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PCR #502 (Vol. 10, No. 45). This edition is for the week of November 2--8, 2009.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Paranormal Activity"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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"Paranormal Activity"  by Mike Smith
Children of the Corn (2009)  by ED Tucker
Bruce Lee Extravaganza  by Jason Fetters
Phew! .... Rambo Is A Pussy! .... Lighten Up Already! .... Movie Notes .... Passing On .... It's Not Supposed To Be Scary .... .... .... My Favorite Films, Part 2  by Mike Smith
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Starring: Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat
Directed by: Oren Peli
Rated: R
Running Time: 1 hour 27 mins

There is a lot to be said for low budget films. Not only do they grab our attention when they’re good but they also tend to make a fortune due to their low cost. Before he went semi-mainstream with “Hairspray” and “Cry Baby,” John Waters filmed around Baltimore on a budget so low he had to turn to his parents for help. Kevin Smith spent $6,000 and filmed in a friends’ store and gave us “Clerks.” “El Mariachi,” the original “Last House on the Left” and “The Blair Witch Project” have all made huge piles of money, though none of them hold a candle to the $25,000 adult film “Deep Throat,” which as of today has grossed over $600 million. The latest little movie that could, one drawing all kinds of attention to it, is “Paranormal Activity.” Total cost: $11, 300. With all of the hype surrounding the film opening wide I knew it was time to give it a look.

Katie and Micah have been dating for a long time but have just recently decided to move in together. Katie has been hearing some strange sounds in the house recently so Micah has decided to purchase a high tech video camera and set it up in their bedroom. The camera picks up enough mysterious things that they consult a psychic, who cautions them about making whatever seems to be visiting angry, claiming that negative energy attracts evil. Still not taking Katie’s fears seriously, Micah warns her not to invite her mother over again. As the days progress we begin to notice a growing sense of terror, one that builds until the film’s end. The psychic warns it may either be the work of a ghost or a demon. Still unconvinced, Micah replies “demons suck.”.

OK, let’s get this part out of the way first. “Paranormal Activity” is pretty scary. Like all good horror movies, the film uses suspense to frighten. Of course, this was achieved fairly easily for me. Each time the young couple retired for bed my back tensed up and my eyes widened a little as I silently stared at and searched the image on the screen, looking intensely for the least possible movement or action. Even if it’s just the ice maker or the air conditioner vent, the sense of hearing something unknown and unseen in the dark is pretty ominous. I was in Amityville, NY last month and I sought out and found the infamous house. I mention this because at least the Lutz family learned to do one thing that seems to escape Micah and Katie…TURN ON A LIGHT! Too many times when something goes bump in the night the two wander the house in the dark whispering, “what’s that?” Turn on a light and see! But that’s really only a small complaint, so don’t let it dissuade you from seeing the movie.

On a scale of zero to four I give “Paranormal Activity”


This week's movie review of "Paranormal Activity" is ©2009 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2009, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2009 by Nolan B. Canova.