I've put this film off for far too long. Yeah, I know its demolishing the box office, and yeah, I know everyone and their mom is crawling out of the woodwork to see the 'scariest film ever made!'. Those are exactly the reasons I waited. Same thing happened with "The Blair Witch Project" and I found that to be a massive letdown. So I waited a bit, and then I went to a matinee showing. Take that hype.
I wouldn't call this film so much as 'scary' as it was really well done. I have to give credit where credit is due and the filmmakers created some nice tension and spooky visuals. Perhaps its because of my Horror film fanaticism that I found it to be somewhat of a fairly straight forward approach to the film. Nothing was truly that new in the film. It wasn't a new approach to the picture...handheld pseudo-portrayed realism is everywhere now and the scares and story weren't all that original either. I mean 'haunted' house films and even the scare scenes have all been used before. What this film succeeds at is SELLING the scare. I will admit they do that amazingly right. The acting is spot on - you feel as though you are watching you neighbor's home movies - and the choice cut scenes to build their characters and build the stories is well paced and edited. This film is so well put together and created that the simplistic story and approach to the film only added to its own hype and that's pretty impressive. I wish at times the story would have been built even more - as with the build with the Diane plot that builds up but never goes anywhere - but it was nice to see this film wasn't just built on being one scare right after the next.
As a fan of Horror, its nice to see a change of pace and to catch an anomaly to the industry as "Paranormal Activity" is. At times I wished the story would have been flushed out a bit more (its the writing in me trying to find depth where it isn't) but the craftsmanship of the film itself is quite impressive. Not quite the fright fest it was hyped to be but a solid film no matter what.
Written By Matt Reifschneider