Paranormal Activity Nearly Induced Fecal Activity In My Pants


I saw Paranormal Activity last night. I also slept with my television, and all the lights in my bedroom on. I had heard a lot of hype about PA going into my viewing last night, and I was fairly certain it was going to scare me. I’m an easy scare. No, really. I always joke that whatever friend accompanies me to a movie is my date for the night. I ain’t got any pride, or any testicular fortitude. Last night while being shaken to timbers by PA, I was practically dry-humping my friend Jesse’s leg. I was also letting forth a stream of marginally intelligible rantings that sounded something like:

Fuck this movie, seriously fuck this movie, you’re right, we should have seen Where the Wild Things Are, fuck, fuck, what’s happening, what’s happening, fuck this movie, this movie is horrible, I want to go home.

But I don’t regret seeing it. It’s an excellent movie. It just so happens to make my skin crawl when I even think about it.

Well Ian, what if I’m not a complete wimp?

That’s a good question. The two friends I went with are both pretty strong minded dudes. I think it takes a good amount to creep them out. But they both got the chills from this movie. Trust me, I wasn’t looking much at the screen. Besides grinding against Jesse’s body, I was preferring to stare at his face at the beginning of every time-lapse sequence. His expression to every eerie moment seemed to scream,

What the fuckkkkkkkkkk?

Paranormal Activity succeeds because it doesn’t show you much. It builds the tension continually throughout the movie. The happenings themselves begin as harmless. They begin to increase in severity as the movie plays out, and you have the uncomfortable feeling that something awful is amok. This is all interwoven through the time-lapsed camera technique they use. If that means nothing to you, when they show film of the couple sleeping, sometimes the film will be fast-forwarded.

And then it’ll stop, which indicates to the audience that something is going to occur.

The brilliance is that it’s a continual build. You begin to become tense right when the film cuts to the couple sleeping, because there are moments when the male protagonist Micah is just walking around the house with the camera. And then you become more tense when it begins fast-forwarding, because you know it’s catching you to…something. And then when it finally stops fast forwarding? Silence.

Almost every single time the fast-forwarding stops, still nothing happens immediately. So you sit there, watching the couple sleep. And you’re staring at the seconds ticking by on the bottom right hand corner of the “camera”. Waiting, waiting, waiting for something.

And then?

And then you dry-hump your friend’s leg.