Paranormal Activity (US, 2007)

A normal place

It’s taken 10 years for a credible follow-up to The Blair Witch Project (1999) suggesting that the ‘realist’ generic innovation doesn’t really work with horror; however, Paranormal Activity is an interesting addition to the horror canon though whether the forthcoming sequel can escape the fate of the Blair Witch follow-up remains to be seen.

[Rec] (Spain, 2007)  also utilises the this-is-really happening trope, however it’s framed as a TV report and so lacks the ‘unadulterated’ access to reality of home video. It’s interesting that so little in Paranormal Activity can be spun out into so much; emphasising that what’s not seen (but often heard) is the most frightening. It’s good to see a less than svelte female in the lead (though whether I should actually note that point is debateable) and anyone who can ‘buy into’ horror hokum (I include myself) should find this er… enjoyable.

Bechdel test: Pass (13/8)
Protagonist: Male (6/11)*
Lacey test: Pass (0/3)

*This is debateable as Katie is the central character, however in narrative terms she is passive (until the end); Micah is the one who tries to affect events.

2 Responses

  1. did this work for you as a horror? because i was genuinely scared at the cinema, the final few minutes are terrifying, such a good build up of suspense through the whole film.

    • Yes I did. Watching it at home (alone!) is effective too especially when, later in the evening, a picture fell down for no reason!

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