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5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 574 Ratings

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  1. 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
  2. SmileyG
    Oct 19, 2009
    6
    I'll admit that the climax was the most disappointing segment in the entire film for me, falling back on the common cliches that seem to plague the recent lacklusters of it's genre. The film did do a good job of avoiding the ladder up until that very point. Plus, the performances were fine only when the "paranormal activity" wasn't occurring. When the lights went out (...& I'll admit that the climax was the most disappointing segment in the entire film for me, falling back on the common cliches that seem to plague the recent lacklusters of it's genre. The film did do a good job of avoiding the ladder up until that very point. Plus, the performances were fine only when the "paranormal activity" wasn't occurring. When the lights went out (...& on again.) & the door(s) starting slamming, I felt the characters were "ready for their close-ups." But all & all, the building suspense & the relentless tension provided the qualities that seem to be such rare gems these days in the latest installments of the unsatisfying chip chills/thrills horror. Expand
  3. AronJ.
    Oct 21, 2009
    6
    Was decently made despite the obvious low budget. Definantly has a real fear affect because of the this is really happening approach. Was a little slow to begin, took over an hour to get the haunting type things but maybe that was for the better. Decent movie, good idea, maybe not executed at a 100%
  4. JamesH.
    Jan 12, 2010
    6
    It certainly does have a believable creepiness about it, but there is way too much where nothing happens, the bickering and so forth. So much happens at night when it
  5. VegaV
    Oct 11, 2009
    6
    Not bad. Had it's creepy moments, but certainly not worth all the hype. The movie borrows from several different movies (Blair Witch, The Ring, Japanese Horror movies) making it completely unoriginal. Nifty special affects, and use of sound are pretty impressive considering the "hand-held" documentary styled filming.
  6. 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.
  7. RyanS.
    Jan 3, 2010
    4
    It's like a cheap version of Drag Me To Hell. Except that actually had humor; this has boredom. The hour and a half that it took to watch this felt like twice that. And the ending sucked.
  8. 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
    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.
    Expand
  9. ggg
    Oct 22, 2009
    4
    Its not terrible, but it's not just bleh., wait to see on dvd. there are way better movies screening today.
  10. MatthewC
    Oct 11, 2009
    5
    The movie has some good creepy moments, and the setup works reasonably well. But I don't understand how more people weren't completely disappointed by that ending. It almost totally ruins the entire film. I'd be more specific, but I don't want to put out a spoiler. Suffice it to say that I wish I'd left the theater a few minutes before it ended.
  11. DanTheMan
    Oct 26, 2009
    5
    So disappointing. I had heard how genuinely scary and creepy this movie was, but it did nothing for me. It uses every ghost movie cliche in the book and is truly not creepy at all. I did like the two actors and it was well-done for a one-guy-with-a-camcorder type of movie, but I felt like I had seen all of these tricks a thousand times before. I saw it with a female friend who's an So disappointing. I had heard how genuinely scary and creepy this movie was, but it did nothing for me. It uses every ghost movie cliche in the book and is truly not creepy at all. I did like the two actors and it was well-done for a one-guy-with-a-camcorder type of movie, but I felt like I had seen all of these tricks a thousand times before. I saw it with a female friend who's an admitted wuss, and even she said it didn't scare her at all. Expand
  12. StanD
    Nov 28, 2009
    4
    What's the big deal? Why are all the critics so ga-ga over this boring film? Doesn't come close to living up to the hype. It's a great concept, but in reality this film is very uninteresting. There's not a single moment of true suspense let alone horror. Nothing remotely scary, and the ending is predictable from the beginning, but the last shot was cheesey and What's the big deal? Why are all the critics so ga-ga over this boring film? Doesn't come close to living up to the hype. It's a great concept, but in reality this film is very uninteresting. There's not a single moment of true suspense let alone horror. Nothing remotely scary, and the ending is predictable from the beginning, but the last shot was cheesey and amateurish. This is really for kids who like to be scared when told to be so, something for the DVD player on a night when there's little else going on... Expand
  13. KevinF.
    Oct 14, 2009
    5
    I'm impartial on the status of this film. I went to see it last night to shoot down all the hype it received, but I really wasn't impressed at all. Well, I'm lying. I wasn't impressed, but I wasn't unimpressed. The movie is ok. It's like Cloverfield, not good, but not bad, and it just received too much hype. I am going to say ths isn't a really good I'm impartial on the status of this film. I went to see it last night to shoot down all the hype it received, but I really wasn't impressed at all. Well, I'm lying. I wasn't impressed, but I wasn't unimpressed. The movie is ok. It's like Cloverfield, not good, but not bad, and it just received too much hype. I am going to say ths isn't a really good film, but hey, go check it out yourself. I give this a 5/10. Expand
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. SilviaV
    Oct 22, 2009
    6
    I love scary moves, this one had a few little shake in your seat events, they were far and few in between, they took a long to finally show up in the movie, very slow, should have gone to my second choice of movies. not enough action.
  18. TylerW
    Oct 23, 2009
    6
    I wasn't going in expecting much. It IS a horror/thriller film after all. With that in mind, it was an enjoyable experience. The camera work wasn't too annoying, unlike the Blair Witch Project. The story was generic, the acting was horror film average, and the thrills were scattered here and there. The main reason this film scores a 6 is it did keep me interested and It could I wasn't going in expecting much. It IS a horror/thriller film after all. With that in mind, it was an enjoyable experience. The camera work wasn't too annoying, unlike the Blair Witch Project. The story was generic, the acting was horror film average, and the thrills were scattered here and there. The main reason this film scores a 6 is it did keep me interested and It could certainly build the moment... sadly, it never really delivered. A Good watch compared to 90% of other so called 'Horror/Thriller' flicks. Expand
  19. AlucardD.
    Oct 25, 2009
    5
    Low-budget horror film with uninspiring script. It's just a cheap Blair Witch knockoff trying to make a few bucks off the crowd that enjoyed that movie.
  20. ColinK
    Oct 29, 2009
    5
    "Paranormal Activity" is a low-budget, amateur attempt at a raw and shocking psychological horror film. It's riveting, but at the same time, it feels like the film embodies so many horror film cliches from past attempts ("The Blair Witch Project", "The Exorcist", and even Japanese movies such as "Ringu" are all clearly influences on this movie). It's frightening only in the same "Paranormal Activity" is a low-budget, amateur attempt at a raw and shocking psychological horror film. It's riveting, but at the same time, it feels like the film embodies so many horror film cliches from past attempts ("The Blair Witch Project", "The Exorcist", and even Japanese movies such as "Ringu" are all clearly influences on this movie). It's frightening only in the same sense that dark hallways and randomly slamming doors are frightening. Beyond that, it's really a pretty boring movie. Just a couple... being a couple... on camera. After that, it's the couple arguing a lot, they begin going insane; you've heard it all before. Typical horror movie formula. I cannot lie; when the movie is scary, it really is pretty scary. However, it's mostly... not scary. It's mostly just the drama surrounding the fragile balance of sanity among the young couple. You spend most of the time watching (pretty much) nothing happening... just waiting for some noise or shadow to make you jump out of your shorts. That's pretty much the movie. Overall, good concept, poor execution. 5/10. Expand
  21. NateK.
    Oct 6, 2009
    6
    Maybe it's because I was really stoned, but I could not stop laughing at this film. Comedy gold.
  22. DerekP.
    Jan 12, 2010
    4
    It may have been the ridiculous hype, or it may just have been my preference, but I found Paranormal Activity incredibly...average. Almost painfully so. I got a few chills, but I was never fully frightened and the film just didn't have enough story to tell.
  23. IanH
    Jan 23, 2010
    4
    First of all, if you are looking for a real scary movie, don't look for paranormal activity. There are only two genuinely scary parts, and one is shown on previews. The movie is only scary to those who don't watch scary movies. A door slam scared the crap out of people in the TV ads for the DVD. It's not scary, it's more like well-written suspense. The movie delivers First of all, if you are looking for a real scary movie, don't look for paranormal activity. There are only two genuinely scary parts, and one is shown on previews. The movie is only scary to those who don't watch scary movies. A door slam scared the crap out of people in the TV ads for the DVD. It's not scary, it's more like well-written suspense. The movie delivers enough depth to be a cut above other "scary" films, and I? have to say the acting is pretty good. Still, if you're looking for a real scare, look elsewhere. Expand
  24. dizzyc
    Nov 16, 2009
    5
    As was already stated, most of the action was shown on the trailer. not much else happens. i suppose its worth seeing at least once but its not a movie i would purchase or really reccomend to other people.
  25. PerryS
    Oct 12, 2009
    4
    Not a single scary moment in the film. The most exciting moment of viewing the film isn't even viewing it, but walking into the theater riding high on the hype---oh yeah and it ending.
  26. 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 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 ****, 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
  27. roberti
    Nov 8, 2009
    4
    Wholesome young adults in sunny San Diego trying to cook up a scarey movie--the non=Blair witch project...no spooky woods, or empty houses with basements, or even the remote hint that this might be related to some ephemeral true thing. Should have been shot in a remote New England town...and why, pray tell, didn't these adorable young 'uns just leave?
  28. EricC.
    Oct 18, 2009
    4
    How much is one seriously good scare worth? Paranormal activities proves that it may just be worth $10+ and 80 minutes of your time. As a film it deserves no higher than a 5, but as an experience, it's a ton of fun. The build-up is very, very slow and frankly not too intriguing, but when we get in to the final couple of bedroom scenes, it gets undeniably creepy and, at the climax, How much is one seriously good scare worth? Paranormal activities proves that it may just be worth $10+ and 80 minutes of your time. As a film it deserves no higher than a 5, but as an experience, it's a ton of fun. The build-up is very, very slow and frankly not too intriguing, but when we get in to the final couple of bedroom scenes, it gets undeniably creepy and, at the climax, terrifying. I admit to yelling and grabbing my girlfriend like one of the cliche audience members from the preview. So yeah, I give these guys major credit for what they accomplished with such a laughably small budget (some effects were impressive by any standards), but it has a handful of crippling flaws. Go see it in a crowded movie theater with an enthusiastic audience that'll scream and yell and laugh at the screen. Far from great, but a worthwhile experiment. Expand
  29. BrianM.
    Oct 19, 2009
    4
    This Blair Witch wannabe never really generates any of the genuine creepiness of that movie. Many will claim that it is scarier than The Blair Witch Project because we ultimately get to see what is tormenting the protagonists. That diminishes the fear, in my opinion, and makes Paranormal Activity just another horror movie that thinks that making the audience jump is the same as truly This Blair Witch wannabe never really generates any of the genuine creepiness of that movie. Many will claim that it is scarier than The Blair Witch Project because we ultimately get to see what is tormenting the protagonists. That diminishes the fear, in my opinion, and makes Paranormal Activity just another horror movie that thinks that making the audience jump is the same as truly scaring them. It's more of a comedy than anything else. Expand
  30. HarveyB.
    Oct 26, 2009
    5
    Paranormal Activity is one of those "Cam-Reality" Hollywood flick like Cloverfield except this one is scary in a horror sense. It does a good job of keeping the chills coming and I was surprised at how long the film lasted. Go with some friends and I think you will enjoy this more.
  31. JimF
    Oct 26, 2009
    6
    A good gimmick, one that shows an understanding of how audiences become involved in a movie but, that having been said, it's not a particularly memorable movie. The reason, I think, is that the director doesn't believe in ghosts, he just knows that other people do, which shows an obvious contempt not just for the audience, but for the genre as well. A good ghost movie, like "The A good gimmick, one that shows an understanding of how audiences become involved in a movie but, that having been said, it's not a particularly memorable movie. The reason, I think, is that the director doesn't believe in ghosts, he just knows that other people do, which shows an obvious contempt not just for the audience, but for the genre as well. A good ghost movie, like "The Haunting", achieves its effects through its basic unknowability, exploiting everyone's ability to be frightened by what they don't-and can't-know. "Paranormal"is like the books about the siliness of religious belief that base their argument on the illogical beliefs of its practitioners, without addressing the question of why people believe them, not to mention, as William James did, the effect of that belief. Expand
  32. KaylaH.
    Oct 31, 2009
    4
    To be completely honest, this movie was not as scary as they really wanted it to be. I agree with the Austin Chronicle on this one. It looks like something some people with no lives created for youtube and thought it would be a big hit. Well they were wrong i was and am still not a huge fan of this move.
  33. WilliamS.
    Sep 25, 2009
    6
    I just came from a free screening movie and have to say I would not have paid to see the film. The movie is very slow to start with, yet it's humorous at times. The film is not very frightening except for the occasional thumps, noises, and items moving strangely out of place. The movie ends with a big bang that was very predictable and it does not make you jump out of your seat. I just came from a free screening movie and have to say I would not have paid to see the film. The movie is very slow to start with, yet it's humorous at times. The film is not very frightening except for the occasional thumps, noises, and items moving strangely out of place. The movie ends with a big bang that was very predictable and it does not make you jump out of your seat. Unless you aren't taking yourself too seriously and you want cheap thrills, this movie is only passable. Expand
  34. 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
  35. 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.
  36. 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 aThe 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
  37. 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.
  38. 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*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
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.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
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. 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 lastI 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
  46. 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.
    Expand
  47. Jan 12, 2015
    5
    Paranormal Activity is an American supernatural horror, released in 2007. The film follows a young couple, Katie and Micah, who began to be hunted by a supernatural power in their home. They use a camera or to register wierd events , trying to find out what haunts.
  48. Apr 4, 2015
    5
    I'm actually not a fan of horror movies. They mostly make me laugh, which is why I tend to by picky of them. This one was supposed to be good. It really was. The hype was there, the comments were mostly good and the marketing part certainly did it's job. But... it was mediocre at best. It has a dash of originality to it and if you're not so cynical towards the genre as myself, also a dashI'm actually not a fan of horror movies. They mostly make me laugh, which is why I tend to by picky of them. This one was supposed to be good. It really was. The hype was there, the comments were mostly good and the marketing part certainly did it's job. But... it was mediocre at best. It has a dash of originality to it and if you're not so cynical towards the genre as myself, also a dash of reality but... that's it. It's just another horror movie with a feeble plot, horrible acting and scenes that are interesting at best, but far from scary. I wouldn't suggest watching it unless you're a hardcore horror fan because you probably won't be able to find anything interesting within the movie. Also... the 'Based on a True Story' tag is bull... Expand
  49. Jun 5, 2015
    6
    Muitas partes confusas, mas as partes positivas são aquelas que demostram o cenário sendo modificado por alguma entidade oculta, outra parte positiva também são os personagens sabendo usar expressões de medo e de susto.
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.