By Ashley Bagwell
Imagine a movie that has the ability to terrify almost an entire audience, prevent teenagers from closing their eyes at night and winning a spot as one of the best horror movies of all time, all for around $15,000.
Oren Peli, a video game designer turned director, shot the film in over just a few days entirely in his own home, with no stars and no studio concerned until more recently. As of Oct. 20 Paranormal Activity has already earned $36,925,510 and has yet to be widely released, which will occur Oct. 23.
Seldom does a movie have the ability to simultaneously cause a person’s heart to race, breath to catch, hands to shake and entire body to jump. Peli has done the miraculous; he has successfully taken the mundane and turned it into horror movie gold.
The entire film is shot in a mock-documentary style similar to that of The Blair Witch Project, with a hand held camera and largely in night vision, but it achieves a much higher level of terror thanks, in large part, to the genius of the director. Even though the film is shot in what is considered to be “shaky cam” the presence of a trained hand is noticeable and the “shaky” aspect doesn’t interfere with viewing the film.
The majority of horror films being churned out by major production industries feature buckets of blood and an incredible amount of gore. Paranormal Activity achieves a level of horror unmatched by the majority of these films with almost none of the blood and gore, this move relies on true terror, and succeeds.
Paranormal Activity has been so successful in this area that it has attained a wide release, a feat which seldom small budget films ever accomplish. This movie leaves every audience with an unshakable feeling of paranoia, the only exception being the occasional patron who feels that they could make a better movie with a $15,000 budget and the patrons who feel they must hate something solely because it is generally accepted.