(Welcome to Scariest scene ever, a column dedicated to the most thrilling horror moments with your tour guides, horror experts Matt Donato and Ariel fisher. In this edition: one of the scariest scenes of Paranormal activity it’s like… a caprese salad.)
Say What You Like About The Horror Found Images Boom, But Don’t Deny Paranormal activity its rightful accolades as one of the most influential genre releases after the millennium. Oren Peli helped shape forever Jason blumThe desire to generate profitable box office horror with capped budgets, and everyone from the biggest studio to the smallest independent troupes wanted to make their culture shock overnight. Paranormal activity is a decade away from imitators like Seen is the post-911 “torture porn” craze, both born out of 2000s franchises that defined mainstream horror trends. There is a reason why Paranormal activity remains one of the undisputed success stories of the footage found in a decade since Toby cursed our mortal realm.
With so many scares of mine in the first movie alone, I don’t direct my attention to the in-your-face finale. The scene that still interrupts my fleeting attempts to manage healthy sleep? When Katie stands over Micah, while Micah is sleeping blissfully unconscious.
My biggest fear is the unknown. What I can’t see, what I can’t feel, what I just can’t rationalize with physical evidence. Jason Voorhees charging towards campers with a machete doesn’t scare me as much as, say, a possessed woman who hovers over her unconscious lover for hours as he dreams sweet fantasies without any warning to his fate. imminent.
I will live with insomnia, thank you very much.
Oren Peli presents to viewers Katie (Katie featherston) and Micah (Micah Sloat), a couple from San Diego facing an unusual problem – Katie believes a demon from her childhood is threatening their life together. It is suggested that the entity feeds on negative energy and requires proper evaluation from the demonologist. Micah ignores the warnings and believes he can fix the problem with a surveillance camcorder that captures any inexplicable weirdness that occurs when the moon rises. Unsurprisingly, Katie’s interactions with all the sightseeing each night intensify as the romantic roommates bicker over their supernatural situation. Sounds like breeding ground for negativity, eh?
The story so far
As with most ghost stories, Paranormal activity relies on one party’s disbelief as a victim tries to convey their true alarm without mutual compassion (at first). Katie brings the idea of an appearance to Micah, but he’s more interested in persuading Katie to record a sex tape with her new videographer toy. A medium (Mark Fredrich) suggests that Katie and Micah bring in some occult professionals, which falls on Micah’s deaf ears as he puffs up his chest as Katie’s protector.
Micah is not afraid of ghosts.
As the nights progress, the images begin to reveal strange events that may or may not be optical illusions on grainy streams. Maybe the keys to the house are misplaced. Maybe their bedroom door randomly moves forward or backward. After a short while, the signs become more powerful – their bedroom door slams and audible screams or moans claim that an unwanted guest has taken up residence. Micah’s defiant attitude begins to wane slightly, though his actions become more dumb as he deliberately attempts to interact with the potentially (presumably) malicious invader. We then arrive at the fear in question which proves, without a doubt, that Katie is indeed no longer herself.
Night # 15. October 2, 2006. 1h35 (and 52 seconds for purists).
The camera frames Micah and Katie, asleep on their spacious mattresses, and Katie casually wakes up. She seems confused about her surroundings, darting half-closed eyes at the sheets around her, almost as if she is in a strange and unrecognizable place. The bluish overlay hue of the night vision simulation adds an icy coldness to the scene, despite the appearance of Katie who might just be heading down for a midnight snack.
Spoiler alert: she has other plans.
Katie’s feet bang against the hardwood as she stands in her bedroom, still in a sleepwalking haze. She maneuvers in circles, scanning the modest surroundings, until she sets eyes on Micah. It’s becoming clear now that Katie is possessed because the man she lays down next to each night is causing a bit of a double take if you watch closely. Katie’s vision almost passes by a nestled Micah, then focuses on her curled up body, piercing the darkness as her dark gaze shoots daggers. There is no notion of romance or affection, as Katie watches Micah with palpable tension.
At this point, the footage quickly moves forward for what feels like an eternity of two hours. Katie’s body swings back and forth, never breaking her direct gaze, as Micah turns and rolls in fits of redistributing weight on the mattress. Around 3:30 a.m., the viewing speed returns to normal and Katie walks down the stairs with no apparent reason. At this exact moment, we don’t know what Katie might do next without knowing it – a bit of a foreshadowing in terms of a theatrical ending.
What a master class to keep the suspense mixed with untold terror using nothing more than a sculptural climbing plant frozen in place for an extreme amount of time. A simple bastard sequence the expression “comforts of home” or “the sweet home at home”.
The Impact (Ariel’s capture)
Just from reading Matt’s depression, the hairs on my arms stood on end and my skin turned cold. I know we’re writers, and our specialty is horror, but I’m not hyperbolic.
I remember seeing Paranormal activity right after making waves on the festival circuit after its initial release. I thought watching it in broad daylight on my laptop while I was in bed (a common pose for a relatively new movie critic) would protect me from what was to come. Kind of like your cover is absolutely, 100%, unmistakably defense against monsters in the night.
No? Just me? Go!
Anyway! The point is that I was therefore very bad. I was not safe, and this film penetrated my skin faster than a fast absorbing body lotion for sensitive skin. While there is many scenes from this film that gave me chills, this is the one that shouldn’t be. Like Matt, I too am afraid of the unknown. The paranormal is what tends to give me a hard time when it comes to the effectiveness of horror (among other things, let’s be honest). But this scene seemed too simple at first.
“She’s just standing there,” I thought to myself. “Why are you shrinking? Wait, what’s going on here ?! ”
It’s the type of slow, subtle boil that hits you on the side of your head when you think you’ve got your balance, decimating you completely. It surprises you with its simplicity to gradually amplify the feeling of discomfort. There’s something about Katie, and if you had any doubts before… boy oh boy, you don’t!
Frankly, it’s simple scenes like this that I enjoy the most, kind of like Italian food: good quality ingredients prepared simply. The result is almost always a deceptively huge impact for something created with just a few elements.
To me, Katie standing above Micah is like Caprese salad – it doesn’t take much to be one of my favorite dishes.
Or, in this case, to scare me.
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