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Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 574 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: After a young, middle class couple moves into what seems like a typical suburban “starter” tract house, they become increasingly disturbed by a presence that may or may not be somehow demonic but is certainly most active in the middle of the night. [Paramount Pictures]
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24
  1. With its this-is-really-happening vibe, Paranormal Activity scrapes away 30 years of encrusted nightmare clichés. The fear is real, all right, because the fear is really in you.
  2. 83
    The film loses some of its grimy verisimilitude toward the end, but it’s nevertheless a surprisingly effective low-budget shocker with a sensibility as current as the latest viral videos, yet rooted in the suggestive, less-is-more atmospherics of Val Lewton.
  3. Reviewed by: Simon Crook
    80
    An Amityville for the YouTube age: potent, primal and genuinely frightening.
  4. 75
    Like legendary producer Val Lewton in the '40s, director Oren Peli, who shot "Paranormal" in seven days in his own home, understands that what's most frightening is what you don't see but merely suggested.
  5. I’ve never seen a movie that so cunningly exploits our anticipation.
  6. Reviewed by: Kevin Lally
    60
    "Paranormal" ultimately does deliver in a way that "Blair Witch" never did, but its achingly slow buildup is a test not just of an audience's patience but the power of hype surrounding the latest alternative scary movie.
  7. 0
    Don't believe the hype: Paranormal Activity may be a lot of things, but the words "scary" and "movie" are not among them. It is instead nothing more or less than an excruciatingly tedious YouTube gag cleverly marketed to go viral in the broadest and most box office-friendly way.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. KyleH
    Jan 4, 2010
    10
    If you think Saw is the greatest horror series of our decade, this movie isn't for you. If you think a horror movie has to have blood, If you think Saw is the greatest horror series of our decade, this movie isn't for you. If you think a horror movie has to have blood, gore, and in your face action then this movie isn't for you. If you think Inglorious Bastards was nothing but boring dialog, then this movie is not for you. If you enjoy movies that are based on building suspense then you will love this movie. If you're tired of all the crappy remakes that are plaguing the horror genre (Friday the 13th, The Stepfather, Halloween, etc.) then you will find this movie refreshing. Expand
  2. Lester
    Oct 25, 2009
    10
    Great film! Scared me to the bones!
  3. PaulaD.
    Jan 11, 2010
    9
    Simply scary. And enjoying with an entire audience of theatre goers who jumped and screamed at the same time made it even more enjoyable and Simply scary. And enjoying with an entire audience of theatre goers who jumped and screamed at the same time made it even more enjoyable and engrossing. Expand
  4. Feb 11, 2012
    6
    More than a decade ago a movie called the The Blair Witch Project introduced to audiences worldwide a genre known as "found footage". FlashMore than a decade ago a movie called the The Blair Witch Project introduced to audiences worldwide a genre known as "found footage". Flash forward to 2009 and that style of film has been popularised once more in a little, independent feature called Paranormal Activity. The BIG question everyone wants to know -- is this flick scarier than the feature that started it all? Well, yes and no. It is frightful at times (particularly the last twenty minutes) but there's such a slow build up to the good stuff it's somewhat disappointing. Expand
  5. Feb 15, 2011
    3
    Well it take me some time to decide to watch this film, i was warn by my friends not to take the risk but i decided to watch it . And wasWell it take me some time to decide to watch this film, i was warn by my friends not to take the risk but i decided to watch it . And was terrible, i dont know who the hell think that this film is scary... i think that it should be called not "paranormal activity" but "invisible man is crazy" because thats all.......Now i know what to except from Paranormal Activity 2.... NOTHING....BORING Expand
  6. DanM.
    Oct 16, 2009
    2
    Movie is a ripoff, booring lowbudget movie,worst movie I have ever seen,I don,t get how people rated this movie good?
  7. Eric
    Oct 10, 2009
    0
    This movie is slow moving, low budget version of the Blair Witch Project. Let down on all levels... Save your money. This movie is a rental at best.

See all 305 User Reviews