Review for Paranormal Activity Limited Edition Blu-ray
Young couple Katie and Micah are concerned about their house and the creepy things going on. It seems like this is something that has happened to Katie most of her life. Micah decides to film their lives and this film is the edited together footage which was 'found'. During the night, over the days, the happenings become scarier and scarier with the activity becoming more and more aggressive until they cannot sleep anymore and after watching neither will you.
Paranormal Activity is a phenomenon. I remember watching this film (with its original ending, which is included) and being fascinated by it. Was it real? It felt real. It was marketed as real, but then they said the same about The Blair Witch Project.
Ultimately, it was proven that this was another found-footage film, but there was something really special about this one. It spawned five sequels (a sixth due in 2022) and caused an explosion in the found footage genre-for better or worse.
What I loved most about this film was how real everything was. Katie and Micah were perfect in their roles and they had such wonderful chemistry which evolves throughout the film. The scares are subtle and it is a masterclass in building tension which very few films have come close to. It is a shame that the rest of the films are not included, but they are all a bit hit and miss, so that can be understandable.
The Special Features are a little underwhelming considering the 'Special Edition' feel the set is given. The two Commentaries are fine. Director/Writer Oren Peli gives a lot of interesting stories regarding how and why he made the film. I do wish he had been joined by someone else so that he could have someone to trade stories with. The one with critics Mary Beth McAndrews and Terry Mesnard is nice and if you are a fan of the film you may enjoy listening to two fans discussing it. However, at times they seem a little too much like 'fans' and so I'm not sure how objective they are.
Four interviews are included from Oren Peli, and Actors Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat and Ashley Palmer. The first three are great and make perfect sense, the fourth one is bizarre. The actress is featured in the film (barely) in the online video Micah and Katie watch showing an exorcism. Why interview her? She had very little impact on the film and really doesn't add much. Surely, there were other people involved in the film who could have been interviewed?
Two alternate endings are included, one that was the original festival cut which I always thought was great, though I agree with Peli that it doesn't have the same impact as the new one. The other Alternate ending just feels mean-spirited and I can understand why they didn't go with it. The Deleted Scene is simply a longer version of the 'Online Exorcist' scene which I understand why they cut it down as it does slow the film down.
Finally, there are the trailers and TV Spots which show just how effective the marketing was and how much the film had an effect on audiences.
Paranormal Activity is one of the best examples of found-footage horror ever created. If you have not experienced it and get spooked by creaky floorboards then this is the film for you. Over a decade on and those moments still shake me to the core and will have you sleeping with the light on for a while.