Update: Review: Horror: ‘Paranormal Activity’ Screening Cities announced…

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Update: Review in from SciFi – Todd Gilchrist, and it sounds like it lives up to expectations AWESOME!! GO READ THE ENTIRE THING!

Either as an example of the simple effectiveness of classical filmmaking or just an alternative to the gag-inducing gore that constitutes the meat (no pun intended) of most contemporary horror flicks, Paranormal Activity is a really, really great movie. Writer-director Oren Peli, working in one location with a single camera, two actors and a shoestring budget, tells the story of a couple that is terrorized by an unseen apparition, in the process creating suspense out of thin air and evoking evil forces not merely scary, but haunting.

And while its low-budget aesthetic will automatically be referenced in the context of the granddaddy of first-person gimmick films, The Blair Witch Project, it’s important to remember that the reason it’s an immediate point of comparison is because for better or for worse, that film worked—and this one does even better.

Compiled of “found” footage, the film chronicles several days in the life of Katie (Katie Featherston) and Micah (Micah Sloat), a couple who buys a video camera to record unexplained phenomena around their home. Much to her discomfort, Katie explains that since her earliest childhood, something has always seemed to follow her around, and her family was constantly beset by strange occurrences. Micah is perhaps typically skeptical, but after a few nights of filming, he captures some odd, convincing footage, and becomes determined to document more concrete proof of the spirit’s existence, if not also hopefully get rid of it. But as the unseen force grows in power and makes it known that it wants Katie for itself, the couple slowly begins to lose control of their experiment, and decides to get out of the house before it’s too late for either of them to escape its powerful grasp.

At 33 and having seen probably more than my share of cinematic boogeymen, there isn’t a whole lot that really stays with me when I watch horror movies now; certainly when I was a kid, there were things that scared the hell out of me, kept me up nights, and had me thinking about the possibilities of paranormal activity in the real world, much less my bedroom closet. But Paranormal Activity is the first movie in probably a decade that truly lingered in my head after I finished watching it, and actually creeped me out for a few days afterward. Brilliantly, Peli sets up certain audience expectations by establishing a simple premise—a girl thinks she’s being haunted—and then delivering on it in a delicate matter of degrees; but it’s the patience and subtlety of the escalation of events that makes it seem believable, and eventually, genuinely terrifying… A MUST READ REVIEW AND A MUST SEE FOR HORROR FANS!

DreadCentral reports the list of cities for the pre screening have been announced and a Demand It! campaign website launched to bring the film to your city:

Direct from @TweetYourScream on Twitter:

Sept. 24th – limited midnight Fantastic Fest screenings of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: LA, NY, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, & Seattle

In other words, free(!) screenings will be held across the country on Thursday night, September 24th, at 11:59 PM simultaneous with the film’s Fantastic Fest appearance (or as simultaneous as it can be considering the different time zones).

Keep tuned to DreadCentral for more news:

In addition, Dread Central readers who live in and around the Boston area can look forward to an extra special announcement from us shortly.

Then, on September 25th, it expands to include, Austin, TX; Durham, NC; Boulder, CO; Lincoln, NB; Orlando, FL; Seattle, WA; Ann Arbor, MI; Baton Rouge, LA; Columbus, OH; Madison, WI; Santa Cruz, CA; State College, PA; and Tucson, AZ. Don’t see your town listed? DEMAND IT below!

‘Demand’ your screening here

Trailer Courtesy of watchCulturetainment:

Coming to theaters on September 25, 2009.
Starring: Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat, Mark Fredrichs, Amber Armstrong, Ashley Palmer

After a young, middle class couple moves into what seems like a typical suburban starter tract house, they become increasingly disturbed by a presence that may or may not be somehow demonic but is certainly most active in the middle of the night. Especially when they sleep. Or try to.

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September 15, 2009. Tags: , , , , , . Entertainment, Film, Horror, Mystery, Popular Culture, Sci Fi, Supernatural, Suspense.

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