Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Paranormal Activity - Phil's Five Words For Film -

Paranormal Activity. This is not a 'Horror' film, it is more of a 'Terror' film. The plot is this: A young woman is hearing and seeing things in her own home at night. Her sceptical boyfriend gladly sets up a camera to capture any night-time activity. To begin with, the events are nothing more than twitching bedsheets and some sleep-walking but it soon gets much worse. The tension gradually builds with the clever use of off-camera noises and long, oppressive stretches of silence, when you are straining your eyes and ears waiting for the inevitable scare. It is refreshing to see a film that doesn't come with a 12 piece orchestra in the background gently announcing the next moment of terror. Filmed on an amazingly low budget, the clever use of hand-held cameras and night vision effects - a bit 'Blair Witch' but without the motion sickness - increases the claustrophobic nature of the footage. The increasing ferocity of the 'hauntings' is cleverly controlled and the atmospheric tension in places is really effective. The terror is mostly suggested / off camera until the climax of the film when it becomes very real. I was a touch disappointed with the ending but it in no way detracted from the rest of the film. Home movie-type acting and script added to the general feel of this film which should be a case study in how to successfully generate on-screen tension. Creepy.

8 out of 10
Cert 15 (uk) 2009.

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