Like a lot of people this past weekend, I caught a late-night showing of Paranormal Activity, the new horror film that cost a lowly $15,000 to make but has grossed more than $62 million at the box office so far. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie where the audience screamed so much.
Instead of relying on pop-out parts, loud music, and gore, this film relies on eerie, quiet scenes that make viewers fidget in their seats. There were several moments that I felt the adrenaline pumping in my veins! I’ve read reports about grown men crying in theaters and people not being able to sleep for a week after seeing it, and the hype is legit.
First of all, the film does not deal with ghosts. That’s kid stuff. This movie deals with a full-fledged demon. And secondly, there’s more to it than just people sleeping in their bedroom at night. I admit I was skeptical about how much could be done with what seemed like such a limited concept, and boy was I wrong.
Following in the tradition of The Blair Witch Project, this little film is shot in a documentary style and is not for the faint of heart. Sensitive viewers should take seriously the film’s R rating. And Christians who have objections to the portrayal of supernatural activity should be advised that this film features a strong occult, demonic, psychic worldview where a demon seems to run the show. Taken as escapist entertainment, the film packs a thrilling wallop. But, obviously, for Christians this kind of subject matter can never be taken purely as entertainment.
Whether or not it was the filmmakers’ intent, Paranormal Activity communicates a clear opinion on the powers of darkness. If you dare venture to a theater this weekend to see the film, keep your eyes peeled for the subtle religious reference and what it may or may not be implying about the power of faith — and specifically Christianity.