There is something truly frightening about the things you can't see. This is where Paranormal Activity rises above the mundane, and places itself as one of the best underground hits of all time. Last night, I joined the hype with two of my friends and went to a late night showing of this little gem. To be honest, I had no idea what I was about to get myself into.
With 4 actors, $11,000, and little to no special effects, first time director Oren Peli shows us a mastery of the camera (A home video camera) that many directors never truly capture. You never see this demon (well, maybe once, technically), but somehow, the slience, the loud bass that thuds when it enters a room, the slamming of a door, the strange noises, and the creepy viloceraptor footprints amount to more shrieks and squeals than 90% of the horror movies out there today.
Part of this fear also stems from the fact that it feels so real, even much more so than its mockudocumentary predessor The Blair Witch Project captured. This feels like a real couple (It might actually be in real life), their lives are real, their house is real, and their fear/our fear is real as well. Peli also seems to have a nack for calming his audiences with scenes that are really funny, then scaring the shit of them, something most horror movies fail to even attempt.
I'll be honest, I'm not a huge horror movie fan, and maybe some who see them all the time will find this slow and boring. But for me, it was tense, shocking, and real. This viral hit shows us that small independent films are not dead, they are simply reinventing themselves.