Scariest movie I’ve ever seen

29 Oct

I hadn’t heard of “Paranormal Activity” until, well, the rest of the world appeared to. I watched a trailer that primarily showed screaming audience members, and I thought it was a stupid trailer. However, I was intrigued. I love to be scared, but it’s difficult to do so. However, there are some rules:

  • Chainsaws and anything with humans is not scary.
  • Simply making me jump does not equate to scary. I jump at everything. This is not a feat.
  • If I do not leave the theater and continue to think about the film for at least an hour, it is not scary.

It’s not a terribly long list, but the points are important. Supernatural, inexplicable stuff freaks me out. Even though I don’t believe in ghosts or demons of any sort, that crap can make me tremble.

“Paranormal Activity” did more than make me tremble: It made me sleep with the light on. It’s the first movie to do so.

By now, you’ve heard the scenario: Adorable cohabiting couple hears bumps in the night. Katie has heard said bumps since she was 8, and recently, the bumping  started to bump louder. So Micah gets a pricey camera and decides to set it up at night — not to catch their extracurriculars (though we all know he tried), but to catch what, exactly, went bump.

And that’s about it. Cue a few scenes with a friend, cue a few more with a ghost expert, and we have our movie. Simple and yet stunningly effective.

It has a number of things going for it. For one, anyone going into this flick on the giant screen probably wondered at some point: Am I going to get motion sickness? The first five minutes are a little brutal, but after that, most scenes are shot when the camera is resting on an object — and even when Micah tapes while running, it somehow is not that bad. However, this “insider view” adds oodles to the story.

And, oh yes, it’s beautifully acted. PA is, in fact, fiction, but it’s filmed in such a way that the audience questions. After the movie, as I waited for my friend to pee, I stood against the wall and listened to all the reactions; I heard more than one, “Oh, my God. That was real!”

This film is also garnering some comparisons to “The Blair Witch Project.” Please stop doing this. The BWP was the dumbest movie ever. The very last scene, with the character facing the wall, was creepy, yes, but a long creepy scene does not a scary movie make. Whereas, in both films, we never exactly see what is going on, in PA, we see very concrete effects. There are close-ups. There are examinations. BWP doesn’t provide either of these very important nuances and, thusly, sucks.

Standing around in the parking lot for a while, I continually looked down, convinced something would dart out from beneath my car to grab my feet (I have a feet thing, don’t ask). We got back to my friend’s, and he asked, “So, you wanna watch ‘Rosemary’s Baby’?”

We had the same idea — let’s watch a movie that can’t possibly be as scary to get the real scary  movie out of our heads. We did. It was OK. Kind of lame, but interesting plot (I STILL want to see that blasted baby’s eyes, dammit), and it did help a little. But when deposited in a spare room, I thought, “Yeah, those lights are staying on.” I thanked the multiple Bibles around the room, and I silently begged the cats in the hallway NOT to scratch on my door.

The following two nights, the lights could go off, but I was jumpy. On night No. 4, I slept fine.

Finally.

Have you seen “Paranormal Activity”? What did you think?

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