Oh dear, oh dear. The worst thing you can say about any movie that breaks away from the pack and tries to do something a little different is that if it’s at all successful it is immediately on the block to be mocked, or ripped, or both. Such is the case with Paranormal Activity, a movie that took the supernatural and haunted house subgenres and brought something new, and horrifying to them. Naturally, the first thing that anyone did was to rip it off. Slavishly so.
Still coping with the death of a beloved father, a mother and her two children find themselves beset by a spirit that seems to harbor them no good tidings. The mother had, at first, thought she had contacted her dead husband but as the activity (PARANORMAL activity, naturally!) begins to intensify, she and her children begin to question who or what is behind the attacks. The son decides to document what the family is going through, in the hopes of having a record of it all, and in so doing, documents the most horrifying events they will ever face, as the spirit’s attacks become more and more malevolent.
Did I say SLAVISH remake? Seriously, it is embarrassing how hard this film wants to be Paranormal Activity. The shots, concept, style, everything but the main story and the skill with which the film is made are direct rip-offs. We follow the family around as if we are the son, watching as the horror unfolds, and, naturally, there is always a camera present. Well, present that is until the end, which we somehow, despite all the cameras placed around the house, we manage to miss out on. It’s like, they went to all this work to set up the end and then never invited us. What the heck?
The acting is passable but not good, the film’s story is an utter ripoff, the effects are ridiculous, and the filming is less gripping and engaging than their inspiration. There is one sequence that is almost scary, when they find footprints somewhere very strange, and then find where they originate. Good stuff. Otherwise you sit there watching the film waiting to see if and when the actress playing the sister is going to get nude. Naturally, she does. They had a chance to at least use a template that works and to make something effective but instead made a really tepid, really boring imitation of a good film.
Watchable, for sure, but for all the wrong reasons. Yet another example of the direct to home market taking the path of imitation, and wasting both money and time. Heck, they went so far as to even rip off the cover art of PA. Ridiculous. Utterly ridiculous.
4 out of 10