The Paranormal Activity franchise was almost solely responsible for resurrecting the found footage film and has, to date, grown to encompass something like 48 sequels. Today, we're taking it all the way back to the original. How will this modern-day masterpiece of supernatural horror hold up under the Scorecard's pitiless gaze? Read on, gentle reader, and find out...
- For being a recent horror movie that isn’t a remake and doesn’t revolve around Real World cast-offs being subjected to surgical torture. = +20pts
- For being one of those “found footage” horror movies. = –15pts
- Isn’t there only one camera? How come the POV keeps changing in the kitchen? = –5pts
- So, just so we’re clear here, malevolent poltergeist haunting my girlfriend: Totally within the realm of possibility. Psychics who can perceive and study said poltergeist: An obvious load of bullshit invented to defraud the gullible. = –10pts
- For giving us the Paranormal Activity Drinking Game (every time there’s a loud noise from downstairs, take a drink; if Micah or Katie yell “Fuck” right afterwards, chase it with a shot; guaranteed black-out drunk in 90 minutes or less). = +20pts
- For defining “demons” for us. (Because an entire lifetime of living in a Judeo-Christian Western society hasn’t familiarized us with that concept.) = –3pts
- Micah’s “research” on the supernatural consisting of one evening thumbing through My First Picture Book of Demons. = +8pts
- Despite the fact that the psychic explicitly said NOT to use a Ouija board, that’s pretty much Micah’s go-to solution. For showing some real moxy: = +10pts
- For being a willfully obtuse horror movie character. = –15pts
- So basically, Kate and Micah share a living space with something that throws stuff on the floor, leaves faucets running, and makes loud noises while they’re trying to sleep. Maybe we're alone in this, but we think that in order for the supernatural force in a horror movie to really be effective, it needs to be more threatening than, say, an inconsiderate roommate. = –18pts
- At a certain point, wouldn’t the logical response to the “haunting” be to shake your first in the direction of the loud thumping, mutter a semi-coherent reprimand, and then roll over and go back to sleep? = –7pts
- Sprinkling talcum powder on the floor to solve your ghost problems. = – 2pts
- Claw marks on Micah’s picture; I think we see eye-to-eye on this one, demon. = +32pts
- Attempted ghost rape. =+12pts (For being kind of scary. Not for...you know...the whole rape thing.)
- The end takeaway of this movie being “See the next movie to find out what any of this shit means.” = –20pts
Available on: Netflix DVD, your little brother's list of "scAryEst mOvIEz EvArrr!"
As close to a zero as just about anything we’ve ever reviewed. Proof that the scorecard never lies! We’re pretty sure that we’ve watched instructional videos on performing simple Excel functions that were more frightening than this film.
Score Technician: Joe Hemmerling