Paranormal Activity

2009

Paranormal Activity

Critics Consensus

Using its low-budget effects and mockumentary method to great result, Paranormal Activity turns a simple haunted house story into 90 minutes of relentless suspense.

83%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 201

57%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 273,746
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Movie Info

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 twentysomething 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

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Critic Reviews for Paranormal Activity

All Critics (201) | Top Critics (36)

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

    Dec 15, 2009 | Full Review…
  • 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 believe me, you won't be bored.

    Dec 15, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • When the object of the hype turns out to be as lame as this film, the whole exercise becomes just another Hollywood con job.

    Dec 7, 2009 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • Demonstrates that when filmgoers decide they want to be scared, they will forgive absolutely anything -- bad acting, cheesy dialogue, poor camerawork, bad editing, unconvincing effects, incoherent storytelling -- for the sake of a good scare.

    Dec 2, 2009 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • If Paranormal Activity is not quite as scary as the publicity would have us believe, it is at least witty, thought-provoking and -in a woozy, stark sort of way - beautiful.

    Nov 27, 2009 | Rating: 3/5
  • It's this feeling of vulnerability that Peli's slow-burning supernatural chiller so effectively exploits, fashioning heart-stopping scares out of almost nothing.

    Nov 27, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Nigel Floyd

    Time Out
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Paranormal Activity

  • Jan 06, 2014
    Paranormal Activity is a prime example of how creativity can prevail through budget limitations; this movie is original and downright creepy.
    Edward B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 29, 2013
    OMG! Why?! Are people really THAT stupid?
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Feb 22, 2013
    Paranormal Activity is a slow burning found footage film that drags the first hour out with the odd scary bit, Then in the last 15 minutes it comes to life but not enough to make up for the first hour, The plot is simple but affective, A few scares but more freaky than anything.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer
  • Oct 26, 2012
    Paranormal Activity is a low-budget horror film that became a phenomenon. Using the found footage style, the film follows a young couple that buys a video camera in order to investigate bizarre occurrences that have been plaguing their house. The storytelling is excellent, and feels especially authentic. And, it does an amazing job at incrementally building the suspense and increasing the intensity of every scene. With blood chilling terrors and disturbing imagery, Paranormal Activity delivers an extraordinarily terrifying experience.
    Dann M Super Reviewer

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