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Halloween may be over, but here at Smurfin’ The Web, Wicked Wednesday continues unabated. This weeks review for all you horror lovers is the first in a more recent franchise which has captured the imagination of movie goers all over the world, Paranormal Activity.

Now I have to say that when movies get this much hype I tend to not bother with them or I am sorely disappointed as was the case with The Blair Witch Project. That movie had genius marketing, but the end result in the cinema was a huge let down. It was a masterclass on how to get bums on seats.

Paranormal Activity on the other hand is in my opinion much, much better in terms of content. things actually happen which is an added bonus. The cast of five are all unknowns and probably were friends of the makers of the movie that cost just $15,000 to create. The film has return an astronomical $193,355,800 at the box office globally which makes it one of the most successful films ever made in terms of cost to return ratio. I figured that something that can make so much money from just fifteen grand is worth seeing; if only to see what the fuss (if any) is all about.

The story is a simple one, Katie (Katie Featherston) has been stalked by a demon since she was 8 and now it has decided to come back and trouble her once more, this time in her boyfriend’s house. Micah (Micah Sloat) decides to try and solve the situation by buying a new camera to try and capture the entity on film and figure out a way of getting rid of it. Of course, what happens is that the demon becomes more agitated and each night they go to sleep, certain “happenings” in the house become more and more agressive until they reach a dramatic conclusion.

The film preys on the classic fear of what happens when you are asleep and cannot control what is happening around you. What makes this film effective though is the way it is filmed. The use of handheld cameras as if shot “home movie” style gives us a sense that we are in the characters’ shoes and also add to the sense of realism. It has a much more authentic look than Blair Witch, and of course the key moments of the story are caught on the all important camera.

I liked the movie and although it was slow to get going despite being only an hour and a half long, there was enough to keep you watching and as the demonic acts get worse, you do start to feel a little uncomfortable and one stand out moment had the hairs on the back of my neck up on end, not an easy task for a horror film. It is a classic psycological thriller which I do like and I hope that the other two movies in the series are in the same style.

I give Paranormal Activity a worthy 7/10 and woud say that its a good watch. I don’t suppose it is up everyone’s street, but it was a good stroll around the block for my adrenalin glands. Next week Wicked Wednesday will¬† bring you a nice review of Paranormal Activity 2 and I hope that it is as good as the first film. Until next week, you little monsters, here is the trailer – “You Demanded It, You Got It

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