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5.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 515 Ratings

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  1. Sep 18, 2011
    6
    Oren Pelli's "Paranormal Activity" is a decent movie in the 'scary' category, but a fantastic one in the 'psychology' category.
  2. Mar 19, 2012
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This movie is okay, not "the scariest film I have ever seen" but, the end where the body flies to the camera did make me jump a little. But, I wouldn't really watch it unless someone made me.. Expand
  3. Aug 19, 2010
    5
    Couple have weird goings on in house, decide to set up a camera to capture odd happenings on film, lunacy!
    Hand-held camera jump fest which doesn't add that much in the way of originality to the genre.
    One or two scary moments but let down by silly stuff. If I heard a massive noise downstairs in the middle of the night,the first thing I'd grab wouldn't be a video camera & then continue
    filming whilst my girlfriend went bonkers.
    Thought the ending undid a lot of the work & tension that the rest of the film had built up. The alternate ending, albeit a lot more blunt, fitted better.
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  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. Aug 16, 2010
    8
    Nowhere near as scary as its closely related movie "The Blair Witch Project", but still much scarier than the average "Saw" movie. I'm not somebody to believe in demons and that type of exorcism stuff, but this film is genuinely creepy and very wellmade. Some of the demon's antics are dumb and pointless and just showing off by the filmmakers (turning the lights on and off) but it's hard not to be captivated by this little horror film. Expand
  7. Aug 16, 2010
    9
    the scariest film i have watched. scarier than blair witch, and the only film to ACTUALLY scare me. if you liked blair witch, you'll like this. its a film everyone should see. a TRUE horror, not like the grudge, or those excuse-of-a-horror films they seem to be releasing more and more often nowdays.
  8. Oct 29, 2010
    9
    Paranormal Activity, the film that touted itself as the best-of-it's-breed, the scariest of the "first-person film" genre, actually doesn't do a half-bad job. It's definitely scary (if the sound of the footsteps walking up the stairs in the dead of night doesn't fill you with dread, nothing will) and it's both fun and terrifying watching the escalation of what happens throughout the movie. People obviously hate it, and people obviously love it. I was on the loving side. For the first time ever in this genre, I look forward to what the sequel can bring to the table. Expand
  9. Sep 1, 2010
    10
    Certainly a polarizing movie, as other posters have noted. For those with vivid imaginations, this movie is a rare treat; what is left unshown is what scares you. I give this movie a 9 because it is the first movie to actually scare me in some time. True, the bickering yuppie couple cn be annoying at times, but the tension that is carefully built throughout the movie more than makes up for this. Also, to those who didn't like the ending (I'm one of them): I have read that the ending was a concession to producers or distributers. The director intended something else. Expand
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. 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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  13. 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
  14. Oct 12, 2010
    9
    Though this movie has been called nothing more than just a piece of great marketing. I happen to believe that like the Blair Witch Project in 1999, PA scares you... and keeps you scared. I was kind of disturbed by the ending, but its a horror movie, and couldnt expect a happy ending. Though the people in this film were actors, you cant help but to think about the actual accounts that inspired the movie. Expand
  15. 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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  16. 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.
  17. Oct 11, 2010
    6
    It's not a bad movie but it disappointed so many people because of the way it was hyped up by the media. The sequel looks far better and a lot more scarier.
  18. 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
  19. 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...
  20. Nov 26, 2010
    7
    This one has a slow pace, but once you get there it is really unnerving. Definitely see this one with a group of people for the best effect. It may be a little silly at times, but the feeling of a good movie is there.
  21. Nov 25, 2010
    5
    I tried to get into it, but i just couldn't. It's not scary. The only truly scary scene is the scene where they hear a loud noise downstairs
  22. Feb 5, 2011
    7
    Paranormal Activity 2 is a well done movie. It is suspenseful and can be quite frightening. The first few scenes are kinda boring but the movie does pick up and becomes quite interesting. It is no where near as frightening as it's reputation though.
  23. Feb 22, 2011
    5
    I didn't care for this at all. It was a very poor movie with alot of hype. This must have scared alot of people who don't like scary movies. It was very chopped and not put together good. If you can see it free,it maybe worth a look, but if you have to pay for it don't.
  24. Apr 17, 2011
    8
    Paranormal Activity is more or less over-hyped, but you WILL jump more than once. Pros: The Blair Witch-influenced mockumentary is impressive; thoroughly narrated; refreshingly tense and suspenseful. Cons: PA isn't for all audiences: it is either too scary or too fake, pick your choice.
  25. Oct 22, 2011
    7
    The movie was going great until the ending. It felt so real that it made you freak out at such little things. The ending ruined the entire movie. But this movie scared me and most other people than most of the horror films out there, and this was a very low budget movie.
  26. Apr 29, 2011
    9
    Paranormal Activity, the film that touted itself as the best-of-it's-breed, the scariest of the "first-person film" genre, actually doesn't do a half-bad job. It's definitely scary (if the sound of the footsteps walking up the stairs in the dead of night doesn't fill you with dread, nothing will) and it's both fun and terrifying watching the escalation of what happens throughout the movie. People obviously hate it, and people obviously love it. I was on the loving side. For the first time ever in this genre, I look forward to what the sequel can bring to the table. Expand
  27. 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 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
  28. May 10, 2011
    8
    So many movies nowadays are made with this philosophy in mind: "CG effects make everything better." Well, I'm here today to tell you this is not true and, in fact, it's one of the stupidest statements I've ever heard uttered from someone's mouth. Computer graphics are a great resource for filmmakers, as it allows them to capture moments that are otherwise impossible, or enhance certain scenes to drive a point, and yes, they can even just make a scene flat-out look better. You know what else they can do? They can totally and utterly ruin movies that would have otherwise been pretty decent, or even good. Paranormal Activity is a great example of this. I don't think there's a person on this planet with an IQ above 3, who would argue the fact that additional special effects would have RUINED this film. It's lack of CGI, and reliance on practical effects, is exactly what made this film so great. There is power behind realism, and this is something that 90% of Hollywood film makers forget. This is the first time, in a long time, that I actually made audible noise as a result of being scared in the theater. The actors aren't really noteworthy, but it is important to mention that I felt that they could be legitimate human beings, and since this is shot in the faux documentary style, it makes it more believable. All-in-all Paranormal Activity goes into my book of the best horror films in recent years, and if anyone hasn't seen it yet, please do. If anyone claims to not have been scared by this movie then I ask that you watch it by yourself in your house at night and then make a statement like that, because I have and let me tell you, I was terrified - but having a blast the entire time. Read the rest of the review on my film review site, rocketcrossing.com, and check out our facebook page at facebook.com/rocketcrossing Expand
  29. 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
  30. Jun 19, 2011
    9
    A great horror film. It is clearly a low budget, and they work with that. The demon is always off screen, and they never even try to show it, something that works fantastically here. I do not know what it is, but something in this film is terrifying. Maybe it isn't the demon at all, and it is the actors reactions to what is happening. Whatever it may be, Paranormal Activity works, and it delivers. Expand
  31. Oct 17, 2011
    8
    The paranormal activity movies are not for everyone but I have enjoyed them and have appreciated its simple but effective film making. The characters aren't the best but I had fun with its approach to the folk lore of haunting demons and its effective use of spooks and scares. Many scenes are intense and effective and its film makers have managed to turn its low budget weaknesses into strengths.
  32. Jun 20, 2011
    10
    This movie did what I expected: scare my butt off! Idk why the reviews from the users are so low. This is totally worth it. Something I would like to watch again.
  33. Oct 22, 2011
    8
    Paranormal Activity uses its low-budget, mockumentary styled thrills and chills in the wittiest ways, resulting in one of the scariest films in recent years.
  34. 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.
  35. 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!
  36. Sep 4, 2011
    8
    I'm not a big fan of the horror genre, but this film intrigued me, so I had to give it a watch. The film builds suspense almost perfectly, and the low budget doesn't make it tacky in any way. A frighteningly uncomfortable and chilling feature, just what it wanted to achieve.
  37. Oct 22, 2012
    8
    It's not really all that scary for a while; then it just becomes terrifying.
  38. Sep 17, 2011
    6
    its not during the movie that makes me scared but when i got into bed the night i saw it i couldn't sleep. it was sorta entertaining in the beginning and the middle but it loses all kinds of entertainment towards the end.
  39. Oct 13, 2011
    9
    One of the best I've seen. The opening was a bit boring for me. But I liked how it had no "boo!" kind of scene which I find very silly. The way the movie gets creepier slowly overtime gave me goosebumps. And it's also one of few horror movie that got me gasping. Beautifully done.
  40. Oct 16, 2011
    10
    Paranormal Activity is smart, scary, suspenseful and surprisingly funny! It builds up the big finish but along the way to it, there's a bit of "Oh, what the f**k!" or "Did that just happened?" This films proves that there's no need for any horrid creature to be generated on computers but a creative story and your imagination. So, think of this as a rollercoaster ride!
  41. Nov 17, 2011
    9
    Paranormal Activity is a freaky movie, the movie will likely scare the crap out of you. The movie is shot with a cheap camera with a small budget but it is still very scary. The plot is well done but not the greatest, the acting of the characters is great but the thing about Paranormal Activity is that it's scares are actually very creepy. After watching this you will be afraid of your own house for a while. The flaws are that the plot can get clunky at times and the dialogue can be somewhat moronic at times but that's all right. Overall Paranormal Activity is a great movie that will scare the life out of you, there are flaws that stop it from acheiving greatness but it is still a worth watch. It is by far the scariest movie I have seen. Breakdown for "Paranormal Activity": Presentation: 9.0, Plot: 8.5, Acting: 8, Dialogue: 8, Lasting Appeal: 9. Score: 8.5 out of 10 "Great" Expand
  42. Oct 21, 2011
    6
    For a very low budgeted film, Paranormal Activity proves to be a great horror film. Though the film has no story, but it still has great horror themes.
    Pros:
    Good Horror themes
    Cons:
    Weak Dialogue No Story
  43. Oct 18, 2012
    6
    *UPDATED REVIEW!*I originally didn't like the film, but I re-watched it and kind of enjoyed it this time; the version I saw this time was a different version to the one I hated (there are three versions). This time, I thought the film was enjoyable, amusing (due to unintentional humour) and even creepy at times (the other version was not those things). Though, I still don't like the silly ending, the poor acting, the dumb characters, unnecessary shoots and the lack of true scares. Expand
  44. 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.
  45. Aug 8, 2012
    6
    Its kinda scary. It sorta relies on found footage too much to make the story work, but despite a plot hole or two, the character development and decent scares make it a pretty good entry in the genre.
  46. 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". 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
  47. Dec 12, 2011
    8
    (January 14, 2010)
    Paranormal Activity is the perfect example of how horror films do not need large budgets with excess gore and violence to scare the child in all of us. This movie takes the phrase âless is moreâ? and runs as far as possible with it. Like The Blair Witch Project before it, this movie not only grows the horror genre, but takes it into a brand new
    direction.
    The story only features four characters, two of which are Micah and Katie. They are a young married couple and Katie is different from most people; ever since youth she has been haunted by something out of the ordinary at bedtime. Micha, who is dangerously curious about the situation, decides to purchase an expensive camera to observe the haunting at night. As the film goes on slowly more and more is reveled about what is causing the disturbances during the night, but I will keep hush about the rest of plot. Realistic is the key word I would use for this movie. This has some of the best acting out there, it is almost too realistic. If someone stumbled onto a clip from this film with no explanation behind it I guarantee they would believe that is was real. The lead pair play off of each other so well, with their quick reactions and remarks, that it really pushes the film past other films of this handy cam horror genre. It is a film that will make all inspiring film directors say: âI wish I would have thought of this!â?

    The only real complaint I have is a small one. This movie seems like a one trick pony. I do not feel like I could watch this film again on a standard television and get the same chills and thrills as I did in the theater. This film really does play off the atmosphere you are in while watching it. I do believe this film will go down as a cult classic such as Blair Witch though, and will be the movie that will forever spread by word of mouth.
    The fact that a fifteen thousand dollar budget film with no added bells and whistles to it, warped my mind more than any other recent horror film is a bit âParanormalâ? its self. I personally had a few rough nights of sleep after viewing this movie. I was not to terrified while viewing the film in the theater, but as soon as I got to my bed and rested my head; the visions of this creepy film kept playing back in my head. I felt like I was eight years old again afraid of the monster watching me in my closet. Go see this film in the theater with a few companions while you still can. It is a social experience you do not want to miss.
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  48. Feb 24, 2013
    7
    I'll be a man and admit it... This movie made me jump quite a few times and left me thinking about it long after it was over. I have been a Horror fan for a long time and that's a very unusual reaction for me. Some people didn't like how it was filmed on camcorders or how it started out slowly, but not me, I thought this was a great movie and new territory for the genre. This is one they'll be talking about for a while. Expand
  49. 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
  50. 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
  51. 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.
  52. Aug 19, 2012
    9
    When you see this movie, you will see how unimportant sleep is. Although parts of this movie are freaking scary, other parts just come off as lame. Overall the acting is very good, but most scares just come off as suspense.
  53. 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.
  54. 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.
  55. May 7, 2012
    10
    I don't get how people can dislike this movie. It wasn't a predictable horror movie, you know where girls be tripping in the woods and crap. This movie legitimately made me jump numerous times. Not something most horror movies can do to me.
  56. Nov 4, 2013
    6
    Considering that this is a low budget movie, "Paranormal Activity" really is an effective horror film. Trust me, some of the scary scenes are when nothing is happening.
  57. Jul 4, 2012
    10
    Paranormal Activity is a very scary movie. The simplicity of it just makes it even scarier, the fact that some scenes where you can't see what's really happening, your mind tries to imagine and it freaks you out, but when you get to see creepy stuff, like the ENDING of the movie you won't be able to sleep through at least THREE DAYS. It contains some jump scares, it breaks the tension of it's audience and DON'T WATCH IT alone or with the LIGHTS OFF. Expand
  58. Jul 14, 2012
    9
    Proves that the silence, the darkness, the sense of dread in films is scarier than any monster movie, or any horror that shows the ghost/demon. In the whole time that I have watched films I've never been so on edge over what may happen next, there is probably more silence than speech in this film, but how scared you actually are takes away from that. The positioning of the camera is perfect, letting us basically everything occurring in the house in one shot. But the scariest part of this film by a mile is the aftermath of watching, the psychological fear playing on your mind as you try to sleep and begin to panic, when I fall asleep what next? It really is a film that you won't forget, it may not be perfect in scripting or acting , but it will go down as one of the scariest films in history. Expand
  59. 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.
  60. 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.
  61. Sep 27, 2012
    9
    For most people, this film falls into one of two categories: slow, boring and unimaginative or absolutely terrifying. I found myself falling into the latter category. For me, this film kept my attention throughout. Filmed a little like 'The Blair Witch Project', it has an air of realism about it that other, CGI orientated films often fail to provide. However, if you prefer fast pacing and more 'in your face' thrills, then this film is not for you. It is undoubtedly fairly slow in terms of introducing the horror; several nights go by when very little, if anything, is 'caught' on camera and things which are caught are small and easy to miss altogether. As the film progresses, the activity picks up but it still does not fall into the 'horror' genre in the traditional sense. I found this film absolutely terrifying for the same reason that I can get scared by books: the horror aspects are not explicitly thrust into your face but instead are left to your imagination, and in this sense, 'Paranormal Activity' is psychologically disturbing without the 'jump out of your skin' moments you get from other horrors. I found the pace of the film perfect for what it was trying to achieve, suspense, which in my opinion is what this film does best. You are never shown exactly what it is that's meant to be haunting the couple which, for many, is the worst part simply because it is then left entirely up to you to create an image in your mind or to predict its next action. Thus, if you happen to possess an over active imagination, chances are this film will make you terrified of anything that goes bump in the night for several days after watching it.

    The reason this film did not quite get 10/10 from me is firstly because I absolutely hate alternative endings. I think a film should have, and stick to, one ending so the fact that this film has 2-3 (can't remember exactly...) I really don't like. Also, there is a message at the beginning of the film claiming that it is entirely police footage, something else that I find particularly irritating. Very few people are dim enough to believe that that statement has any basis in reality whatsoever before you even begin to question the logic behind our emergency services releasing footage for entertainment purposes. It's something that's been done several times before and it immediately puts the film into that 'oh look, shaky home video footage, how exciting' category before the first scene has even began. But taking those fairly minor points aside, this film is definitely worth a watch and far superior to the second and third film.
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  62. Nov 12, 2012
    3
    Quality wise, it's YouTube on the big screen, and bad YouTube at that. Scare wise, it's laughable.
  63. 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
  64. Mar 9, 2013
    7
    Though its boring at times, Paranormal Activity gives a shocking and creepy feel to an on-camera horror that makes everyone believe in its horror.
  65. Jun 4, 2013
    7
    Pure horror, a masterpiece of none gory compelling thriller, the acting is good as long as you don't get into it, the plot is terrifying, and the scenes are all original and the found footage is way too better than other movies, but it gets sometimes boring, it is not fully perfect, but as a horror, it is great
  66. Aug 28, 2013
    7
    Paranormal Activity has practically no plot or character development at all. But do you really care when characters are being dragged out of bed, thrown against cameras and attacked by freakin terrifying invisible demons!
  67. 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.
  68. Mar 3, 2013
    7
    What a freaky and unnerving movie. Paranormal Activity scared the heck out me. Especially because I watched it at night. It is a very clever and original movie. Just be sure you don't watch it alone.
  69. Jun 1, 2013
    7
    68/100 (7/10) Full Review on my website memobosque.blogspot.mx
    It focuses primarily on paranormal events at the home of Katie, unknown actors, but they are very good, A comparison of its predecessors "Paranormal Activity" has no terror, and gotcha moments, but what makes this film is the most successful and box office hit of all time, is very realistic because every time you move a door
    or a candlestick moves, looks too real, has very strong scenes, which will make the public wetting, is highly recommended, a classic, and not because everyone says it looks like "The Blair With Proyect" YES! Both are Found Footage but doesn't mean they are the same!, And I love the scene where the Ouija burns! Expand
  70. 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
  71. 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
  72. Apr 24, 2013
    9
    This movie is good, it does deliver scares, and i'm still obsessing with it, and while i watch the movie, i did jump out of the chair sometimes. So it is worth to watch, despite a little bit boring beginning
  73. 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
  74. Jul 5, 2013
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. OK, so I knew nothing about the film before seeing it. I hadn't even seen the trailer. I liked the title, so I decided to go see it.
    Maybe that's why I liked it. I was expecting a bit of paranormal activity, and I got a few scares as well!
    The couple seemed completely believable to me although, I still can't get my head around the house they lived in! Wow, Micha must be making a lot of money!
    Katie is a university student who has been stalked by an entity in the past. She begins as being annoyed by the resurfacing of the entity in the past all it did was stand by her bedside, nothing more (maybe it burned her house down, but she claims she isn't sure about this). She doesn't know whether to be scared or not after all, her boyfriend seems to think the whole situation is a bit of a joke. That changes as the film progresses.
    Micha is intrigued by the whole thing. He wants to capture evidence on camera; I'm not exactly sure what he was trying to do, but ultimately his motives appeared to be that he wanted to prove to his girlfriend that he was the one who had everything under control, he was the alpha male.
    The entity at first is mischievous, making loud thumping noises and playing with doors. But as the film progresses and most likely due to Micha's actions it becomes stronger, until it finally gets what it wants.
    The film worked for me because I had no presumption of how scary it was suppose to be. It has no gore, virtually no script, it's extremely slow at some parts and you never get to see the entity. And yet all of this combined gives the film a feel of the home-made video, that this a real couple as it what they are experiencing. It also works to intensify those few scary moments which, when they do come, do actually make you jump.
    If you are looking for some scares, then this will do nicely.
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  75. Mar 9, 2014
    7
    Paranormal Activity has no more substance than an empty box; instead, it relies on jump scares, and implies rather than shows. And in this case, it works out pretty nicely to make for a good scary flick.
  76. Oct 20, 2013
    7
    Paranormal Activity was released in 2007 to on demand users and others at film festivals, it wasn't for a few more years until it received a theatrical release. The movie received much attention for being similar to the 1999 movie, The Blair Witch Project, which featured the same kind of shooting and dialogue style. The film has two main characters, Katie and Micah. The two have just moved in together, and weird stuff starts to happen as they move in. This is not a haunted house movie, this a haunted person movie. Katie has been plagued since she was a child, and over the course of 3 weeks, the presence becomes stronger, until they reach the climax. When this movie came out, it was regarded as being extremely scary. It was hyped up in advertisements and other sources in the internet, spreading the reputation even more. The movie doesn't really have any jump acres or loud music, just eerie, quiet things that make you cringe. While the dialogue might not be he best, this is a fairly scary movie. With the Conjuring now out, this movie is not nearly as scary. All in all, this is a solid ghost movie that may or may not be overhyped. 7/10. Expand
  77. 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.
  78. Jan 19, 2014
    10
    in short, Paranormal Activity is simply a terrifyingly ingenious roller coaster of a film that proves that horror films are far better when less overdone and more simple.
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.