Ten years ago The Blair Witch Project took hiking-trips firmly off the agenda for audiences all over the world, its unique approach launching the docu-horror genre that's since been imitated but never matched in popularity or universal terror. That is, until now...
Paranormal Activity, a demonic-possession film, has emerged as the most profitable independent film of all time, as well as ingraining itself on the scarred psyches of American viewers everywhere.
Written, directed, produced and edited for $15,000 by Oren Peli in his own San Diego home, the film has been doing the festival rounds since completion in 2007.
Following the Blair Witch mould, complete unknowns play a young couple – Micah and Katie - who move in together before realising that they may not be alone. When Micah sets up a surveillance camera in the bedroom, a means of proving that the bumps in the night are nothing to worry about becomes a chillingly static record of a demonic presence, an unseen threat intent on more than making itself known.
The surprise victor at the US box-office against torture-porn stalwart Saw VI, Steven Speilberg was reportedly so disturbed after viewing the film at his California home that he disposed of the copy immediately.
Not surprising, as this gripping trailer is only a hint of the horror of Paranormal Activity, following Psycho and Jaws in making something terrifying out of the familiar by suggesting that we may not be as safe in our own beds as we think. Guy Pewsey
Paranormal Activity is out on November 27th. Be sure to take a friend. Or a crucifix.