Typically, movies like this don't live up to the hype for me. I mean, everyone went on about how scary "The Blair Witch Project" was, but then when I saw it, the movie bored me to tears. I mean, the story was ok, and when we sat around discussing just the story on a sleepover one night, it worked in a campfire story kind of way, but for me it lost something on film.
"Paranormal Activity" isn't like that. At first, when I was watching the guy and his girlfriend bicker and make out and be lovey-dovey I was a little bored, but it definitely hooked me and kept my interest. The people in this movie aren't "acting." They look and talk like real people. The woman isn't a size negative two, and the guy is a little gawky and awkward, and in shorty, they looked like real people. The movie actually takes time to EXPLAIN why they stay in the house instead of just moving, and up until the last half hour, we can see that while the things that have happened are creepy, they just don't seem creepy to justify moving out of a new house, especially when you're a college student and a day trader who are just starting out in life. I mean, the entire movie takes place over a three-week period, so there's not time to really stop and consider what you're doing when things are happening so fast, and I appreciated that I could relate to these people enough not to hate them for being so stupid.
The ending of this movie FREAKED me out. I mean that. TEARS came to my eyes. that's how scared I was. And later, sitting up that night unable to sleep, I actually rocked back and forth and sang hymns in order to get my mind off the movie. That impresses me. It's rare for a movie to affect me like this, and I'm glad this one did, because I have mad respect for it because of that.