When Oren Peli’s Paranormal Activity got a nationwide cinema release in 2007 it was lauded as a horror classic.
But how does the film line up after 10 years?
Well as one of my choices for last night’s horror marathon for Halloween, I found Paranormal Activity to be every bit as terrifying as when I first saw it all those years ago.
The key? Simplicity.
Like films such as Halloween, it uses scares that audiences can relate to. The slamming of a door, the shadow in the dark, the feeling of being watched.
We also have a small cast as we focus on the young couple who are being tormented by this entity, whatever it is.
You get to know them, invest in their story so when it all starts to hit the fan you have a degree of sympathy for their plight.
Also we never see what’s doing all of this. There’s always a temptation in horror to give you glimpses of the monster, but Peli resists and this is to the film’s credit.
We have the hint of a prior evil from Katie’s past, but this is explored just enough to make what’s going on all the more frightening. What could be scarier than a demon or entity that has been stalking you for years?
Although the sequel was a decent follow up, the series quickly unravelled and with 4 sequels and a spin off at last count Paranormal Activity appears to be finished for good.
What the makers of the sequels never seem to get was that less is more in these sort of films.
So if you’re after a post-Halloween watch that is genuinely scary, Paranormal Activity is still an essential watch.