Despite what the trailer might lead you to believe Paranormal Activity is not a jump out of your seat scary movie. With only a cast of four ‘actors’, and we use the term actors loosely, you get to sit through 90 minutes of repetitive night camera scenes. These scenes are brought about out of one of the characters’… Micah’s fascination with whatever it is that is haunting the two main characters. The story surrounds a couple who have only recently moved in together. Set entirely in one location, a midsize suburban house where Micah the man of the story who is a day trader and lives with Katie who is in teachers college. With paranormal investigation shows seemingly being the bases for all of the twists and turns it makes you think that the creators of the movie were in fact trying to make a spoof of the popular yet unsubstantiated subgenre of television. The TAPS team would be proud of Micah’s paranormal investigative skills, I’m sure. He busts out the big guns, a Weegie board, EVP sessions, night vision video camera, a psychic and other little tricks picked up from the internet.
The story progresses following the captured paranormal activity through Micah’s video camera that he has set up to catch any activity around the bed he and his girlfriend sleep in. At first their little activity only catches the door to their bedroom opening and closing on its own, but this soon becomes the least of their worries. Several nights follow with progressively worse activity happening around their bed room, such as loud thumps coming out of nowhere. During the day it seems that there is no threat whatsoever the cast lightheartedly jokes about the experiences that they are having, all but Katie, the center of the paranormal activity. She insists on having a psychic come over to their house, once again keeping it within the boundaries of the movies singular location, to do a reading. After this psychic tells the couple that they have a non-human entity in their house that is in fact attached to Katie, the story takes on a sometimes playful sometimes scary tone. These tones are directly related to whether the sun is up or not. What makes this movie better than the run of the mill horror film? It is not a horror film at all, it is more of a dark thriller. The reason it is popular is the same reason shows like Paranormal State, Ghost Hunters (both of them) are popular. People can’t seem to get enough of quasi-science that makes up the investigation of supernatural ghosts and demons, (or my personal favorite a Wendigo… look them up they are the craziest).