Paranormal Activity (Orin Peli, 2007)

What's it about? A young couple are troubled by what they believe might be a supernatural presence in their home, so they set up night-time surveillance to see if they can capture whatever it is on camera. Spooky stuff ensues.

Is it any good? Quite creepy actually. Much has been made of the similarity to the likes of The Blair Witch Project and [Rec], but a better comparison is probably The Haunting, with the premise of an unseen entity, moving doors, thumps and thuds transposed to a 'real' domestic setting. Some may quibble over the credibility and/or stupidity of the couple's actions (and use of camera) throughout, but the tension is built expertly and there's no denying the unsettling effect of those nocturnal scenes. Made me jump a couple of times too, just like the people in the smart trailer below.

I don't trust you. What do others think? Those expecting blood, guts and gore were disappointed by the slow-build nature of the film, but others were caught entirely unawares and ended up sobbing into their popcorn in fear and sleeping with the lights on afterwards. None other than Steven Spielberg claims to have been mysteriously locked in his room after watching a copy of the film. Naturally, that particular nugget of information, true or not, was like manna from heaven to the film-makers and producers. Helped by a smart viral marketing campaign and trailer, they watched a film made for $15,000 return almost $200 million at the box office.

What does the Fonz think? If you're dubious, try watching it alone, with the lights off and back door open....

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