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I had heard from numerous sources that the best part of watching Paranormal Activity in theaters was seeing the audiences’ reactions to the film. I can now verify that it would have to be, as this is the dullest movie I have seen since its predecessor in over-hyped, inactive, home-movie-shot horror, The Blair Witch Project.

It starts off introducing us to Micah and Katie, a newly living together couple. Micah is utterly unendurable about running his video camera 24 hours a day, even when Katie is on the toilet apparently. She eventually starts to whine about it, then finally snaps and puts him in his place. This will have to suffice as dramatic tension in the film for a good, long spell. Oh, and there may be some demon presence that Katie forgot to mention before Micah agreed to move in, in case you thought the lady less an ass than the gentleman. But this is less involving in the movie than their strained and incredibly boring living situation. What it amounts to for the first 55 minutes is a little bit of off-camera activity, mostly some noises like a house settling.

Normally I don’t care to do this to a film, but considering the giant rip-off ending of PA, I have no qualms about comparing the hell out of it to TBWP. PA doesn’t even have the decency to wander around and get lost in the woods. It just sits at home, waiting for something to happen. Finally, at that 55 minute mark, the demon makes his presence known. He spills some flour in the hallway. Though quaking in terror, our intrepid couple refuse to abandon the home in which they now make one another miserable. Then Katie gives us an exasperating ending, even knocking over the camera as she does so, a la Blair Witch.

The whole movie was just so terminally uninteresting that if you saw it in a theater you would be forced to watch your fellow moviegoers for some actually activity, paranormal or otherwise. Not one of the allegedly frightening things the demon does happens onscreen, and then consists of random noises, spilt dry goods and a visit from a demonologist so terrified of the its presence that he immediately vacates the premises. But that is all background to Micah and Katie’s relationship for the most part, and they are boring as hell. He’s so self absorbed that he never turns his camera off and the only thing I remember about her is she withholds demonic information. They’re the worst kinds of horror movie characters: the ones you can’t wait to see dead.

There’s nothing engaging about the movie’s security camera footage look either. It looks like any vlog from any random site for the most part. This could just as easily been on someone’s myspace page. Maybe more so, as myspace must be haunted given how quickly everyone ditched it. I can’t think of a thing to recommend this movie as even its premise is no longer new, having been created in 1998. I’m not sure why a filmmaker would revisit something so flawed in the first place that it eventually led to Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2. Recommend to avoid. 1 star


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