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Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009 01:45 am

Believe the hype: Paranormal a true bone-rattler

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Bearing the Steven Spielberg stamp of approval and the most effective viral ad campaign since The Blair Witch Project, the $15,000 independent horror feature Paranormal Activity, comes bearing the onus of huge expectations. Against all odds, this effective, economical flick lives up to expectations, delivering old-fashioned shocks, the sort that the usual gore-filled slasher flick can’t hope to duplicate.

The premise is, like most effective horror flicks, a simple one. A young married couple (Katie Featherson and Micah Sloat) hears strange noises in their bedroom at night and decide to set up a video camera with night vision to see what’s going on. Needless to say, the footage eventually shows there are things going bump in the night and this young couple experiences a major case of buyer’s remorse.

The less said about what ensues the better. Suffice it to say, the film requires a bit of patience but the payoff is worth it. Director Oren Peli understands that less is more where horror movies are concerned and his use of the film’s aesthetic elements to initially suggest rather than show all that’s terrorizing the couple is startling. Brace yourself and see Activity with someone you feel comfortable screaming with.

Contact Chuck Koplinski at ckoplinski@usd116.org.