Paranormal Activity Reviews

  • With its this-is-really-happening vibe, Paranormal Activity scrapes away 30 years of encrusted nightmare cliches. The fear is real, all right, because the fear is really in you.

    Owen Gleiberman — Entertainment Weekly

  • It works best when it comes out of nowhere, because that's, in the end, where it goes.

    A.O. Scott — New York Times

  • This ingenious and often genuinely frightening film is a digital mocu-real nightmare.

    Peter Bradshaw — Guardian [UK]

  • This unsettling ultra-low-budget tale capitalizes on our innate fear of things that go bump in the night, and adds a supernatural element that will effectively terrorize even the toughest among us.

    Claudia Puig — USA Today

  • It's the sleeper hit that makes audiences too petrified to ever sleep again.

    Jen Chaney — Washington Post

  • It's like watching a YouTube clip of your irritating neighbors, knee deep in muck, as they argue the effectiveness of plumbers.

    Justine Elias — Boston Globe

  • Some wild moments make it all worth it.

    Joe Neumaier — New York Daily News

  • The sizzle of the marketing is impressive; the steak of the actual movie, served bloody and rare and juicy, is even more so.

    James Rocchi — MSN Movies

  • In the light of day, it's all very silly and conventional. But of course we're not talking about the light of day.

    David Edelstein — New York Magazine

  • It illustrates one of my favorite points, that silence and waiting can be more entertaining than frantic fast-cutting and berserk f/x. For extended periods here, nothing at all is happening, and believe me, you won't be bored.

    Roger Ebert — Chicago Sun-Times

  • The climax is deliciously scary, and Peli gets considerable mileage from the simple matter of lights inexplicably going on in another room.

    J. R. Jones — Chicago Reader

  • Peli is to be congratulated for pulling off such an audacious project, but he needs a sharper sense of timing: The film's pacing is uneven, which weakens the suspense.

    Tirdad Derakhshani — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • Without financing, stars or more than a couple of special effects, first-time writer/director Olen Peli has made a diabolically effective essay in irrational horror.

    Colin Covert — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • Horror fans who value credible creepiness over the usual splatdom will welcome this.

    Dennis Harvey — Variety

  • Like legendary producer Val Lewton in the '40s, director Oren Peli, who shot Paranormal in seven days in his own home, understands that what's most frightening is what you don't see but merely suggested.

    Lou Lumenick — New York Post

  • This is more fun than most studio horror films that drop into theaters most weekends. Is it scarier? Only occasionally.

    Roger Moore — Orlando Sentinel

  • The people most scared by Paranormal Activity may be the makers of high-priced special effects, who will have to explain to studio bosses how a kid with $15,000 and one or two cameras can create such effective terror.

    Peter Howell — Toronto Star

  • Though it never poses a question more abstract than "Where's that scratching sound coming from?" Paranormal Activity is all about spiritual and ethical debts coming due.

    Dana Stevens — Slate

  • his is a tale of the supernatural, but its strength is that it is rooted in the ordinary. That's what makes it creepy.

    James Berardinelli — ReelViews

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