Tuesday, December 1

Film: Paranormal Activity Click for more info

Like many red blooded up-themselves bonehead males I claim not to be scared of much. I pride myself in my rationality: roller coasters are designed to be safe and therefore can't be that bad, and my faith reassures me regarding most spooky occurrences. In this case I know that they're only actors in a scary movie, and in that way I tend not to be affected by them too much. Quite controversially however I did find Blair Witch a bit disturbing, but only for the last 30 seconds or so.

Although done as well as any other shaky handy cam "real footage" film, Paranormal is just another scary flick. You know exactly what they're trying to do and how they're trying to do it and a lot of the time it's difficult to get sucked in. In fact some of the set-pieces are a bit too well designed, shattering any illusion that this is genuine footage. Yes, there are scenes that make you jump (but not scream of course), but hey, you can get over that. Although I must say my hand went to my mouth more than a few times.

In fact it's the non-scary bits which have been done the most well. Katie is a real sweetheart, her boyfriend Micah a red blooded up-himself bonehead who claims not to be scared of anything. It's this, the focus on their everyday like which gets you to relate to what happens to them during the night. You're scared for them, not yourself, and in some ways the makers get to creep you out via the back door.

And by the end of the film there does indeed seem to be a cumulative effect on you, in my case one that lasted way after the film had finished. All of a sudden the streets of Ilford were emptier, darker and longer than usual. My shoelace came undone while walking to my car. Did I stop to tie it back up again? Hell no.

So yes, I guess I was well and truly creeped out after all. Even now as I look back the rational part of me sees the actors, the scripts and the director setting us all up for a fall. But all that is helplessly pushed out by anything irrational I might have subconsciously picked up. To be affected by a film in such a way is pretty unique, and in fact refreshing, even if I doubt that's a feeling that will last past the night.


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