The buzz that preceded "Paranormal Activity" was deafening. There were tales of unexplained happenings, such as Steven Speilberg's door locking on its own after a screening. Does "Paranormal Activity" live up to the hype? Yes, it does. That being said, you do have to go in with the right mindset. There is virtually no violence or gore here, "Paranormal Activity" provides its scares with a masterful use of sound effects. Is it the scariest movie ever made as some have declared? Well, I guess that depends on what scares you the most. If your worst fear is to be haunted by malevolent spirits, then this film is a vivid realization of your nightmares. For the rest of us whose fears are a different sort, "Paranormal Activity" still has the ability to burrow deep beneath your skin if you let it.
At first I felt kind of cheated that I was not able to attend a midnight screening and had to settle for one with a sparse audience on a weekday afternoon, I had read that being with a large group of spectators enhanced the experience. I think it is actually better seen with fewer people, because the film is not about sharing a scream with the auditorium, it is about the gradually increasing sense of dread, and that is a solitary experience localized entirely within your own brain.
For those who haven't seen it, I can think of no better way to spend Halloween night....
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