Things That Go Bump….

Years from now, when I think back on the first time I saw the horror mock-u-mentary Paranormal Activity, I’m sure the first thing I’ll remember is the 18-year-old dude behind me, sitting with his three friends, screaming like a little girl.

Yes, he’d scream…out loud…as if he’d just encountered a monster in a dark alley on his way home from soccer practice. But, in that packed theater in Avon Friday night, no one seemed to mind his screaming much. Truth be told – everyone was screaming.

Yep, Paranormal Activity was THAT spooky.

If case you haven’t heard, Paranormal Activity is a low-budget suspense film- shot on a hand-held camera in one week. The movie is done in the spirit of The Blair Witch Project as in, it presents itself as an actual experience where you the audience are viewing the “found footage”.

The movie tells the story of a young couple who believe their house may be haunted and therefore buy a video camera to record any Paranormal Activity.

The tension builds slowly, as the apprehensive Katie, a student, and the skeptical Micah, a day trader, feel the first emotional tremors. The movie keeps us in its grip because we never leave the couple’s haunted property and because all we see is what the camera has recorded when held by Micah or Katie, or when left on at night to monitor their bedroom. That claustrophobia creates a bond between the couple and the audience; they can’t escape, and neither can we.

The tension gets so unbearable that the audience literally groans with dread as the camera is left on each night while Katie and Micah sleep. I don’t want to give anything away and the less you know about this film the better, but the movie works best during these scenes filmed in the bedroom during the night. That is when the true terror happens. That is when the audience, at least at the screening I attended Friday night, screamed loudest.

Paranormal Activity is the complete opposite of The Hangover but at the same time nearly identical. The Hangover made packed audiences laugh so hard they wanted to pee, while Paranormal Activity provides scream inducing scares.

And those are the best movies out there, the kinds that elicit some sort of human response.

So if you like to be scared, go see Paranormal Activity but be warned, you will have trouble sleeping if you are easily frightened.

Like right now. I’m dreading going to sleep tonight. Really fucking dreading it.


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