31 Days of Horror: Paranormal Activity – My Experience


Midnight. A darkened theater. A handful of people. As my friends and I sits and wait for the movie to begin, I wonder if this movie, Paranormal Activity, is as scary as many have said it is. Is it just a bunch of hype? One of my other friends saw it before me and she threw up due to motion sickness. Should I have taken some Dramamine beforehand?

The lights go down, and after the trailers, the film begins (makes sense). Not sure what to think at first; guy and his woman talking about ghosts and how much the guy has spent on his nifty new camera. Has the feel of The Blair Witch Project due to the hand-held camerawork throughout the film.

But there’s something different about this movie as opposed to Blair Witch. It’s self-contained in a house, and you really get to know what should and shouldn’t be going on at any given moment. So when strange things began to happen, I could feel my eyes widen, the hair stand on the back of my neck, and my body become tense.

The events that occur throughout the film to the girl, Katie, are subtly done, so when things do happen it’s creepy at first. But as things get even more intense, and you start to care more about her and her situation, as I did, you can’t help but feel the same terror she does.

While watching the film, I couldn’t help but come to dislike Katie’s boyfriend, Micah. At first he’s just a curious guy almost humoring his girlfriend about her haunting issue. As the film progresses he becomes an overbearing douchebag who turns mean-spirited and frustrating to watch.

When he’s told not to do certain things to provoke the evil spirit, he does them. When Katie asks him not to do something, he does it. He makes it clear that he wants to help; he wants to save Katie from this evil that surrounds her. But in the end he just pisses it off more.

There were many times I was highly freaked out. There were three moments in particular that scared me enough that I could feel tears stream down my face. I guess you could say I was sucked into the world of the movie both emotionally and psychologically.

At the conclusion of the film, the small audience was silent. I don’t know if it’s because it was late and everyone was tired, or no one quite knew how to react to what they had just witnessed. I’ll admit that I was a bit shaky as we left the theater, and on the drive home, and in the shower, and when I crawled into bed.

But I’m feeling much better now.

Paranormal Activity is a simple film with a simple concept that is very effective at achieving its goal to terrify audiences. I know there are folks who didn’t think it was scary at all, and those are probably sad people who lack emotion. While it’s not a gore fest like Saw VI, Paranormal Activity does get under your skin and stays there even after you leave the theater. If you do see it, I recommend you see it in theaters. It will definitely enhance your viewing and terror-filled experience.

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