Directed by Oren Peli
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
A couple document the supernatural phenomena within their apartment.
Paranormal Activity “proves nothing is scarier than nothing,” said David Edelstein in New York. This ultra-low-budget horror indie plays on the very human, very terrifying fear of the unknown, just as The Blair Witch Project did 10 years ago. While Blair Witch was set in a spooky wilderness, first-time writer-director Oren Peli sets this story within the banal interior of a couple’s home in San Diego. Katie believes things are going bump in the night, so Micah constructs a makeshift surveillance system to appease her. The film unfolds via his camcorder—and what happens will make you want to sleep with the lights on, said Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times. Peli creates a “psychological thriller of such small scale and yet such heightened effect” that even Alfred Hitchcock might admire its scare tactics. With every sudden thump or distant groan, Paranormal Activity manages to “stir our primal fear,” said Mary Elizabeth Williams in Salon.com. This a film made with no stars, and with virtually no money. But its “urgent, low-fi aesthetic only enhances its creepy realism.”
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.