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

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 538 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: After a young, middle class couple moves into what seems like a typical suburban “starter” tract house, they become increasingly disturbed by a presence that may or may not be somehow demonic but is certainly most active in the middle of the night. (Paramount Pictures)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24
  1. With its this-is-really-happening vibe, Paranormal Activity scrapes away 30 years of encrusted nightmare clichés. The fear is real, all right, because the fear is really in you.
  2. 83
    The film loses some of its grimy verisimilitude toward the end, but it’s nevertheless a surprisingly effective low-budget shocker with a sensibility as current as the latest viral videos, yet rooted in the suggestive, less-is-more atmospherics of Val Lewton.
  3. 80
    Grounded by strong performances by newcomers Featherston and Sloat, who pretty much have the movie to themselves, Paranormal Activity, which demands to be seen in a crowded theater, is refreshingly blood-free.
  4. Reviewed by: Tirdad Derakhshani
    An impressive, not entirely successful exercise in minimalist filmmaking.
  5. I’ve never seen a movie that so cunningly exploits our anticipation.
  6. Reviewed by: Kevin Lally
    "Paranormal" ultimately does deliver in a way that "Blair Witch" never did, but its achingly slow buildup is a test not just of an audience's patience but the power of hype surrounding the latest alternative scary movie.
  7. 0
    Don't believe the hype: Paranormal Activity may be a lot of things, but the words "scary" and "movie" are not among them. It is instead nothing more or less than an excruciatingly tedious YouTube gag cleverly marketed to go viral in the broadest and most box office-friendly way.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. KyleH
    Jan 4, 2010
    If you think Saw is the greatest horror series of our decade, this movie isn't for you. If you think a horror movie has to have blood, gore, and in your face action then this movie isn't for you. If you think Inglorious Bastards was nothing but boring dialog, then this movie is not for you. If you enjoy movies that are based on building suspense then you will love this movie. If you're tired of all the crappy remakes that are plaguing the horror genre (Friday the 13th, The Stepfather, Halloween, etc.) then you will find this movie refreshing. Expand
  2. ZachL
    Oct 25, 2009
    Scariest movie I have ever seen, regardless of what others say. Yes, it does just build for ninety minutes, but SO DOES EVERY OTHER MOVIE EVER MADE! Go see this movie, you will not be disappointed. Expand
  3. Aug 16, 2010
    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. Expand
  4. Feb 11, 2012
    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
  5. Apr 28, 2014
    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. Expand
  6. dannym
    Oct 15, 2009
    Waste of money and time,movie is very slow going,people walked out from disgust and boredom,film taped like home made movie,a few funny comments but could not wait for movie to end,some parts were scarry but too many dragging parts. Expand
  7. Eric
    Oct 10, 2009
    This movie is slow moving, low budget version of the Blair Witch Project. Let down on all levels... Save your money. This movie is a rental at best.

See all 299 User Reviews