Paranormal Activity, 2009(7)
Dir: Oren Peli
I will say this for Paranormal Activity: in dragging out the tension to almost unbearable lengths, it at least seems like it's trying to search for some mode of fear that most modern horror films are too impatient to reach for. The cliches that fall out of the script are pretty obvious, and the acting (or non-acting, which is hard to differentiate in this sometimes, because, as a "record" of said events, it should feel real, but most of the time it's all very wooden) is something, but those things are kind of expected in these low-budget films. What is interesting are the small ways that were chosen to illicit fear, shadows in particular. Nothing else really made me jump or make me want to keep watching. Demons and ghosts are not scary in themselves, especially if you watch a lot of horror films, but what you can't comprehend is. At least to me. So don't show it. It didn't get it totally right (the end), but for a film that cost $15,000 to make, it seems it had the right idea, which The Blair Witch Project (1997) did as well. Viral marketing can make anything a hit.