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Paranormal Activity


Stars: Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat, Mark Friedrichs, Ashley Palmer

Director: Oren Peli

This low-budget, low-gore horror is one scary movie. Katie (Featherston) thinks she's been haunted throughout her life by some kind of demon. Partner Micah (Sloat) sets up a camera at the end of their bed, which records the events of 21 nights at their new house, as the paranormal entity gradually increases its activity.

What makes this film so frightening is that, for long stretches of a blue-lit night in the bedroom, nothing happens. When it does, it makes the hairs on your neck stand on end, and brought shrieks and gasps from the preview audience.

A deep-rooted howl shatters the silence; footsteps are heard - and seen in the chalk the couple has scattered outside (and inside) the bedroom, and strange things happen to the bedcovers.

But we mustn't give too much away. This is a very clever film - marred only by rather silly interludes involving a demonologist (or whatever) - made by an Israeli-born director of great vigor and intelligence, and it may be a masterpiece of the genre.

David Quinlan

USA 2009. UK Distributor: Icon. Colour.
87 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 22 Nov 2009