‘Paranormal Activity’ shows that stereotypical elements not needed for horror flick

Mackenzie Snyder, Entertainment Editor

Most horror movies of the 2000s have been defined by their gory effects, their jump scares, and the sheer terror that comes from watching them. Sometimes, gory zombie movies can become too repetitive with the big budget and studio films feeling cheesy and overdone.

Paranormal Activity, although it came out almost ten years ago, is one such film that doesn’t need all of the gore, eerie music, and special effects to instill dread in the viewers. In fact, the movie is able to do this with next to nothing.

Paranormal Activity is a found-footage supernatural horror following the lives of Katie and Micah, a young couple in California. Katie has been experiencing supernatural activity her entire life, and it has recently started back up again. Even though Micah doesn’t take it seriously, he buys a camera and sets it up to film everything that happens. Soon, the flickering lights and opening and closing doors turn into footsteps and fire, with the sinister forces that have been haunting Katie her entire life revealing themselves.

The entirety of the film is recorded on a cheap camera, with Micah acting as the cameraman. It was entirely written and directed by Oren Peli. It had no script, and the actors Micah Sloat and Katie Featherson were given the general outline of the plot and told to act.

In the beginning, the movie is very slow, but the lack of events in the beginning also helps with the sense of dread. The lack of special effects also creates a sense of realness, and the overall normalcy of the characters and setting makes you invested in their story.

Paranormal Activity also proves that you don’t need gory effects to scare people. All you need are the simplest things.