Paranormal Activity: October 16th 2009
Paranormal Entity: December 29th 2009
Both Paranormal Activity and Paranormal Entity follow families that are being terrorized by a demon. Both films are seen through the handheld cameras of the families. The families decide to document all of the strange occurrences in the houses; TV’s turning on by themselves, objects moving, and the usual loud crashes.
After both families speak with paranormal researchers and decide to document the haunting on video camera, both hauntings drastically escalate.
It is decided that the demons in each movie are after the young woman of the house hold. Katie in Paranormal Activity and Samantha in Paranormal Entity.
Paranormal Activity: This movie was very creepy. It was more of a psychological thriller. The horror comes from anxiety and the expectations of what will occur by the audience them selves. It was overall a slow moving film up until the last fifteen minutes of the film. The movie was broken up by night and day. By day we see the couple, Katie and her boyfriend, Micah living their lives in terror and trying to figure out what to do about the demonic presence. We see their lives falling apart; in the beginning the couple is perfectly happy and in love. We see the very convincing, deterioration of their loving relationship. The stress of the haunting causes them to fight more often and we can see how exhausted they are. Throughout the film the couple gets very little sleep because that is the prime time of the disturbing haunting.
The demons presence is very apparent to the audience. We see the haunting through the video cameras left throughout the house. And the sound effects were key. The screams were high pitched and bone chilling. All the sounds made by the demon; the crashing and pounding, the voice of them demon, even its footsteps were very believable and terrifying. The sound effects and acting were what made this movie as creepy as it was.
Paranormal Entity: Known as a “Mockbuster”, the purpose of Paranormal Entity was to make money off of the hit, Paranormal Activity. Though almost identical to Paranormal Activity in the way the movie was set up and the plot, it did fall short on a few things. The acting was not nearly as good or convincing as the acting in its competing film.
The situation and occurrences were well apparent in Paranormal Activity…not so much in Paranormal Entity. There were many times when we heard screaming off camera but it was never explained why. Also, there is a scene when Samantha’s mother is explaining to the camera that “very bad things” have been happening to Samantha but it is never stated what was happening. I suppose these are left open ended to allow our imaginations to run wild but it made me more frustrated with my curiosity than anything else.
My main complaint is that the sound effects were not up to par. In a few scenes the demon was accompanied by a particular sound. This reminded me of how Jaws always showed up when the famous sound effect was heard.
This wasn’t appreciated because it cut out the element of surprise and anxiety.
Also, there were a few scenes that pounding on doors takes place by the demon. This just sounded like a bunch of people knocking on the other side of the door.
While nearly identical and both very creepy, Paranormal Activity is definitely the winner of this comparison. The higher budget film usually is…so why the “mockbusters”?