Paranormal Activity [2007] • USA

Don't fall for the stories of people walking out of this movie because it's too scary. It doesn't even pretend to be scary until at least an hour into it. Somebody's leg is being pulled. And speaking of pulled legs ... that is the only scary scene in the movie.

There are allegedly three different endings to the film. I saw the original one ... and it's not scary or satisfying at all. There's a little bit of off-screen screaming that abruptly turns into silence. OK, that can be unnerving but it's just a technique. It doesn't move the story to anywhere that matters. The ending being shown in theaters now might be better--a whole bunch more technique with a frightening image or two that is over with quickly. The original peters out to nothingness for far too long and has no meaning.

Even if we grant that either or both of the endings I didn't see kick total ass, that doesn't make it a good film. It makes it three minutes of coolness that requires ninety minutes of suffering to get to.

The guy in this film is a completely unlikeable moron. The girl is OK but I never really thought she was scared, more just annoyed by her idiotic day-trader boyfriend. I think everyone acknowledges that this film is mostly, for at least an hour, nothing but set up before anything happens, and that's too much time spent with bad actors working without a script. There's nothing subtle about it.


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