2009-11-20 / Entertainment/Lifestyles

MovieScope

'Paranormal Activity' - Beware: Bad Movie
By Robert Snyder

What is truly frightening about "Paranormal Activity" is that, in its first weeks of release, it pulled in $62 million at the box office.

Stitched together for a mere $15,000 by day trader/overnight filmmaker Oren Peli, "Paranormal" is one of the worst movies of this or any other year. The genius behind it is in the web-site hype that fooled gullible audience members to dish out their hardearned dough in these recession-tempered times.

This is a movie where nothing happens. The premise is that a couple, Katie (Katie Featherston) and Micah (Micah Sloat), move into a new Cali - fornia modern home in San Diego and think they hear bumps in the night. Sensing a reality show in the works, Micah sets up a surveillance camera to record any spooks hovering around while they sleep.

The camera doesn't catch much - the door opening and closing, bedclothes billowing a bit — but it takes a lot of time to show very little. Even if this were presented as a "Blair Witch Project" pseudo-documentary, it would still be boring. In comparison, "Blair Witch" looks like "The Exorcist." You can actually leave, go to the bathroom, buy popcorn, call a friend on your cell phone and not have missed anything on screen.

Non-actors, Fleatherston and Sloat, have a few adversarial moments where they try to create some sparks. However, the only fire in the film is when a ouija board mysteriously ignites. Again, the moment is another lone happening is a sea of silent surveillance.

A couple of times, a psychic (Mark Friedrichs) shows up. He doesn't stay long, saying that they've got the wrong guy. Likely, the actor sensed the minuscule level of the pay scale.

Anyone wishing to watch dull surveillance footage should set up a camera and watch the results. At least, it won't cost you a ticket.

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