PARANORMAL ACTIVITY VS. THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT
From The Week:
Director Oren Peli's low-budget "haunted-house thriller" Paranormal Activity is drawing lots of comparisons to 1999's The Blair Witch Project, said Owen Gleiberman in Entertainment Weekly, but there's a key difference. Although Peli's film was "shot for $11,000" and "made very much in the peekaboo-vérité spirit of Blair Witch" (watch the trailer), in that movie, "you never really did get to see very much, but in Paranormal Activity (watch the trailer) you do"—and it's "freaky and terrifying."
Paranormal Activity has "the power to scare you with the sound of a creaking door," said Ben Kenigsberg in Time Out New York, and the film "makes a virtue of simplicity." But it also "lacks the conceptual elegance of its obvious precursor, The Blair Witch Project," and "often has the feel of a film-school exercise in which the object is to wring maximum suspense from rudimentary tools."