User Score
5.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 526 Ratings

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  1. 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 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
  2. Feb 26, 2011
    1
    What the hell were the directors and writers thinking? This movie had so much potential to be great, but it flopped badly. The story is of a couple that has weird things going on in their house. The whole beginning of this movie was just the two of them going "Whoa, did you feel/see that?". The only decent part of that whole 90 minutes was the ending. It was the only part that actually made me feel suspense, but only just a little bit. This movie was a complete waste of money that should have never been made. Expand
  3. Aug 31, 2010
    2
    Don't be fooled by the critics high ratings, this movie was 95% boring with only one or two semi-scary or interesting moments, both of which ended quickly with no real drama or interest. I was very disappointed, the ending was abrupt and as bland and un-descriptive as the entire film and made me wonder what the purpose was of watching the entire movie, I wish I had not.
  4. Oct 12, 2011
    3
    This movie was given a 3 star rating for its comedy. As a horror or thriller movie it fails miserably especially considering we're in 2011. This felt like a movie made that could have been made and become popular in the 90's. This would be useful to a psychology student to watch and see the neurotic behavior of an individual who believes they are being chased by a ghost - but the fact the movie was called paranormal activity and had unexplained events - it fail's to even make that category. The only way I can see this movie having had any effect was in a theater with large sound-effects of door's screeching and big bangs. Lagged to an extreme. I have a hard time understanding how this movie became popular or critically acclaimed - now that's paranormal. Expand
  5. Sep 8, 2011
    3
    Pretty bad for a Blair Witch copy. Incredibly boring, poorly acted, downright stupid, and somehow presumes that its audience believes in the occult, and that any of this can actually happen. Blair Witch at least kind of made sense, so its home-video vibe tended to work more often than not; Paranormal Activity makes zero sense, making it stupid. Well, if you don't believe in the occult, you're going to have a real hard time finding any scares here, as what passes for scary here often amounts to nothing more than a door slamming or some inexplicable footsteps, followed by our two main characters essentially looking at each other and going, "Dude, holy **** and then that's often followed by the girl quite reasonably panicking while her boyfriend makes sure she panics as much as possible in his attempt at a Best Douchebag Oscar. and characters you probably could not care less about. The two people in the house have the depth of a petri dish, and you never have any reason to feel anything for them at all, particularly the boyfriend, who you will want dead. If I were a poltergeist, I'd go straight for him, because well, **** him. But I digress: Nothing that happens here is believable in the slightest, making its home-video theme worthless. You end up with something that's sort of like a video game: Something happens at night that freaks out the girl and/or the guy, they can't find anything (naturally), then the next day they try to "work it out" and talk about it in a way that might make sense if you dropped out of rehab just to see this film, but for everyone else, we're left baffled at their reasoning and "solutions", showing that our protagonists not only are unlikable, but they're also mildly retarded. It goes on like that for about 90 minutes, and then that's it.

    Oh, did I talk about the ending? Yeah, if you saw this in theaters or otherwise saw the theatrical ending, prepare for the biggest disappointment since Orbital's "farewell album". What happens is not only something that's been done before and better in Flash webseries (those who've seen it, you know what I mean), and is completely insensible and utterly impossible in every single manner, but they even try to offer an explanation that steps out of the realm of ridiculous and right into the realm of being completely retarded.

    There is a little hope, however. You may or may not be aware that there are somewhere between twenty and 1500 alternate endings, all of which are better than the theatrical one. Chances are, you have the edition that includes the one single alternate ending. Do it. This alternate ending they didn't use in theaters, most likely because it made more sense, does in fact make some semblance of sense. It's not perfect, and still doesn't explain much of anything, but it's definitely better than the theatrical ending, and magnitudes more satisfying. Go for it, believe me.

    Since you're waiting for the ending during this entire film (for your own personal reason, no doubt), I'll give the alternate ending version a 6. The theatrical version gets a 3. Since I'm not really rating the film on an alternate ending, I have to go with the 3 here. Just keep in mind that you can make it watchable with a little help from the DVD or Blu-ray.
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  6. Sep 23, 2010
    3
    I get the idea of the film. A generic haunting or such and the couple use a sensible option of trying to record everything to see whats happening. As the movie progresses, it just seems ages to get going and then when it does, theres no real shock value. I'm a bad jumper in films, someone shouts bang, and i'm more likely to jump even if i know its coming. Yet at no point in this film did it make me just, everything was just a bit too cheesy and predictable. No worth the money really, but the blu-ray version looks immaculate because of the graphics Expand
  7. Oct 22, 2010
    0
    Those of you who think that the first movie was good you have no sense of what a good movie is let alone a horror movie. Seriously, Paranormal Activity what such a bunch of mindless cliche and terrible script writing. I was so utterly bored by this movie I would've left had I not fallen asleep to the non-eventfulness of the movie. This movie shows more how Hollywood has stooped to the level of making good commercials than that of good movies. What's that you say, it was made by college kids. That may be so, but still I'm utterly repulsed by how much money this movie made. Beyond that other movies have been made from college level people that were 100 times better than this piece of filth. So angry (even a year later) for watching and hour and fifteen minutes of a movie where nothing happens, there is only fifteen minutes where this movie engaged me. Obviously this movie should have been only fifteen minutes and I would have been happy, but no it dragged on for about 90.

    Maybe they'll get it right this time. But I'd rather be watching The Walking Dead on AMC then spending my money on this new cash cow crap-a-thon
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  8. Oct 8, 2010
    3
    While I can see why people found this film scary, this is no where near as frightening as some would have it. There's a lot of not very much happening, the only thrilling scene is the very last one- and there's three of them.
  9. Nov 15, 2010
    1
    This movie is simply ridiculous. Even though it is supposed to be scary, I just had a bunch of good laughs. The action is close to zero, and the characters are quite annoying, especially the girl... If I were the demon, I would escape from her! Moreover, this idea of filming had already been used in The Blair Witch Project... an epic fail... presented like the scariest movie ever, it's been fun all the time!!!!!!! Expand
  10. Jul 24, 2011
    0
    The first time I dozed off was after eight minutes, Then at intervals of about five minutes. The problem with this movie is that there is absolutely no story, no meaningful dialogue, just nonsense banter all the time. The bad audio makes it really hard to understand. What a disappointment...
  11. Jun 12, 2011
    2
    Blair Witch 2007! Just as boring and juts as lame. The whole movie is just slow and boring. If I wanted to watch two people sit around and talk I would have just talked to my wife instead of watching this lame movie. The acting in this movie was just horrible. The lead actress Katie Featherson is just unconvincing about 80 percent of the time and the boyfriend Micah Sloat is actually an agent for movie so his acting ability is that of a 10 year old. Also the boyfriends actions were not that of a concerned lover but rather a complete and unemotional douche bag... you know like an agent. Just watch the blair witch project instead they are basically the same movie anyway. Expand
  12. Aug 30, 2011
    0
    Well .... is THAT supposed to scary us? There was nothing to be afraid of. I mean what's the point of this movie? After 30 minutes i was already bored (nothing happening + boring characters) and the next hour wasn't any better!
  13. Aug 14, 2012
    4
    The story can not be interesting enough and this style of film ever explored before, here shown tiring and boring look through the camera home. The performances are not convincing and has no holes are observed the franchise as a whole.
  14. Feb 11, 2012
    3
    The reason this came up so unbelievably short for me is because there was sooo much hype right before it hit theaters. The hype obviously did the job because I went to see it in theaters, there goes ten dollars I could've used to buy two old good dvds at wal-mart. But anyway literally nothing in this movie was scary at all until the very last minute and even then its not like I jumped or was freaked out, it was just the only time anything exciting happened. When the credits hit and the crowd full of stupid people were gasping and scared, I was left with a blank expression on my face and ten dollars poorer. Expand
  15. Jan 6, 2012
    3
    I expect a horror film to be tense, terrifying, and have some climax moments; and from what I've heard this was exactly what I was going to find in Paranormal Activity, but all that I found is that it isn't a horror film at all: it tries to scare you, tries to have any plot, but all you get is a boring experience; and when I discovered it, I began with some nonsense laughs because it was the only thing that could keep me awake during the session. Expand
  16. Oct 27, 2012
    0
    Easily the most overrated horror movie of all time. I honestly do not see how people find this scary or good. It may (MAY!) provide a few jumps (at the end of the movie) but not because it's scary, It's just a startle move. It's like creeping up on someone and shouting to get them to jump. It's pretty pathetic, Just like this movie.
  17. Oct 9, 2013
    1
    Paranormal Activity gets a 1 for one scare, a one for originality, and a 10 for being completely and utterly pointless. The movie goes no where and accomplishes nothing, while you watch two people complain and pretend to be scared on everything little thing that sounds strange.
  18. Nov 30, 2013
    1
    An absolute failure of a horror film. Not even remotely scary or interesting. The premise of using the camera to film everything is stupid, and the annoying acting by the main "actors" just make this a terrible movie on all levels.
  19. Aug 6, 2013
    4
    Although suspenseful Paranormal Activity is not scary. It was impressive for the budget but that's about all that was impressive about it. The acting was good but the camera work was more annoying then innovative and the story line was just plain boring.
  20. Oct 12, 2012
    4
    A terrible film with contrived and forced 'scares.' 99.9% of the film is non-eventful, leading up to the "big" scare at the end of the film: three seconds of scare for 85-and-a-half minutes of build-up. To be honest, the US release trailers were better and scarier than the film itself.
  21. Nov 12, 2012
    3
    Quality wise, it's YouTube on the big screen, and bad YouTube at that. Scare wise, it's laughable.
  22. Nov 6, 2012
    4
    I am not going to be one of these people who jump on the band wagon and say this movie is bad. But in this case, this isn't a good movie. Its watchable but its not a good movie. And the most unfortunate thing is that critics love the majority of the film except the ending. Are the just stupid? The last half-an-hour is the only time the movie is scary and where something happens! The last third? And what does the first two thirds offer? Doors opening and closing and be sheets being lifted up and down. That isn't scary, that's just stupid. It not only wastes the film it was shot on, but it wastes my time as a viewer. Granted there are moments but most of the eventful scenes don't happen until the end of the film. Its a shame a good idea was wasted on bedsheets and doors moving. Expand
  23. Mar 18, 2013
    0
    The only thing scary about this movie is how hollywood was able to dupe everyone into wasting their time and money on a crappy, overhyped, and borefest movie.
  24. Mar 25, 2013
    1
    I CANNOT BELIEVE ALL THE HYPE. "One of the best horror movies of all time". Who the hell came up with this. I was in the theater sadly and somebody jumped at one scene. I literally got up during the movie, (because you could get up go to the bathroom, get food, play a game, talk on the phone, and have your friends come to the movies, that could've been 1:00 hour long and nothing literally what have happened.) And said nothing was scary. I do admit I like the independent films and low budgets like, Spring Breakers A+, ATM B+, Dangerous B-. All great but Paranormal Activity wasn't one bit scary. I wasn't scared, I didnt jump, my friends never jumped. PA is extremely over-hyped, it didnt even scare 1 time. When i saw this movie I was hoping to be scared s*****ss but it really didnt scare me has "Blair Witch Project" did I dont recommend this movie at all! IT SUCKS! (the 1 is because the couple in the movie acted really good throught the film). Frankly, I'm disappointed. I spent some time looking into this film before seeing it, and had pretty much figured that all the negative reviews were from the impatient who wanted your typical Hollywood horror film. I had hoped the general critical reception was correct, and I would enjoy a slow-paced, tense horror film. I was very, very wrong. Like so many other reviewers, the main issue is that almost nothing happens. In the entire 1.5 hours, you are treated to some total of 3 minutes of 'the paranormal', and roughly 92 minutes of terribly predictable dialogue, bad acting, and well-beyond-stupid character action. It's a shocking waste of time with little to no horror value at all. Factually, there were roughly 100x more laughs than screams when I saw the film. I'm just surprised nobody walked out on it, as I've heard this is a fairly common occurrence, and I'd be lying if I denied the thought crossed my mind.… One of the worst films I have ever seen. I was very hyped for this movie, and haven't been this disappointed since the first Saw. First off this movie is in no way scary it was suspenseful but it lead nowhere. You sit there for the entire movie wanting to be scared, waiting for it, and it never happens. It was tremendously boring, after a while the suspense is gone and the bumps just get old. The final twenty minutes I was sitting there calling exactly what was going to happen next with perfect detail. People were leaving the theater laughing or complaining, NO ONE was scared. Terrible waste of an evening. Just because it was different then you're average slasher or haunted house flick doesn't mean it was better, just one hour and forty minutes of boring, predictable, garbage. I'll be honest if this were a YouTube series like 10 minutes to 15 minutes long It would probably be like a 7-8. But for a full blown 1hr 45mins. If you truly were a horror fan and a so-called "Looking for something ACTUALLY SCARY OR GOOD" then Paranormal Activity would be terrible for you you'd be better off watching Alice in Wonderland, thats scarier then this. The animated one and the live action johnny depp one. Expand
  25. Dec 27, 2013
    1
    This must be the most boring "horror" movie i've ever seen. It pretty much sucks. It's not scary, it's not exciting, there is no action, there is no good story. It's pretty much terrible
  26. Jun 10, 2013
    3
    This movie was lame and bad. The sequels are much better and scarier. This film didn't offer to me nothing and it's a pity as the story is well-written. I think it's similar to the blair witch project. Not a horror film. I don't understand again the critic's reviews
  27. Dec 8, 2013
    1
    Take bad actors, a low cost camera, an audience who "was among the first to experience" this new horror phenomenon and then... well, nothing happened.
  28. Apr 28, 2014
    3
    A pretty dumd and stupid movie and to me seems like a waste of time. It did scare me but I am not a big horror movie fan so i really didn't enjoy this one. I never really wanted to see it but I ended up watching it anyways. I have never seen any of the other ones and I never plan on watching those ones either.
  29. Apr 28, 2014
    2
    With all of the hype about how scary the film is, I finally watched this movie alone in the dark and it was so boring. The characters were dumb. The acting was terrible. The scares were so bad. It's just loud noises and doors opening and closing. Are you **** kidding me? The last 10 minutes of the movie is the only thing worth watching. Very disappointing.
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    80
    Beyond the viral ingenuity of the marketing, what's cool about PA is that it's not just a fun thrill ride; it's an instructive artistic experience. A horror-movie revisionist, Peli follows a less-is-more strategy.
  2. I’ve never seen a movie that so cunningly exploits our anticipation.
  3. Reviewed by: Tirdad Derakhshani
    75
    An impressive, not entirely successful exercise in minimalist filmmaking.