic presence.

  • Katie Featherston
  • Micah Sloat
  • Mark Fredrichs
  • 1.3K User reviews
  • 318 Critic reviews
  • 68 Metascore
  • 3 wins & 12 nominations

Paranormal Activity: Trailer #2

  • Exorcism Nanny
  • (uncredited)
  • Dr. Johann Averies

Randy McDowell

  • Lt. Randy Hudson

James Piper

  • All cast & crew
  • Production, box office & more at IMDbPro

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  • Trivia The actors weren't given scripts but were given guidelines on how to behave or what to discuss in their scenes.
  • Goofs (at around 18 mins) Towards the beginning of the movie, when Micah and Katie are talking with the psychologist, there is a hard cut from the doctor to Katie as the doctor is talking, but the dialogue does not skip. Since the movie is supposed to be entirely self-filmed footage, this would imply that either there were two cameras filming at once, or that they did a second "take" with the doctor, both of which are unlikely.

Katie : You promised me - don't look at me like that! - you promised me you weren't going to mess with that stuff.

Micah : No. I promised you I wasn't going to buy a Ouija board. I didn't buy a Ouija board. I borrowed a Ouija board.

  • Crazy credits Fans who submitted their name on the official website during the film's theatrical run were treated with having their name listed in the film's ending credits on the DVD/Blu-ray release of the film as thanks from Paramount for making the film such a success.
  • 1. There is a scene in the Theatrical Cut not present in the Director's Cut that takes place early on, where Katie and Micah wake up and find her keys thrown from the kitchen counter to the floor.
  • 2. The low frequency tone that occurs when the demon is present is not quite as loud in the Director's cut. There is only one instance of the demon whispering in the Theatrical Cut; there are at least three in the Director's Cut, all of which are heard in the bedroom at night.
  • 3. A lot of the demon noises - the loud growl followed by the bang, the footsteps, even the shadows that appear on the bedroom doors - were completely re-dubbed and retouched. All of these scenes are much, much louder/noticeable in theaters for jump scares. There seem to be at least two added "shadow" effects - another on the bedroom door, and a silhouette in the hallway - in the Director's Cut, whereas the Theatrical Cut only has one shadow used.
  • 4. The night when the demon plays the door games with Katie and Micah (opening and slamming it shut, knocking furiously) has been re-dubbed, as well. The knocking is much faster and louder in the Theatrical Cut.
  • 5. There's some added dialogue between Katie and Micah where they discuss how the stress is negatively affecting their lives. She says she's failing her university course and won't pass unless she "does something drastic" on her midterm. He says he lost a large sum of money playing the stock market earlier, and that he'll be taking a break for awhile.
  • 6. The demon's daytime attack is completely absent. The only time we get a good look at the picture that is smashed and clawed is when the two run up and down the hallway during the night to get away from the demon.
  • 7. There's an extra video attached to the "Goodbye Dianne" explanation at the computer. There is at least two minutes of added footage of the woman's ordeal, which has been heavily used in the TV commercials. Micah shows Katie footage of Dianne's demonic possession and subsequent exorcism as she is tied to a bed. Her appearance transforms from healthy to disheveled and dark, with large cuts on her face and body. Eventually, the footage shows that the exorcism was unsuccessful, and the possessed Dianne becomes so destructive that she chews her own arm off to the elbow.
  • 8. The double-layered voice Katie projects in bed when she says, "Everything will be fine from now on" (and later screaming downstairs) uses a different effect to achieve this. Unlike the Theatrical Cut, the two voices are very distinct.
  • 9. The ending is completely changed. Katie awakes shortly after midnight on the final night, gets out of bed and stares at Micah for roughly three hours. Unlike the Theatrical Cut, she does not move to his side of the bed to continue watching him, and the sheets do not fly off of his body. Instead, she goes straight downstairs. After Micah is awakened by the scream, he runs downstairs and we hear the ensuing scuffle. Like before, Katie slowly climbs the stairs, except the footstep effect is slightly altered and when she enters the room, she is holding a knife and covered in blood. Micah's body is not thrown at the camera; he remains downstairs. Katie sits down on the floor against the bed and proceeds to rock back and forth, knife in hand, for several days. We hear her ignore phone calls and the door bell. Eventually, one of her friends comes in to check on her and finds Micah's body, which momentarily interrupts Katie's rocking. The friend lets out a scream and runs out of the house. Twenty minutes later, we hear the police knock and enter, warning anyone in the house to "make themselves known" because they have their weapons drawn. As they search the first floor, it appears as if the demon has left Katie's body: we see the light to the attic turn on, then off, as if the demon went back into hiding. The police come upstairs, find Katie and warn her to drop the weapon. She's dazed, running toward them yelling, "Where's Micah!? Where's Micah?!". The door to the attic slams shut, startling the police so much that one accidentally shoots Katie dead. The final sixty seconds of the film shows the confused policemen, asking "Where did that [noise] come from?" and ultimately declaring the house "clear". The film fades to black, and a text appears that dedicates the film to Katie and Micah.
  • Connections Edited into Paranormal Activity: The Chronology (2012)
  • Soundtracks Paralyzed Performed by Rock Kills Kid

User reviews 1.3K

  • Oct 30, 2009
  • So they lived in the house how long and never noticed the trap door in the closet ???
  • Wouldn't most people, like, ASK FOR HELP FROM SOMEBODY ANYBODY ???
  • Is this a true story?
  • October 16, 2009 (United States)
  • United States
  • Official Facebook
  • Official site
  • Hiện Tượng Siêu Nhiên
  • Bavarian Drive, Rancho Peñasquitos, San Diego, California, USA
  • Paramount Pictures
  • Solana Films
  • Dreamworks Pictures
  • See more company credits at IMDbPro
  • $15,000 (estimated)
  • $107,918,810
  • Sep 27, 2009
  • $193,355,933

Technical specs

  • Runtime 1 hour 26 minutes
  • Dolby Digital

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Ghost Adventures: House Calls Season 2: How Many Episodes & When Do New Episodes Come Out?

By Abdul Azim Naushad

Viewers of Ghost Adventures: House Calls Season 2 are wondering how many episodes are in the series and when each new episode comes out. Ghost Adventures: House Calls is a mystery reality series that sees Zak Bagans and his crew arm themselves with high-tech equipment and investigate the haunted homes of everyday people with nowhere else to go. Bagans and his crew also document the paranormal activities taking place in the haunted homes.

Here’s how many episodes are in the second season of Ghost Adventures: House Calls and on what day new episodes come out.

How many episodes are in Ghost Adventures: House Calls season 2?

The second season of Ghost Adventures: House Calls has 6 episodes.

The episode list is as follows:

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The six-episode count of the second season of Ghost Adventures: House Calls makes this season slightly shorter than the first season. The first season had a total of 8 episodes.

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When do new Ghost Adventures: House Calls season 2 episodes come out?

New episodes of Ghost Adventures: House Calls season 2 typically come out every Wednesday.

The official synopsis for the series reads:

“Disembodied voices, objects moving on their own, shadow figures and apparitions – all are often signs of paranormal activity. When they occur inside your own home, it can bring an overwhelming sense of fear. Zak Bagans, Aaron Goodwin, Billy Tolley and Jay Wasley, the team behind GHOST ADVENTURES, have spent decades investigating ghostly activity to gain a better understanding of the afterlife. Now, they’re helping frightened families who believe they are under paranormal attack in the all-new eight-part series.”

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paranormal activity movie review

The most terrifying found footage horror short has mysteriously landed on YouTube, and it will make you want to get rid of all your home security video cameras for good

Why is night vision so creepy?


A mysterious found footage short titled Exposure shot entirely on home security cameras has randomly appeared on YouTube , and it's the most terrifying thing we have seen today. 

The best found footage horror films of the past few years have adapted to fit the advancement of modern technology, with Paranormal Activity 4 taking advantage of gaming equipment and Host convincing us that demonic possessions can take place over Zoom calls. But in recent years, home security cameras have been at the forefront of the genre, making the horror on screen even more real and believable. Enter, Exposure . 

The short opens with a very real and chilling fact, stating "40% of UK homes now have cameras, largely from CCTV and smart devices. Many of these devices are susceptible to hacking, allowing intruders to watch residents in their own homes." Before introducing us to the victims of the film, a sleeping mother and daughter in an unknown British home.

The 9-minute long video then captures a home invasion by one man who has been contacting the little girl via the home security network and has convinced her to let him into the home. Watch the full short below to find out what happens next. 

The short was uploaded by a brand new YouTube channel also Exposure, with no previous posts, channel description, or picture. Creepy. The short itself has no description or any information at all but has managed to rack up thousands of views views in under one day. However, Bloody Disgusting has identified the person behind the project, naming Kris Cummins as the writer and director.

But this isn't the first horror movie to make us scared of our own home technology this year. Upcoming horror remake The Strangers: Chapter 1 recently used creepy Ring Doorbell Footage showing the killers approaching a remote cabin, to promote the film.

Exposure is available to watch on YouTube for free right now. For more, check out our list of the best horror movies of all time, or keep up to date with upcoming horror movies heading your way this year.

Sign up to the GamesRadar+ Newsletter

Weekly digests, tales from the communities you love, and more

I am an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for SFX and Total Film online. I have a Bachelors Degree in Media Production and Journalism and a Masters in Fashion Journalism from UAL. In the past I have written for local UK and US newspaper outlets such as the Portland Tribune and York Mix and worked in communications, before focusing on film and entertainment writing. I am a HUGE horror fan and in 2022 I created my very own single issue feminist horror magazine.  

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The 7 Best Movies to Watch Before They Leave Hulu in April 2024

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April is right around the corner, and what better way to embrace the changing month than by diving into Hulu ’s top-notch movie collection? While April often brings spring thoughts and blooming flowers, Hulu offers a variety of movies for those looking beyond the blossoming fare. From the culinary horror comedy The Menu to the sci-fi hit Blade Runner 2049 , Hulu’s vast movie library, there’s something for everyone to enjoy, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the April spirit.

Check out these Hulu movie recommendations to accompany the new month. Don’t wait too long, though. These cinematic gems may bid adieu sooner than you think.

'The Menu' (2022)

Fine dining has never been as frightening as The Menu . When a skeptical Margot Mills (Taylor-Joy) tags along with her date, foodie Tyler Ledford (Hoult), on a culinary adventure to a secluded island, all she expects is an overpriced five-course meal with a bunch of pretentious snobs. But when the two finally step into Hawthorn, an exclusive restaurant helmed by renowned chef Julian Slowik (Fiennes), they discover that Slowik’s culinary prowess extends beyond the boundaries of traditional fine dining. But amidst the opulence and extravagance Hawthorn offers, guests are met with shocking surprises that each course offers, eventually leading to shocking, and even deadly results. Part satire and part social commentary, The Menu is praised for its slow-burn suspense and performances .

'Mr. Right' (2015)

What happens when the wrong man ends up being your Mr. Right ? Martha (Kendrick) knows this dilemma all too well, having been the joke of failed relationships with the wrong kind of men. On the brink of giving up on love altogether, she unexpectedly finds herself smitten with the unconventional Francis (Rockwell), who, not surprisingly, charms Martha’s socks off. But of course, appearances can be deceiving. As it turns out, Francis is a former CIA and mercenary agent turned professional hitman, who ironically enough, makes it his mission to kill those who misuse his services. Despite his unorthodox career choice, Martha falls for Francis instead. As their relationship deepens, Martha is further pulled into Francis’ world of contract killing, dodging bullets, and evading ruthless criminals determined to kill him.

'Blade Runner 2049' (2017)

Blade Runner 2049 is set in dystopian Los Angeles 2049, in a world now controlled by the Tyrell Corporation’s successor, Niander Wallace (Leto). Newer generations of obedient replicants coexist with outdated models that pose a threat. LAPD Officer “K” (Gosling) is tasked with hunting down these rogue androids . But in the middle of his journeys, K unearths a long-buried secret that threatens to disrupt society’s fragile balance thirty years after the events of the original Blade Runner . His discovery leads him on a quest to locate Rick Deckard (Ford), a former Blade Runner who has been missing for three decades. As K digs deeper into the mystery, he uncovers clues about his past, raising questions about his identity and purpose.

'Ghostbusters' (1984)

In the spirit of the franchise’s latest installment , Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire , take a trip down memory lane with the original Ghostbusters movie. Three eccentric parapsychologists (people who study psychic phenomena) - Spengler (Ramis), Stantz (Aykroyd), and Venkman (Murray) - find themselves booted off their cushy university jobs. Deciding to pursue a different career path, the trio set up shop in an old firehouse and launched a unique ghost removal service. Their popularity soars as they quickly become New York City’s go-to experts in all things paranormal. But when a downtown skyscraper becomes a focal point for supernatural activity linked to the ancient god Gozer, the Ghostbusters face their biggest challenge yet. With the fate of humanity at stake, the three embark on an epic showdown against the living dead. Someone better give them a raise.

'Pacific Rim' (2013)

Humanity faces annihilation in Pacific Rim , as monstrous sea creatures known as Kaiju emerge from a portal in the Pacific Ocean. To combat the relentless onslaught, colossal robots called Jaegers are developed, piloted by pairs of neural-linked individuals. However, as the Kaiju attacks escalate in intensity, the Jaegers struggle to keep pace, pushing humanity to the brink of defeat. Amidst the chaos, former pilot Raleigh Becket (Hunnam) and untested trainee Mako Mori (Kikuchi) are thrust together to pilot an outdated Jaeger in a desperate bid to turn the tide of the war. As they confront their own fears and past traumas, they become humanity's last hope against the impending apocalypse.

'Shazam!' (2019)

Abandoned teen Billy Batson (Angel) navigates a tumultuous search for his birth mother, bouncing between foster homes until he lands with a loving foster family. Unexpectedly chosen by the Wizard Shazam (Hounsou), Billy inherits incredible superpowers , transforming into an adult superhero (Levi) whenever he utters the wizard’s name. Alongside his foster brother Freddy, Billy revels in his newfound abilities, but soon faces a formidable foe: Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Strong), who harnesses the power of the Seven Deadly Sins. As Sivana threatens to unleash chaos upon the world, Billy must grapple with the responsibilities of his newfound heroism.

'Wonder Woman' (2017)

In Wonder Woman , Diana (Gadot), princess of the Amazons, is raised as a warrior in the secluded paradise of Themyscira. When pilot Steve Trevor (Pine) crashes on their shores and reveals the horrors of World War I, Diana is convinced she can stop the conflict. Leaving her home behind, she ventures into the world of men, discovering her full powers and embracing her destiny as Wonder Woman . Armed with her Amazonian strength and compassion, Diana joins Steve on a mission to end the war, facing unexpected foes and uncovering the truth about her own heritage.


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  1. Paranormal Activity movie review (2009)

    A demon in the house. "Paranormal Activity" is an ingenious little horror film, so well made it's truly scary, that arrives claiming it's the real thing. Without any form of conventional opening or closing credits, it begins by thanking "the families of Micah Sloat and Katie Featherston " and closes with one of those "current whereabouts ...

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    Here are the existing Paranormal Activity movies ranked, from worst to best. 7. Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin. It was an admittedly bold choice to soft reboot the Paranormal Activity franchise with Next of Kin. Rather than continuing the story of Toby's history with Katie's family, Next of Kin introduces a whole new female protagonist ...

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    Paranormal Activity is a 2007 American supernatural horror film produced, written, directed, photographed and edited by Oren Peli.It centers on a young couple (Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat) who are haunted by a supernatural presence inside their home.They then set up a camera to document what is haunting them. The film uses found-footage conventions that were mirrored in the later films ...

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    Paranormal Activity. Paranormal Activity was an enormous sleeper hit back in the autumn of 2009. It first saw screenings at festivals a couple of years before in 2007. The movie wasn't picked up by a publisher so the director, Oren Peli, had to sit on his hands and wait. The wait, however, paid off as the movie was eventually picked up by ...

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    Primarily referencing, and occasionally depicting, events from Paranormal Activity 3, the current film's team of four screenwriters, replacing longtime scripter Christopher Landon, fails to ...

  13. Paranormal Activity: The Ultimate Chills Collection (Paramount) Blu-ray

    Paranormal Activity: The Ultimate Chills Collection - Blu-ray Review: The Paranormal Activity films all arrive on their own separate 50GB Blu-ray discs in AVC encoded 1080p framed at 1.78.1 widescreen. How do they look? For the most part, about as good as they should when you keep in mind how the movies were shot and how they are intended to ...

  14. Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin Review

    What we said about the last Paranormal Activity movie. Eric Goldman gave 2015's Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension a 6/10, writing that it "lacks impact as far as wrapping up such a long ...

  15. Movie Review: Paranormal Activity

    Paranormal Activity Directed by Oren Peli Screenplay by Oren Peli. Katie - Katie Featherston Micah - Micah Sloat The Psychic - Mark Fredrichs CLR [rating:1.5] 'The Scariest Movie of the Year' Is Meek at Best. This is the time of year when, in temperate climes, leaves riot with color, breezes take on the scent of decay, and all the cultures that celebrate All Hallows Eve prepare for ...

  16. Paranormal Activity (2007)

    This film invades the sanctity of one's bedroom, and the old tactic of pulling the covers over your head doesn't work. 3. Special Effects - even on a small budget, the film provides some very impacting scenery. Some effects are blatantly obvious, and some of the best effects are actually the most subtle. 4.

  17. Paranormal Activity Review

    Paranormal Activity is only short one star for me because the pacing for the first half-hour of its 99 min run time was kind of slow, and offered more creepy atmosphere than actual scares. A slow half-hour in camcorder POV can feel like an eternity - luckily for us, Featherston and Sloat are good actors, with good chemistry, and they, along ...

  18. Paranormal Activity

    Paranormal Activity has very clearly pulled its filming and distribution strategy from that same successful playbook. Reportedly shot by writer/director Oren Peli in his own house on a miniscule budget of only $15,000 (Blair Witch came in at $60,000), the mostly ad-libbed piece was created in a week. When the big studio boys picked it up, they ...

  19. Paranormal Activity (film series)

    Paranormal Activity is an American supernatural horror franchise consisting of seven films and additional media. Created by Oren Peli, the original film premiered in 2007 and was widely released in 2009.. The films are typically based around various families who become haunted by the demon Asmodeus "Tobi" of the Book of Tobit, that stalks, terrifies and ultimately murders several members of ...

  20. Review: New "Paranormal Activity" movie is frighteningly decent

    For the first time in the franchise, "Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin" tells a completely stand - alone narrative, a decision that positions the film as a reboot of sorts. In fact, the script written by Christopher Landon could as easily be a reworked "Blair Witch Project" sequel as much as a "Paranormal Activity" one.

  21. Customer Reviews: Paranormal Activity: 6-Movie Collection [Blu-ray

    This reviewer received promo considerations or sweepstakes entry for writing a review. All six movies are in the found footage style of horror movies. Super low budget, but well acted and well made. The series focuses on a family that is being pursued by paranormal entities. All moves are slow burns, but intensity increases as you get to the end.

  22. Paranormal Activity (2007)

    Paranormal Activity: Directed by Oren Peli. With Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat, Mark Fredrichs, Amber Armstrong. After moving into a suburban home, a couple becomes increasingly disturbed by a nightly demonic presence.

  23. Ghost Adventures: House Calls Season 2: How Many Episodes & When Do New

    The second season of Ghost Adventures: House Calls has 6 episodes. The episode list is as follows: Episode 1: Fear in Fort Gaines. Episode 2: Shasta Lake Emergency. Episode 3: Mansfield Meltdown ...

  24. The most terrifying found footage horror short has ...

    The best found footage horror films of the past few years have adapted to fit the advancement of modern technology, with Paranormal Activity 4 taking advantage of gaming equipment and Host ...

  25. Best Movies Leaving Hulu in April 2024

    Leaving: April 30. Director: Patty Jenkins. Writer: Allan Heinberg. Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston. In Wonder Woman, Diana (Gadot), princess of the Amazons, is raised as a ...