Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on January 2010
It’s no-frills chills time as The Blair Witch Project meets The Exorcist in this ingenious, genuinely scary take on Things That Go Bump in the Night. It demonstrates a principle clearly lost on the makers of many recent SFX-driven horror flicks: less is more. A tech-happy and self-centered would-be ghost debunker decides to document on video a series of eerie nighttime disturbances that have been plaguing his girlfriend for a number of years. He’s doing this not for her, you see; for himself and his film, the insensitive cad. He’s excited; she’s terrified. He sets up his camera in their bedroom and lets it run all night. We watch as they sleep, and the anticipation is a killer. They get sporadic results, but mainly succeed in just making whatever it is mad. Director Oren Peli shot the film in a week in his own home, and spent about $15,000 on it. Its simplicity makes it convincing, and the natural performances by unknown actors Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat add to that creepy credibility. The movie works by playing on your expectations, by avoiding J-horror camp, and by transforming the banal and mundane into something menacing. You gonna be scared.
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