Saturday, October 3, 2009
I took a group of KPBS Teen Critics to see "Paranormal Activity" (opened October 1 for a three-day midnight run at AMC Mission Valley) to see what all the buzz was about. We went at midnight with three screens soldout and people just waiting to be scared. I could tell because the guy behind me had that nervous knee jitter shaking the back of my chair as he waited through a plethora of horror film trailers. I have to say that although the film didn't scare me, it did impress me as a smartly made, low budget indie film. It uses a single location and a very small cast yet you never feel it's because of lack of budget, it feels like it's all design rather than limitation. So kudos to San Diego local Oren Peli. The film also succeeds with its totally credible lead actors, Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat. I was completely convinced that they were a young couple coping with something inexplicable. So if you go expecting to see the scariest film ever, I think you will be disappointed. If you go expecting a clever indie film, then you'll likely be pleased. You can also listen to what the Teen Critics thought.
Here's what the teens had to say.
Jesus Gomez: I’m Jesus Gomez, I just finished watching “Paranormal Activity,” I don’t know if I’d get scared but I definitely got scared. I’m not going to be able to sleep alone for awhile.
Alfredo Delatoro: It was like going up on a rollercoaster going up and no sound and all of a sudden—BOOM!.
Kevin Doughty: Kevin Doughty, it’s about two in the morning. I just got out of seeing “Paranormal Activity.” Hands down, like no doubt in my mind, that scared me like more than any other movie I have ever seen. Completely ridiculous but at the same time really real. And it was in San Diego [the story was set in San Diego] so that made it even scarier. I don’t know it was just so weird, I can’t really explain it. If you have the possibility of even getting close to seeing this movie you really should take it. Unless you don’t like being scared then I wouldn’t recommend it at all. But that’s about it.
Kevin Doughty: I really wished I had walked out halfway through the movie.
Sierra Haley: I wish I hadn’t seen the end.
Kevin Doughty: Everything like when it was nighttime, everything was scary. Like everything freaked me out. Like when the chandelier started moving.
Benjamin Delatoro: I’m Ben Delatoro. I just got done watching “Paranormal Activity,” And I thought I was going to get super scared but I was actually falling asleep most of the time except for the last fifteen minutes I’m not going to lie, I yelled and I jumped once.
Sierra Haley: Hi I’m Sierra Haley and I just got done watching “Paranormal Activity.” There’s not a lot of words to describe the movie it was truly frightening and it left me speechless. Ah, I don’t know what to say about it really. It scared me, it really did. It’s like the truth and sometimes there are just some things you don’t want to know and this was one of them.
Kevin Doughty: When he chased after her with the camera…
Alfredo Delatoro: He should have brought the camera with him the last time so we could see what happened.
Kevin Doughty: That scream…
Sierra Haley: It was blood curdling.
Kevin Doughty: Seriously, if I had a lot of hairs on my arm they would be standing up right now.
Sierra Haley: I have chills and I’m wearing a sweater.
Alfredo Delatoro: I’m Alfredo Delatoro and I just watched “Paranormal Activity.” Hands down the scariest movie I have ever seen in my life. One because it didn’t have like crazy monsters, it was like something in the realm of possibility. So that made it ten times scarier. Yeah, scariest movie ever.
Kevin Doughty: I’m just so glad I’m spending the night at your guys’ house.