Paranormal Activity succeeds by putting the viewer in the most deviously terrifying position ever imagined by a filmmaker: captive audience to an idiot's home movie. It recreates the experience of being stuck in a room with Micah (pronounced MEEK-uh, or DOOSH-bag), the kind of guy you immediately want to start punching and never stop punching until the punching is done. The kind of guy who spends his free time at the mall, conspicuously checking out 16-year olds while chatting loudly on his Bluetooth headset about hair gels. In short, Micah is a super sweet dude.
In a hard-to-swallow supernatural twist, Micah has somehow acquired a live-in girlfriend, Katie. In any other film she would stand out as a shrill, unlikeable person, but in the twisted world ofParanormal Activity she is borderline tolerable. Katie carries some baggage, namely some sort of ghost, or demon, or...well it's not really clear. Whatever it is, it's up to no good, pulling off masterful scares such as moving keys off the counter, and gradually shifting a door while Micah and Katie sleep. By the way, get used to watching Micah and Katie sleep, because that's pretty much the whole movie. Oh, and one time they go outside and Katie sits in a chair.
Strap in for terror, or at least a steady, crushing, existential dread, as Mike, Kevin, and Bill go up against the film equivalent of sitting next to a talkative moron on a 6-hour flight: Paranormal Activity.