I wouldn’t consider Paranormal Activity a movie. I’d consider it more of a cheap haunted house attraction. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy Paranormal Activity and its agenda, that being to scare the living crap out of every audience member. I’m saying that you really can’t review this movie from the normal stand point of a critic. I can’t analyze a plot, a theme, acting and directing very much because thats not what this film was going for. The film was going for a realistic ghost story. The kind you tell around a campfire and it succeeds when looked at from that aspect.
There’s not much to work with, as I stated before, when it comes to character and story. There’s a couple and their being haunted. The guy gets a camera to catch whatever it is in the act and that’s the footage we’re watching. The movie did its job. It was trying to be an entertaining movie with compelling characters, it was trying to scare you. There have been movies that can do both, such as The Shining, but that wasn’t what Paranormal Activity had in mind. Maybe they could’ve went with story and character development, but instead they went with realism and in this rare case. It really works.
I’d like to state that I’d never watch this movie again unless it was with completely different people in order to get their reactions, that’s really the only entertainment I could possibly get out of this film after the first viewing. Other than that, I would never sit down intending to have a nice relaxing evening by watching a movie and pick Paranormal Activity, not because I would be so terrified, but more so because there’s no effect or entertainment value after your first viewing for obvious reasons.