Making a movie with $15,000 sounds pretty remarkable to me. A little while ago, I spoke about my love for Indie film, when the trailer for 'Afterschool' dropped.
Paranormal Activity is a film which was given limited release, and is probably THE most impressive Horror film I have seen to date, given the circumstances it was filmed on; $15,000 budget, 1 week to shoot, 2 years until it received critical acclaim.
Putting all of that aside though, the film itself was a massive achievement. It contained the makings of an amazing film. Throughout the whole film, there was never a moment I felt bored. Even during the parts when there was excessive dialogue, I still felt drawn to it, not necessarily to the dialogue itself, but to the way the characters were delivering it. It felt real, it didn't feel like a movie at all to me, it actually felt as though I was watching a documentary, an extended YouTube Vlog-No...Even a Vlog would be more exaggerated, this, was just...real. Not literally, of course, but it wasn't over dramatic, it wasn't theatrical.
Now, the effects. Sure, they probably cost peanuts, but the way they were displayed, the way they were executed, and presented, were exceptional.
Example 1- The swinging chandelier - Ok, so probably not the most creative effect, but, in the moment- the context in which it was presented, was creepy, and it worked, whether or not it was some dude pushing it before the camera got to it. Think about this, though. Your at home, you hear a noise(all the time keeping in mind you have a chandelier in the house), you run to see what it was, and the chandelier was swaying from side to side. That'd be freaky. See, now, the good thing about this was that it wasn't completely far-fetched, and it was a viable effect, and no doubt, didn't cost a billion dollar to shoot.
Example 2, and the most puzzling for me - The leg pulling- Those of you who have seen this, will know what I'm referring to. I think this was the most effective effect in the entire movie, and still don't know how it was done, I'm working on that, but I just felt it was just brilliant. The emotion that was conveyed by the couple felt so genuine, and it didn't even feel like I was watching a film, by that point in the movie, I was a bystander in their lives.
Now the shots- Cloverfield did it, and I loved the concept of a hand-held camera being used for the entire movie. Like I said before, it felt like I was watching a documentary, it was authentic, and I really bought the whole thing. Hell, I was watching it myself, and I didn't want to sleep after it. More so than any other Horror I've seen before.
However, I will say that the end, well, it was pretty anti-climactic. Yeah, yeah, spoiler alert, who cares. So I get what happened, I just don't think it was cool by not telling us what happened afterwards.
I did like the authenticity of the film; no credits, just a 'thank you' message to the local Police Department.
Overall, good film, still not on the perfect side, I guess purely because of the end, that was a downer for me, but other than that, like I said before, still one of the best Horrors I've seen in a LONG time.