With Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat, Mark Fredrichs, Amber Armstrong

Written & Directed by Oren Peli

Following the "found footage" storytelling technique of movies like The Blair Witch Project, this innovative, low budget production was made in 2007, but only saw theatrical release several years later after Paramount, Dreamworks and people like Spielberg got to see its potential to literally scare up some audience interest (and box office).
The movie is assembled as though it was edited from video footage shot by Micha, boyfriend of Katie. It documents their personal investigation into weird happenings around their home. At first they go into it lightheartedly, Micha even more so (to the extent of antagonizing these forces). But this activity starts to get more intense and violent, even a psychic expert whom they called in not hiding his fear of this strong, angry energy.
Written, produced, directed, shot and edited by Oren Peli, it is innovative guerilla movie making like this that often breathes new life into the medium (as with renegade saviours like Robert Rodriguez)
With very simple but effective techniques of suspense building and good old fashioned scares, Peli certainly succeeded in creating one scary little movie.
Seeing this for the first time, I was accompanied by someone who is attuned to paranormal activity and have experienced uncomfortable and inexplicable occurrences - needless to say, they found the movie a daunting and frightening affair and chose not to discuss it afterwards (as not to attract these potential energies to them). On the flip-side another friend saw it and found it boring (having never experienced something like this for real).

While I respect the man and his Hollywood position, I'm not a fan of the new ending which Spielberg suggested...

The realism of the non-fictional ruse is further enhanced with no music or credits (the latter an impressive ego-free move).
Unfortunately (as with Blair Witch) the sequel will be hard pressed to capture the impulsive energy and originality of its predecessor.

4 / B
- Paul Blom

0 1 2 3 4 5 6
- A - B - C

For similar "found footage" scary movies, click the images below

never let a review decide for you, but for those who need a rating, see the Flamedrop scale below
6 - Volcanic
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temperature
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished

A: Multi-Viewing Potential

B: Could Enjoy A 2nd Look

C: Once Should Suffice

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