Parents' Guide to

Paranormal Activity

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Indie scare fest doesn't need blood and gore to terrify.

Movie R 2009 99 minutes
Paranormal Activity Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 48 parent reviews

age 10+

I love these

I absolutely love this series of movies. My daughter just turns 9 and I let her watch. The worst part of these movies are the language which these days...... I dont like but she's heard from other movies. She knows better than to repeat!! I also make her watch during the day with curtains closed to appreciate the creepy of it. But so she also doesn't have it fresh on her mind right before bed... my girl is kinda tough tho... although these movies dont show a certain something coming for you.... we used to watch TV show "face off" on scifi channel so she alrwady understands that these somethings in movies aren't real.

This title has:

Too much swearing
1 person found this helpful.
age 10+

Easy one of the worst movies I've ever watched.

There are home videos made with no budget that are scarier than this. Barely anything happens in this whole movie.
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (48):
Kids say (196):

Made for a very low budget and with minimal actors and settings, this is an effective horror movie that's more dependent on ideas than on spectacle or gore. Like horror classics ranging from Cat People (1942) to The Haunting (1963) to The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity suggests its terrors rather than explicitly showing them, which leaves far more to the imagination -- and sends more genuine chills up the spine.

The well-paced daytime scenes are comparatively relaxing as Micah and Katie try to figure out their dilemma, but the nighttime scenes offer something spookier. The couple sleeps in a static wide shot; the bed, the doorway, and part of a hallway are visible. The scary part can be a sound or an image, but it can originate from anywhere within the frame; the movie always keeps viewers off guard. Some of the characters' behavior can grate, but that's a minor quibble in an otherwise satisfying, terrifying experience.

Movie Details

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