10 Horror Movies That Prove Less Is More

8. Paranormal Activity

Lake Mungo
Paramount Pictures

By 2009, a decade after the release of The Blair Witch Project, the found footage genre wasn't unique anymore, and precious few entries had managed to do anything particularly innovative with the low-fi format.

Then Paranormal Activity came along. Shot for just $15,000, the haunted house film took a page out of The Blair Witch Project's book by letting viewers imagine the demonic creature harassing protagonists Katie (Katie Featherston) and Micah (Micah Sloat) rather than showing it outright.

With much of the supernatural action captured through still, locked-off cameras, audiences were invited to scan around the frame looking for something to happen - a door to slam or a footprint to appear, for instance - effectively letting them do most of the work scaring themselves.

By offering up a smart revision of the formula amid two compelling central performances, Paranormal Activity temporarily breathed new life into a flagging subgenre, even if its sequels soon enough shed that initial lustre.

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