(Note: I'm not going to say what the movie's about in this review. Chances are, if you're reading this review, you already know.)
Okay, so I'm a bit late to the game here. Color me skeptic. I first started hearing about this movie a few weeks back when my students were begging me to watch the trailer (read: let them watch the trailer) on the YouTubez. Honestly, I thought it looked lame; I didn't find the trailer even remotely scary. And then I started hearing the reviews about how it's the scariest movie ever made, et cetera. The last time that comment was made, it was for Hostel... and we all know how craptastic that movie is. So, yes, I wasn't really psyched about it.
But the reviews kept coming. Of course there were the naysayers who went with my thoughts that the advertisement was just full of lies and propaganda to get people to see a lame movie. However, even these reviews were vastly overshadowed by the glowing reviews of scariness. So I caved. It came to my town this weekend, and I figured what the heck? At least I could leave the theater and be able to say that I'd seen the movie. In other words, I went into the movie with almost the lowest possible expectations (though there was that want to be proven wrong).
So... what'd I think? Was it the scariest movie in the world? No. But was it scary? Yes. I was actually pleasantly surprised with the movie. Sure, there were some really stupid/lame moments (the 'staring at him sleeping' bit, for instance). But for the most part, the 'night' scenes were actually really creepy. Of course, they start off as nothing and as the movie progresses, it gets crazier and crazier. And by the time it gets to, say, Night 15 or whatever, you're going "Oh God, what next?" (in a good way, not a sarcastic way). However, am I gonna be scared to go to sleep tonight? Does the movie leave me with what I like to call the "after-scare"? I don't think so.
On a horror movie level, it's very old school. It works with shadows, footsteps, and lights, and slamming doors. It really isn't until the end when things start getting physical. And it's all done to really good effect. The handy-cam really added to it all. It was a good use of it. However, it also goes through every horror movie cliche in the book. Cocky boyfriend? Check. Scared lead female? Check. Look in the attic where the demon leads you? Check. Don't get in touch with the authorities that you should be getting in touch with? Check. Do exactly what the authority you did talk to tells you specifically not to do? Check. The list goes on.
The movie also had a surprising amount of humor, though, too. Pretty much all of it came from the boyfriend. My theater was laughing every time he went to go pick up the camera to document whatever terrible thing was going on. Or just a lot of things he said, too. I was almost surprised during the "attic" scene. I thought they were gonna break the cliche when he says a really funny line, but of course they don't. Still, the line was funny (albeit ultimately pointless).
Overall, it was a surprisingly good movie. Maybe it's because my expectations were so low. I don't know how I would have liked it had I bought into all the hype beforehand. I'm not too easy to scare (to be honest, this movie was more creepy than scary. I'd say there were only a handful of truly scary moments. Most of the time, I was just really creeped out). But a lot of people these days are scared easily. Half of my theater was screaming its lungs out at any little thing (like a shadow on the door, or the ceiling tile being slanted to lead into the attic). So who knows?
I Am McLovin!