Metascore
68

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

User Score
5.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 515 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)
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. 80
    Grounded by strong performances by newcomers Featherston and Sloat, who pretty much have the movie to themselves, Paranormal Activity, which demands to be seen in a crowded theater, is refreshingly blood-free.
  4. Reviewed by: Tirdad Derakhshani
    75
    An impressive, not entirely successful exercise in minimalist filmmaking.
  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, 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 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. j30
    Oct 7, 2011
    6
    A pretty creepy movie with just enough thrills and a chilling finale. I had a hard time sleeping after this one. If you're bored and want to watch a little scary movie. Go for it. Expand
  5. Nov 12, 2012
    3
    Quality wise, it's YouTube on the big screen, and bad YouTube at that. Scare wise, it's laughable.
  6. dustinb.
    Oct 13, 2009
    2
    Wow talk about overhyped. not scary at all until the last 15 minutes. i laughed at this movie more than being scared. sorry but loud noises and lights flipping on and off don't scare me. the last 15 minutes were the only good minutes of this movie. Expand
  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 291 User Reviews