Paranormal Activity

Paranormal Activity Image
Metascore
68

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

User Score
5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 603 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. "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. SamH
    Jan 17, 2010
    9
    This movie is scary. I don't care what people think. It is truly scary. It's not the typical, gory killer thrasher movie that This movie is scary. I don't care what people think. It is truly scary. It's not the typical, gory killer thrasher movie that we're used to. No, the scare of this movie is all psychological. The fear of some unknown being lurking around haunting someone for years is the exact thing that scared me to death when I was a little girl. The fact that you can't see it makes the movie even scarier. The movie was made to look real, just like previous movies such as Cloverfield and Quarantine. Some believed it was real. And when it got out that it wasn't, I heard many people say it wasn't scary anymore. Now, I don't understand this. Why can't the movie itself be scary without it being real? It's also true that very few scary parts happen in the movie. This is to add to the fear of anticipating more things to happen, and goes on along with the underlying meaning of the movie plot. Plus, it adds to the real feeling of the movie. Expand
  4. May 23, 2012
    6
    The movie is just fine, not shockingly good. I was very impressed with the horror scenes, it really did convince me by me being terrified atThe movie is just fine, not shockingly good. I was very impressed with the horror scenes, it really did convince me by me being terrified at those scenes. I love the way the characters were acting in those scenes.But in the other hand, they do some over-the-top acting in some scenes, it really turned me off a little bit. The flow of the story was not consistent, thus making the plot a little bit obscure. But for a scary and psychological movie, they really did a descent job... Expand
  5. Jimmy
    Oct 17, 2009
    4
    This is waaaaaaaaaaaayyyy overrated and is the farthest thing from being the scariest movie. It got so mind numbingly boring watching the This is waaaaaaaaaaaayyyy overrated and is the farthest thing from being the scariest movie. It got so mind numbingly boring watching the exact same camera angle with only minor variations on what happened next. I groaned every time it went to that notorious angle that will be engraved in your mind permanently. The male character is extremely unrealistic instead of him saying "Holy ****, a ghost in the house! Let's get the hell out of here!" he is like "Hmmm doors close by themselves, my girlfriend is getting injured, I could die... How about stay for the rest of the month?" What? Does he want to challenge the demon to a boxing match or something? There is no plot the whole movie is like "Oh my god what happened how did that get there blah blah blah". The ending... Could it have been any worse??? Like did they just rip it off from one of those "Footage of Ghost" videos on Youtube? On the movie poster it says something like you won't fall asleep after watching this movie. Well I'd fall asleep for sure if I watched it again. Expand
  6. LuluB
    Oct 22, 2009
    2
    I almost fell asleep after 1/2 hour. Most overrated overhyped piece of crap movie of the year. Maybe 5 minutes of creepiness and that's it.
  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 308 User Reviews

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