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Saturday October 17, 2009 10:53 pm

Nausea Strikes Again During Paranormal Activity

Paranormal Activity

NOTE: This is not an indicator of how I felt about the movie. This is simply me telling you how the movie made me feel.

I’m not a big scaredy-cat. I’m really not. I apparently just have a weak stomach.

I should have known the night was going to go wrong from the minute I sat down for . While we were still sitting through the previews, I noticed a horrible smell. It was that strong odor a non-smoker picks up on when seated anywhere near a chain smoker. The teen in front of reeked of cigarettes and it was starting to irritate my lungs. Although I debated moving before the film began, I chose to stick it out. After all, we found great seats and I didn’t want to ruin our position.

As it turns out, that smell was the least of my problems.

Within minutes of the movie starting, a familiar feeling came over me. I couldn’t quite place it at first, but then I quickly realized my error. How did I not see this coming?

Back in January 2008, I wrote about my horrible experience sitting through a completely different (yet, coincidentally, horror-related) film: Cloverfield. That movie about New Yorkers running away from a giant monster had me nauseated from the get-go with its non-stop, handheld camera action. Up until that point, I had never recalled being motion-sick watching home video. (That said, I do realize I’m getting older.) Over 80+ minutes of it was simply too much for me to take.

Tonight, I reached the near 100-minute mark with Paranormal Activity and my Dramamine was still sitting at home. Yes, I knew the movie involved a couple using a home video camera. But I had only seen a few clips of the trailer on television, so it never occurred to me that the camera would move from its fixed position in the bedroom. I’m not sure why; call it idiocy. Whatever the reason—fear was not what I was most worried about tonight. It was the lack of an air sickness bag.

So if you were one of the many who found Cloverfield hard to sit through, let me be the one to warn you again. Take the motion sickness pills out your cabinet and just put them in your purse now. Don’t make the same mistake I made…twice.



Well - the point of my particular post was to write something that may not be covered elsewhere. As I learned with my Cloverfield post, I wasn’t the only person who shared my motion sickness experience.

And speaking as someone who has experienced the problem—it just doesn’t go away. Once it kicks in, it doesn’t end quickly. So the shakiness doesn’t appear to stop, even if it does seem subtle to those who are immune to it. So I disagree with you when you say that Micah held the camera fairly steady. It doesn’t appear that way to those already feeling sick.

This post wasn’t meant to start an argument nor was it - like I said in the beginning - meant to serve as a review, it was simply to relay my experience. Ironically, my hope is that people will be more prepared so that they CAN see the movie. Not regret they did.


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