Why Paranormal Activity Saved Horror Films

October 27, 2009 at 3:01 pm

The Athletic Nerd Movie Reviews

Every summer, I get extremely pumped about going to the movies and experiencing the best ‘tent pole’ films that studios have to offer.

This summer will probably go down as a minor disappointment.

With a few exceptions such as District 9, Inglourious Bastards and Star Trek there really weren’t too many ‘experiences’ to be had.  Transformers 2 is a perfect example of this.  It was easily my most anticipated movie of the year as I loved the first film.  I sat in the theater opening day expecting to be blown away by giant robot battles and massive vfx action sequences…  Meh…  The whole movie was a big mess for me.  Too many robots!  Too many random coincidences.  Not enough story.  Not really all that fun to watch.

2009 was destined to become an off year.  Until Paranormal Activity arrived and kicked my ass.


Now THIS is what going to the movies is all about.

I saw the film in a packed theater full of people ready to be scared out of their minds.  The hype surrounding this film was so high that I wasn’t sure it could deliver.  I was wrong.  Paranormal Activity is my favorite movie of the year by far.  The entire theater was filled with gasps, screams and laughter that I haven’t experienced in years.  Every time the locked off shot of their bedroom appeared the audience started squirming. (Myself included)  You just knew something crazy was about to go down.  What makes this movie kick ass is that every terrifying moment builds on the one before it.  The result?  For the first time in a long time, I was scared in a theater.

XTRA: Paranormal Activity 2 Review

So many horror films these days rely on gore and visible killers.  It gets old really quickly and it’s about time someone stepped up and changed it up.  Comparisons have been made to ‘The Blair Witch Project’.  That movie didn’t scare me at all and really didn’t live up to the hype.  Paranormal Activity may end up being one of my favorite horror movies of all time.  It was so simple and so much fun to watch especially in a packed house full of people having as much fun as I was.  I was so good, I went back with a friend the next night to see it again.  It was just as good the second time around.  I can’t wait to own this flick on DVD.

For the last few weeks, I’ve made a few mentions of a horror script I’ve been working on.  A sequel to a short I wrote last year.  My experience with Paranormal Activity this week has vaulted that script to priority status.  Horror is quickly becoming the dominant type of story that I enjoy writing.  I want nothing more than to create an experience like that.  My hats off to the director, the actors and the entire crew.  What an awesome movie!