"Packed to the brim with suspense, and pant-wettingly scary"

About an hour into this film, a fully-grown man in the cinema openly shrieked.  Never before have I ever heard that happen, and it is a testament to just how scary Paranormal Activity really is.

The film is a wonderful example of how, in cinema, simplicity is king.  Using four actors, one location, and filmed exclusively by the actors themselves (think Blair Witch but with a higher quality camera), director Oren Peli is able to focus the concentration of the audience solely on what is important.

Through the handy cam, we follow Micah and Katie, as they seek to identify the true cause behind the spooky goings on in their house.  What starts off as a bit of a joke between the couple soon turns into something more sinister, as the entity haunting the couple takes on a more malevolent bent.

Peli clearly has the nack of getting an audience going. By filming the movie in what is essentially a series of daily vignettes, the audience is able to connect with the characters, as the level of suspense and fear grows simultaneously between the two.  By scripting the majority of the ‘hauntings’ to happen at night whilst the characters are asleep only adds to this, as we are scared not only on our part, but also for the sleeping couple. 

What makes it even worse is that the antagonist is never revealed.  The fact that you know it’s there but are unable to see it, despite the fact you know it’s right in front of your eyes just adds to the primal levels of fear, and lets your imagination run riot.

Paranormal Activity is a proper edge of the seat horror.  Not ruined by being excessively gory or by being reliant on special effects, it goes back to doing what good films do best – good plot, good acting, good direction.  If it’s a damn good fright you’re after, then there’s nothing better.