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Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat, Mark Fredrichs, Amber Armstrong, Ashley Palmer ... see more see more... , Randy McDowell , Michael Bayouth , Crystal Cartwright , Tim Piper

A haunted house makes no secret of the fact it's not pleased with its new tenants in this independent tale of supernatural horror. Katie (Katie Featherson) and Micah (Micah Sloat) are a twentysomethin... read more read more...g couple who've just moved into a new home in San Diego, CA. Katie has an interest in the paranormal and believes that malevolent spirits have been following her since childhood, though Micah is not so easily convinced. However, after several nights of loud noises and strange happenings, Micah starts to agree with Katie that some sort of ghost may have followed them to the new home. After a paranormal researcher tells the couple he can't help them, Micah decides to take control of the situation and sets up a battery of video cameras so that if a spirit manifests itself, he can capture its behavior on tape. Once the surveillance cameras are in place, Katie and Micah bring in a Ouija board in an effort to talk to the spirits, a move that deeply offends the ghosts. Paranormal Activity was the first feature film from writer and director Oren Peli. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Flixster Users

56% liked it

270,376 ratings

Critics

83% liked it

192 critics

DVD Release Date: December 29, 2009

Stats: 34,683 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (34,683)


  • January 20, 2010
    Better than I expected but really I think im over this style of film.
  • January 6, 2014
    Paranormal Activity is a prime example of how creativity can prevail through budget limitations; this movie is original and downright creepy.
  • July 29, 2013
    A young couple decide to film themselves at home in the hope that it will shed light on a series of unexplained incidents. Yet another dreary, pointless entry in the Blair Witch-style wobbly-cam canon, Paranormal Activity is a pseudo documentary cataloguing a series of bumps in t... read morehe night as two mildly irritating middle-class Americans are plagued by a pesky home invading demon. In its defence, the protagonists are reasonably naturalistic, the casting director thankfully steering clear of the supermodel-cum starlets that usually adorn this type of thing, although the spookiest aspect of the film is Micah Sloat's resemblance to a young Freddie Mercury. There are still plenty of opportunities for the director to have Katie Featherston and her ample cleavage run around in her underwear while the bemused Sloat threatens to kick its ghostly ass for opening and closing the door and moving their car keys while they're trying to get some kip. It all ends with the inevitable demonic "twist" and the whole thing just reminded me of one of those Victorian charlatans who reamed the gullable by organising seances with the use of cheap conjuring tricks. More laughable than dreadful, Paranormal Activity didn't really offend me, mainly because it's just such a non-event.
  • fb733768972
    April 14, 2013
    fb733768972
    This is as terrifying as a movie going experience will ever get! Most of the film relies on suspense and holds out until the very end to really get your heart-pumping, but it is a very clever and smart piece of horror cinema and probably one of my favourite horror films of the la... read morest decade. For having a budget of a mere $15,000, I applaud the filmmakers for making such a fantastic film. It does feel like it has a few place holders to keep the audience involved, but other than that, the camera placement is phenomenal, the actors are great for hardly even having a pay grade, and the movie itself is just awesome. I love paranormal activity and the end left me begging for more!
  • January 30, 2013
    When I was 16, the found-footage Blair Witch Project scared the pants off me, but now that a few (major) films are released every year in this style, I have a hard time suspending my disbelief. And in the particular case of Paranormal Activity, a movie that was advertised as bein... read moreg absolutely terrifying turned out to just look cheap and sloppy - if they were going for realism, (SPOILER:) the Demon Ex Machina at the end really took all the sting out of this. Realistic stories should have realistic endings, not just some supernatural bit tacked on. I sort of did and sort of didn't like the Reality TV-esque perpetual awareness of the camera, and to the film's credit, the effects used to make it appear something invisible was in the scene were rather good... though the downside was that, on its face, this movie was just a lot of staring at empty rooms or enduring inane conversations. I'll probably watch the next in the series, but only because my local public library has them all and Canadian winters are long. A disappointment, even for someone who came in with low expectations.
  • fb100000145236770
    October 14, 2012
    fb100000145236770
    "Paranormal Activity" was made for 15,000 bucks and proves you don't need name actors or a budget to make a good quality horror movie. This relies on doors moving and sounds other than blood and violence to get scares. The story is very simple and very effective. Micah(real na... read moreme) uses camera to capture the paranormal activity that is going on in his house and to his girlfriend Katie. He films them sleeping, which trust me, after watching this will have you curious what goes on when you sleep. It uses the found footage gimmick better than a lot of movies have. Not the scariest movie ever, but good for a late night watch at home with all the lights off. Number 4 is coming out next week, so now is a good time to get caught up. The sequels aren't nearly as effective, but this first movie stands good on it's own.
  • August 17, 2012
    Actually, this film scared me. It's one that you think about after you've seen it. The style of filming works effectively and builds the tension. The acting is also very good; the couple is believable. Impressive that this was made with such a low budget. On a side note, the hous... read moree where this was filmed is only about five minutes away from where I live. Kinda cool.
  • July 30, 2012
    This one will seprated the movie goers just like the Blair witch Project did 10 years ago.This is a type of movie that needs you to use your imagination alot and if you can get around that then you will have a fun and scary ride.
    Yes its alot of taiking but beyond that lays a cr... read moreeepy and scary movie thats needs to be seen in the dark and on a big screen.its not the scariest movie ever but there are alot of jumpy bits and the end its also a winner.
    Highly recommand for all the blairwitch fans and also fans that like POV movies..
  • June 29, 2012
    Revolutionary and a breath of fresh air, better than Blair Witch, and takes horror back to its roots when the smallest noises and minimal use of CGI still got me to cringe in my seat.
  • May 30, 2012
    Directed (and written) by Oren Peli, Blumhouse Productions, 2007. Starring Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat and Mark Fredricks.

    Genre: Horror, Mystery

    Question: Do you ever do something you really don't want to do but someone dares you? Admit it - you have! You all should kno... read morew by now that I am NOT a fan of horror films, right? Well, I just watched Paranormal Activity with headphones on (as instructed) because I was sort of coaxed into it. All I will say is that I am not a happy camper right now and it's dark...and soon bedtime. Drats!

    Okay..that is all I could get down of this review before I forced myself to go upstairs to bed...YAWN...I am really tired because I did not sleep well due to viewing that film. Why, you ask? Let me tell you. When almost an entire movie takes place in the home, particularly in the bedroom with creepy things like noises, banging and the sheets being taken off by some thing, it is just NOT conducive for sleeping well - at least not for this person.

    So, here I am the following day after viewing yet another horror film only 8 days removed from my last one. Therefore I can't wrap my sleep deprived head around this review...coffee....ok, I am back. Where shall I begin?

    First, I have to say I am more than considering changing my name now. If you find this perplexing read my review of the last horror film I viewed recently: Fright Night. I'll wait......... Got it? Good! Hearing my name over and over and over again was just too unsettling for me. ENOUGH!

    Second, the story was pretty decent. It took a slightly different approach to a common horror theme. I really thought Paranormal Activity was just about a plain, old haunting. It is not. In fact, the twist the film-makers used brought a haunting to a whole new level - a level that when you think about, even after the movie, it freaks you out and sticks with you awhile.

    Lastly, the way the movie was shot with the handheld camera by the characters brought more realism to the story. Sure, it reminded me of The Blair Witch Project (yes, I saw that one, really!). However, in Paranormal Activity, I did find some of the scenes a little choppy or unnecessary to the story. Some of them just seemed thrown in or perhaps I need to view it again to make sure I didn't miss something but that is not going to happen. The scare factor of Paranormal Activity is now deeply locked in my brain and will forever be there just waiting to pop out when I least expect it.

    So, let me describe the scare factor a bit more for those of you who haven't seen this movie yet. Many horror films like to overdo the blood and guts or show too much of a creature. Those tricks can be scary and work well, but what is scariest, to me, is when the film-makers force you to use your imagination. Usually what we can think up is far worse than what they can show realistically.

    Case in point: There is a story about problems with Bruce, the mechanical shark, used in Jaws especially with the opening scene (you know which one I am talking about). Bruce just wouldn't work no matter how hard they wanted it to so Stephen Spielberg came up with using just the fin and pulling the girl down in the water. We were supposed to see the big man-eater chomp her up but since we didn't see what was attacking her we had to imagine it. That was horrifying and that scene may go down as the all time scariest scenes on film.

    So with all that said I am not going to tell you anymore about the film. Except I should say that this one will probably stick with you awhile and whatever you do, if you hear noises or voices in your house don't agitate whatever is making the noise...trust me.

    My favorite thing: When I actually thought it wasn't that scary and I guessed I was finally maturing. Then...

    My least favorite thing: ....I realized I was just as much of a chicken as I normally am about horror films.

    Rating: R
    Length: 86 minutes

    Review: 6 out of 10

Critic Reviews


J. R. Jones
December 15, 2009
J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader

The climax is deliciously scary, and Peli gets considerable mileage from the simple matter of lights inexplicably going on in another room. Full Review

Roger Ebert
December 15, 2009
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

It illustrates one of my favorite points, that silence and waiting can be more entertaining than frantic fast-cutting and berserk f/x. For extended periods here, nothing at all is happening, and belie... Full Review

Nigel Floyd
November 27, 2009
Nigel Floyd, Time Out

It's this feeling of vulnerability that Peli's slow-burning supernatural chiller so effectively exploits, fashioning heart-stopping scares out of almost nothing. Full Review

Dana Stevens
October 30, 2009
Dana Stevens, Slate

Though it never poses a question more abstract than "Where's that scratching sound coming from?" Paranormal Activity is all about spiritual and ethical debts coming due. Full Review

Tirdad Derakhshani
October 22, 2009
Tirdad Derakhshani, Philadelphia Inquirer

Peli is to be congratulated for pulling off such an audacious project, but he needs a sharper sense of timing: The film's pacing is uneven, which weakens the suspense. Full Review

Lou Lumenick
October 22, 2009
Lou Lumenick, New York Post

Like legendary producer Val Lewton in the '40s, director Oren Peli, who shot Paranormal in seven days in his own home, understands that what's most frightening is what you don't see but merely suggested. Full Review

Rene Rodriguez
October 22, 2009
Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald

As far as communal experiences at the multiplex go, the film delivers. Full Review

Justine Elias
October 22, 2009
Justine Elias, Boston Globe

It's like watching a YouTube clip of your irritating neighbors, knee deep in muck, as they argue the effectiveness of plumbers. Full Review

Richard Corliss
October 22, 2009
Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine

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. Full Review

Jen Chaney
October 16, 2009
Jen Chaney, Washington Post

It's the sleeper hit that makes audiences too petrified to ever sleep again. Full Review

Critic ratings and reviews powered by RottenTomatoes.com

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Facts


    • Katie: I think we'll be okay now.
    • Katie: [referring to the photograph that Micah found in the attic] Where was it when you found it?
    • Micah: It was over our bed.
    • Micah: Well, basically it could be two things: it could be a ghost... [mock whisper] or it could be a demon.
    • Katie: Dr. Fredrichs said that it wasn't a ghost.
    • Micah: Well, I've been going by the evidence and I'm doin' my research and I'm going to find out what it is.
    • Katie: Well, whatever it is that's following me, it doesn't feel... it doesn't feel human. It feels like it's... it feels like a monster. I mean like, it wants to hurt me.
    • Micah: Well that sounds like, actually like a demon.
    • Katie: Yeah, that's what he said.
    • Micah: Well, 'cause ghosts are spirits of human beings.
    • Katie: Yeah, it's definitely not human.
    • Psychic: Then maybe you're right, which is bad 'cause demons suck.
    • Katie: I don't give a fuck what that thing says on the Ouija board!
    • Micah: [after noises occur after midnight, the two get up, and Micah finds that the panel covering the opening to the attic has shifted] There's something up there. I've gotta look.
    • Katie: Micah! Micah, please be careful.
    • Katie: [There are the sounds of his footsteps, but he doesn't reply] Are you okay? Micah, answer me! Micah! Micah!
    • Micah: [He comes back down the ladder and holds out a photograph which has burned edges] I found this up there.
    • Katie: No. No no no no. Let me see it?
    • Micah: What are you talking about?
    • Katie: This is our old house! What in the hell is doing in the attic?
    • Micah: I thought the old house burned down.
    • Katie: There is no way. There is no way you found that in our attic. There is no way that that even exists! I haven't seen that picture in fifteen years. That makes no sense. That makes no sense at all.
    • Micah: [looking at the powder he has scattered in front of the bedroom door to look for demonic footprints] That's a thing of beauty.

Paranormal Activi... : Watch Free on TV


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