‘Paranormal Activity’ breaks conventions

Lori Vetrano

Halloween is approaching quickly, and what better way to get in the mood than to go see a horror film? Of course, the “Saw” series is keeping up with its yearly October tradition of its gory slasher films – but it’s time for a change.

Luckily, there’s a newly resurrected type of horror/thriller in Hollywood at the moment. Think “Blair Witch Project,” except with better scares.

All of the hype about Oren Peli’s “Paranormal Activity” is well-deserved. It’s a Cinderella story for a low-budget film. It was produced in one week, filmed entirely with a handheld video camera, had a total cast of seven characters and took a not-so-whopping $15,000 to make. Now this deceivingly cheap film is spreading like wildfire throughout the United States and is even selling out in major cities that are showing it.

The two main characters are Katie and Micah (the actors used their real names for the film), a couple that lives together and suspect that a demonic presence has been haunting Katie for most of her life. They decide to record on video any evidence of the entity while they sleep.

The evidence starts out slowly, with nothing but spooky sounds and a moving door. In fact, the audience is most likely to be a little bored within the first half hour.

But as the movie plays on, the suspense starts growing until you are literally at the edge of your seat, biting your nails and ready to cover your eyes if need be.

But there is no need to ever cover your eyes during this movie – because honestly, there is nothing to see. “Paranormal Activity” doesn’t use blood, guts, gore or violence to scare its audience. It doesn’t even have any scary things pop out at you.

You are left with your own imagination running wild to picture the horror that is occurring. It leaves you tense with anticipation throughout the entire film until its truly alarming ending, complete with bloodcurdling screams and a chilling conclusion.

Granted, there are plenty of people who were not and will not be scared at all by this movie. In fact, many may even be disappointed by its lack of gore and slasher-type horror. However, if you set the mood correctly, you can truly experience the film with the terror that it tries to instill in you.

Make sure to watch it at night with friends or a significant other, then go home, sleep in the dark, and see if you aren’t even just a little creeped out. Even if you’re not, it’s worth watching just to take a break from Jigsaw.