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Hal MacDermot [Celluloid 09.22.09] movie review horror



Year: 2009
Directors: Oren Peli
Writers: Oren Peli
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: Hal MacDermot
Rating: 6 out of 10

Paranormal Activity was a hit at Screamfest in 2007, became the darling of a rising Paramount executive and only cost $15,000 to make. Finally, a movie that uses psychology to scare, not gore. This is the stripped down, no-music-soundtrack-haunted-house-movie that had The Spielberg believing his copy was haunted. Apparently after watching the flick, his bedroom door inexplicably locked itself from the inside and when he took the screener to the Paramount offices, he carried it in a black garbage bag. First time director Oren Peli will clearly go far. So there you go, lots of buzz and edgy marketing. Certainly enough to spark my interest. Unfortunately, the movie turned out to be another lesson in Don’t Believe the Hype.


So why am I being such a downer? The main reason is that it’s not scary and it needed to be. If you don’t want spoilers then STOP reading right NOW. Here’s the thing: the demon is really a lot more like a noisy neighbor than a thing of dread and darkness. This is a demon, presumably from the Pit of Hell™©, right, so why does it content itself with making silly knocking noises from various bits of the house. I mean, dude, a life of eternity, torment and evil and all you do is bang around a little bit and open the door somewhat. Oh Evil One, where art thy Balls? I just didn’t buy it. I do respect Oren Peli for using storytelling instead of Slash to provide the scares, but I don't think he pulled it off. Having said all that, quite a few movie fan sites do love Paranormal Activity, so some people will definitely enjoy the film. Also, IM Global has already found the movie distribution in over 50 countries, I guess the buyers like it too. Oh and Paramount too.

Goofy couple Micah and Katie are living together happily, with only the minor inconvenience of the occasional bump in the night. Katie’s heard the bumps, and occasional ghostly whisper in her ear, for all her life, and so until now she’s not been too worried. That’s about to change. Unwisely, cocky boyfriend Micah decides to buy himself fancy video camera to see if he can’t catch that thing on tape. It turns out that the presence, or shall we say demon, doesn’t take kindly to being filmed. As Micah becomes more intrusive, so too does the demon, and the tension sort of rises. They bring in a ghost whisperer but he doesn’t help much. Micah’s next bright idea is to try and communicate with a Ouija board. This, of course, is not at all a good idea.

The introduction of Micah’s camera functions well as a story telling device and a visual style. We’ve seen it effectively employed in Zombie Diaries, Blair Witch, and more expensively in Cloverfield. Because in Paranormal we are in a single location, the camera is often positioned on a table or whatnot, and so we do get stable steady shots too, which I personally appreciated.

As the supernatural forces its way into Happy Coupledom more and more, Micah and Katie begin to bicker and fight, with boyfriend’s obsession with the camera becoming an increasing bone of contention. Micah Sloat and Katie Featherston do a fine job of naturalistic acting and their relationship felt real. But I have to say story wise, I really didn’t buy Micah’s character. This is a bloke who clearly has a demon infesting his house, and he’s not even a tiny bit scared? Dude, why have you not broken into your local Catholic Church and hidden under the Priest’s cassock by minute 30? His girlfriend is melting down, Satan's invisible bootboy is in the living room, and Micah's just "curious" about it all? Nah.

Oren Peli has done a fantastic job for $15,000 and I’ve no idea how he managed it. His next movie is called “Area 51” and will also in video hand held style. He’ll definitely be given more money to shoot it. Oren, you’ve clearly got a ton of talent, so please make this next one scarier. Paranormal Activity opens in 13 college towns this Thursday and Friday. If the screenings go well, the movie will find wider release in October.

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Keith (8 years ago) Reply

You should see more paranormal shows. It makes it more believable. All the paranormal docs I have seen state that Demonic possession starts with scratching on the walls, banging and so on. Emily rose, ghost hunters, Possession, Paranormal state, a haunting. all of these have a hint of so called truth to them. The movie would be really lame if some huge demon walked out and created carnage. This is supposed to be believable. I havnt seen the movie yet only read a script, and I can tell you that I dont really trust your review because of the line: the demon is really a lot more like a noisy neighbor than a thing of dread and darkness. This is a demon, presumably from the Pit of Hell™©, right, so why does it content itself with making silly knocking noises. Its obvious you wanted a cgi monster flick. There are plenty of those for you to review. Do some research get interested in the genre and maybe you will like it. Its all your opinion in the end.

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sonaboy (8 years ago) Reply

any idea if the version you saw was the "revised ending" version that isn't the same as the one the audience at Screamfest watched?

i've heard rumors of PActivity being softened slightly, but have no real way of knowing.

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Tripp (8 years ago) Reply

Keith, dude, ghosts and stuff aren't real. There's no "so-called truth" to any of this shit. Paranormal shows claim to be "scientific," but saying "well, I can't figure out what's causing this cold spot, so it HAS TO BE GHOSTS" isn't how science works. Those shows are crap.

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Genie in a bottle (8 years ago) Reply

I agree that hype can kill a film. You mentioned Cloverfield in your article - I thought it was pretty rubbish (mainly the acting was awful) but the trailer made it look amazing.

I am a big fan of shows like Ghost Hunters, Paranormal State and Ghost Advenutes. In these shows when there appears to be demonic activity, it normally invoves poltergeist activity (banging etc).

HOWEVER these shows also use EMF detectors to directly communicate with the presence. I aqm no director, but I would like to think Paranormal Activity has a set piece involving a K2 unit and the demon. That would be fricking awesome.

Tripp - based on the K2 I respecfully disagree wirh you.

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Anonymous (8 years ago) Reply

first:
this film has several endings. read here for synopsis of original ending etc. WARNING SPOILERS
http://daveguzman.blogspot.com/2009/08/endings-of-paranormal-activity.html

second:
wow, what a bunch of morons. wouldnt think u d get naive fartheads like this on a film blog for PA/genre film. go back to ur tv and watch those bogus spooky shows so u can hide under ur blanket later. grow the F up.

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keith (8 years ago) Reply

Tripp, Why even comment on this board? I know you can but its obvious you will not like this film. You can have yo0ur opinion on whether ghost are real or not but like Dave said all of those shows have banging, scratching, doors slamming etc when it comes to demonic hauntings. I also believe you should re-read my comment before you make one. I put the line "all of these have a hint of so called truth to them" I personally believe in the paranormal but I did leave it open just for idiots like you. Shouldn't you be at the biography channels site?

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soma (8 years ago) Reply

hmmm. I think the fact that it doesn't have a massive demon leaping up from the depths of hell makes it all the more appealing and believable. I'm still hyped about seeing it!!

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Anonymous (8 years ago) Reply

Check out BBC's Ghostwatch and old Sweedish movie The Visitors - looks like this is mixture of both...

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Hal (8 years ago) Reply

It's not that I think the film should have had a big scary monster in it, cgi and all that. In fact, I usually prefer psychological approach/hidden threat. It's the non-scary execution of the psy. approach that bothered me.
Soma I'd be really interested to hear what you reckon to the movie!

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soma (8 years ago) Reply

hopefully we'll get some screenings soon in the UK.

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Muffit (8 years ago) Reply

It makes sense that it is less scary to someone who is sane (doesn't believe in ghosts and the supernatural).

It does NOT make sense that therefore you should let someone who does, review the movie. As if it is solely and exclusively the domain of people who believe in ghosts, and should not be able to enjoy people who don't...

In short, the people complaining that the person who reviewed it isn't into the genre. That is bullshit, someone random off the streets should be able to enjoy any truly good movie, not just the people that believe in this shit.

Regardless, the reviewer even points out he respects the filmmaker for making the movie in such a way as it is made, just personally didn't find it scary.

Hardly a reason to burn him down for.

Also, if you actually believe in ghosts, grow up. :)

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Persey (8 years ago) Reply

Wow Muffit, way to act like a presumptious dolt. How do you know that the paranormal isn't real? Are you the smartest purson evur on teh internetz? I don't think so. And plenty of sane people believe in the paranormal just like plenty of sane people believe in God. I'll bet you think Christians, Jews, and Hindus are insane as well? I'm glad I'm not you then.

I do agree with Keith that according to the experts in demonology, demons do not rise from their pits of hell, red-horned, and ready to eat infant hearts. They aren't even corporeal in our realm(hence being invisible and needing a human host to posess). They also specialize in manipulation, which is exactly what the movie's demon does. He manipulates this couple, feeds off their growing negavtive energy, and then goes in for the kill at the worst moment...ie: when there is a hope for escape and the audience is given a moment of relief.

It's actually an accurate rendering of a demon terrorization as defined by the experts in the paranormal field.

It made not have been the OP's cup of tea but his opinion should be just be based on that he didn't find it scary not because he was let down that the demon wasn't "brought to life" like a bad SyFy Channel movie or video game. He obviously doesn't know anything about demonology as an actual field of research. That's fine, now he knows and he can go learn about it to his heart's content...or not. It's fine either way.

I just take offence to Muffit's suggestion that anyone who believes in something beyond the mundane tangible existance of everyday life is insane. THAT'S insane. I'll keep my God and my ghosts, thank you very much.

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McNicholas (8 years ago) Reply

I also had a HUGGGGEEEE problem with Micah not being scared. It ruined the movie for me. This movie was done in a way that the characters behaviour MUST be believable for the movie to work.

Remember right after the powder on the floor scene, with the duck like footprints entering the room......following that, Micah wants to go in the attic, after he see's that the attic door has been moved.
NO WAY IN HELL....you couldn't get an entire NFL team to stay in that house after that!

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Anonymous (8 years ago) Reply

I know people have trouble dealing with how Micah wasn't scared, but did anyone feel that Kate's performance was sub par?

When she watches the video the day after she went into the swing, you can see her try to be concerned and scared. If something had possessed me and I stood for over and hour over my bed swaying and then left the house... that would be it. I call the demon guy immediately or go seek some serious Jesus. I guess that would ruin the pacing of the movie, but that's what I feel a normal person would do.

Both actors felt really cheesy to me.

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dorkus (8 years ago) Reply

i just finished this film about 5 minutes ago and now i am googling to find more info on the various endings.

i must say that at the point when i am seeing 3 toed demon footprints in my bedroom, im done playing house, it's time to call in some churchies or paranormal investigators... but instead micah is like,"i'm gonna go clean this up"

SERIOUSLY WTF? you have obtained clear and concise PHYSICAL AND VIDEO EVIDENCE of paranormal activity and ur just gonna clean it up? i usually try to go along with most films for the enjoyment of it but after that point i just got sick of the taste of bullshit being spoon fed to me.

if you can ignore common sense the way this movie does then i am sure you can enjoy the phychological thrillride of it. but remember they are wanting you to believe it is actual footage of a real event. lawlz.

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Josh (8 years ago) Reply

I enjoyed the entire movie except for 2 parts. The part where Micah "researches" and finds the story of the gril from the 60's who had the same things happen to her, really killed the movie for me. This concept has been done TO FREAKING DEATH! "Oh noes, this has all happened before, here's a loose-plot filling explanation for the 1 person in the crowd who doesn't know what's going on..." That entire scene should have been removed, and the movie would've been scarier for it.

The second part that killed it for me, was the ending. I'm sorry, after the couple run downstairs, scream, and go silent, we should NOT have seen them again. It should have faded to black, maybe with just the footsteps. That really bad CG "monster face" she makes at the camera almost had me laughing out loud. I was expecting one of the Wayans brothers to appear onscreen and make some about it.

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3d spoiler (8 years ago) Reply

I saw a third version that I have yet to see discussed on any spoiler board. In the one I saw, Katie wakes up, watches Micah for several hours, goes downstairs. Micah awakens to hearing her shrieking violently downstairs. He runs downstairs, there are more screams, and then all goes silent.

Nxt we hear heavy footsteps as Katie walks back to the bedroom with blood on her shirt and a knife in her hand. She proceeds to sit next the bed & rock back & forth for hours (it's daylight now) until we hear a knock at the front door, which apparently is her sister who hasn't heard from her and was worried. The sister enters the house, apparently screams upon finding Micah (again we see none of this - all we are seeing is Katie rocking next to the bed through the camera) and leaves the house shrieking.

Not long after, there is heavy banging on the door, and it is the police - apparently the sister must have gotten them after finding Micah 7 escaping the house. The police find Micah, report it on their walkies (again, during this entire time - from when katie walks into the room with the blood & knife through the arrival of the police, the only thing we see is Katie rocking next to the bed on the floor). The police, weapons drawn climb the stairs announcing "Police!" When they see Katie rocking & address her, she immediately stands up and lunges toward them yelling "Micah?!!" not with the intent to hurt them, just as though awakening from her confused trance.

As she lunges towards them with the knife, the police shoot her dead. In the final moments, we see them check the rest of the rooms through the eye of the camera which has a clear view down the hall from the open bedroom door, next to which Katie's dead body lies.

The police realize there is nobody else there, and one walks toward the camera as the screen fades to black announcing to the other cop something along the lines of "Hey you gotta see this" upon noticing that there is a video camera recording the whole thing. Then movie ends, no credits, just simple disclaimer of fictitiousness.

I wish I saw either of the other two endings. They both sound better, particularly the demon face.

One final note, I wish Blair Witch had done the same thing with the ending credits. When I saw that in the theater I was scared outta of mind until you see scrolling lines of "key grip" and "gaffer" etc. Had there been a simple disclaimer and no credits like there was with PA, I'd have been WAY more terrified by Blair Witch. I actually DID think it was true until I saw those credits. That totally ruined BW for me. Either way, I want to see the 2 other endings of PA.

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3rd spoiler oops (8 years ago) Reply

Didn't mean to type "the sister must have gotten them after finding Micah 7 escaping the house." Forgot to hit SHIFT+7, so sentence should read "sister must have gotten them after finding Micah & escaping the house". Micah was dead when she found him in the house - to clarify, the sister escaped, not Micah.

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trisha (7 years ago) Reply

wrd sonn belive and dnt hate =/ just plain tired of ihtt any ways hiit me uhppz are welcome .. deadlysmilezz412 AND THIS MOVIE SCARED THE SEXII OUTTA ME ! . but im still gorgiuouse iiLy yu talyor forever and always Peacee shunn <3

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anonymous (7 years ago) Reply

Its soo scareyy if you haventt seen it watch itt now :) loveee yassss :):):) xxx

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Skyniesha (7 years ago) Reply

Give a crap to whether paranormal activity is real or not, I always enter a horror with an open mind, as I genuinely enjoy them. But I have to say this film was extremely disappointing.

Never mind the endings and the stupid actors, I just didn't find any of it convincing. A good horror is supposed to make me mess my pants because suddenly I believe this could happen to me. This did nothing.

This movie kept me waiting and waiting with the tension rising... And then the credits. Seriously, it never really finished.

I have to say, I do lie to people sometimes and pretend I'm not scared after watching a film, but the ONLY bit in this movie that made be jump was ONE bash of a wall... Simply because my boyfriend had his sub up too loud and it shook our wall too.

I was so excited to watch it as many people told me it was really frightening. I hadn't heard one bad review. I don't know whether I'm just a tough cookie, but nothing about this showed me what anyone meant by 'terrifying'. Peace.

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(6 years ago) Reply

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY has no power over GOD. Demons not going to leave because a cross or the Bible. But the name of Jesus Christ will make them go away but you have to be a Christian and love God. Do not watch it is full of Demons PARANORMAL ACTIVITY is made by satin lovers and witches it to trick you .GOD loves you WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT...

WITCHCRAFT?

In the past forty years, there has been a resurgent interest in witchcraft in all its multifaceted guises. The main thrust has been presenting witchcraft as an innocent, entertaining subject in literature and in movies.

As usual 95% of Christians fail to use discernment, yield to media manipulation, and embrace this &ldquo;sugar coated&rdquo; siren of witchcraft along with the deluded mass of the population little heeding a wide array of Biblical admonitions not to open the door to Satan who comes to devour as a roaring lion. Jesus said to Peter, &ldquo;Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to have you, to sift you like wheat&rdquo; (Luke 22:31) and that&rsquo;s exactly what Satan will do if we don&rsquo;t ask before reading a book, watching a movie, entering a relationship or pursuing any course of action &ldquo;What would Jesus do?&rdquo;

Witchcraft involves the manipulation of the demonic host, through incantations and the casting of spells. Witchcraft can also involve communication with demonic spirits impersonating the dead. The Bible clearly teaches that the dead cannot communicate with the living as there is a great chasm separating the dead from the living (Luke 16:26). As discarnate spirit entities these demons possess knowledge regarding the activities of humans and have a limited to ability to foretell the future.

Here are a few of the scriptures regarding witchcraft:

The Old and New Testaments treat witchcraft as an evil, rebellious, and loathsome practice. Those who practiced it were not tolerated. &ldquo;Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live,&rdquo; (Exodus 22:18).

Moses cautioned the children of Israel: &ldquo;When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable way of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord, and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God will drive those nations before you. You must be blameless before the Lord your God. The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the Lord has not permitted you to do so&rdquo; (Deuteronomy 18:9-14).

With respect to the evil kind Manasseh who reigned in Jerusalem fifty five years the Bible states: &ldquo;He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, followed the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites&rdquo; (2 Chronicles 33:2). &ldquo;He sacrificed his sons in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced sorcery, divination and witchcraft, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, provoking him to anger&rdquo; (2 Chronicles 33:6).

When Samuel reproved King Saul, he compared rebellion to the sin of divination and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Witchcraft includes both divination and idolatry. &ldquo;For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king&rdquo; (1 Samuel 23). If Saul was rejected by God for rebellion and arrogance so will a modern day person who practices or permits himself or herself to be entertained by witchcraft and idolatry.

The Living Bible clearly addresses the fate of those who delve or as C. S. Lewis labeled &ldquo;lust&rdquo; for the occult: &ldquo;The Lord has rejected you because you welcome foreigners from the East who practice magic and communicate with evil spirits&rdquo; (Isaiah 2:6). &ldquo;Crawl into the caves in the rocks and hide in terror from his glorious majesty, for the day is coming when your proud looks will be brought low; the Lord alone will be exalted. On that day the Lord of Hosts will move against the proud and haughty and bring them to dust&hellip; All the glory of mankind will bow low; the pride of men will like in the dust, and the Lord alone will be exalted. And all idols will be utterly abolished and destroyed&rdquo; (Isaiah 2:10-18).

Paul in Galatians 5:19-21 ascribes witchcraft as a deed of the flesh. &ldquo;Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy, drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.&rdquo; It is interesting to note that Paul&rsquo;s warning is to the churches of Galatia whose members are already Christians. They are warned that by engaging in sinful conduct they would not inherit the kingdom of God. The warning is to those who have accepted Christ. The modern day Christian who is entertained or allows his or her children to be entertained and/or participate in the works of the flesh, which includes witchcraft, should give serious heed to this warning.

White magic and black magic are not acceptable in Christianity and there is no such thing as &ldquo;cheap grace&rdquo;. Christ died on the cross to forgive us for our sins, yet there is no excuse to take sin lightly. Engaging in any sin including sorcery opens one to demonic oppression and with persistent sinful conduct possession.

One cannot rationalize that one is not engaged in witchcraft but merely being entertained by books or movies whose characters participate in witchcraft, even though the protagonists are &ldquo;good&rdquo; witches.

The protagonist Harry Potter in the best selling Harry Potter series of books and current movie attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to become a wizard. Harry and his friends are taking classes in casting spells, magical drafts and potions, transfiguration, history of magic, magical theory etc&hellip; They are learning to become &ldquo;good&rdquo; wizards and witches. Evil is represented by the &ldquo;Dark Side,&rdquo; reminiscent of the &ldquo;Dark Side&rdquo; of the Force in &ldquo;Star Wars,&rdquo; and embodied (or disembodied and seeking to re-embody) in Voldemort, the evil wizard who killed Harry&rsquo;s parents.

Harry is characterized as an average boy who has been oppressed by his very normal aunt and uncle and his cousin, reminiscent of Cinderella&rsquo;s oppression at home. The very normal family members are exaggeratedly oppressive.

From a Christian paradigm the problem with Harry is that salvation from his predicament comes from leaving home learning witchcraft, a condemned practice. Children interact with ghosts such as the Friar and Professor Binns, a ghost who teaches the History of Magic. Professor Binns was a very old professor who had fallen asleep by a staff room fire and went to teach the next morning, leaving his body behind.

Christianity teaches that witchcraft, even charming, candy coated witchcraft, is evil and that redemption only comes through Jesus Christ and certainly not from the occult. Communication with the dead is actually communication with demons or &ldquo;fallen angels.&rdquo; Casting spells is prohibited.

In Christianity, salvation does not come through witchcraft but by accepting the Son of God. Good is what is of God and comes from worshiping Him. &ldquo;Innocent&rdquo; or &ldquo;mechanical&rdquo; witchcraft is still witchcraft and as such dark. Exposing one&rsquo;s children to a heavy dose of the supernatural, even if portrayed through the activities of appealing characters, is not acceptable. The siren call of the occult in children&rsquo;s movies and cartoons can be appealing. Poltergeists, ghosts, flying broomsticks, werewolves, vampires, witches, giants, bats, goblins, haunted hallways may be captivating but they can instill a spirit of fear. They can certainly be &ldquo;dark and heavy&rdquo; and exposure to the occult can be addictive. This writer is a case in point having been involved in s&eacute;ances, palmistry, astrology and eastern meditation prior to accepting Jesus Christ. Interest in the occult started with late night &ldquo;Chiller&rdquo; movies and supernatural comic books.

Aside from a dark supernatural dimension there is the good supernatural dimension represented by the Heavenly Kingdom (God, His cherubim and the angelic host). For the most part this good supernatural dimension is rarely portrayed in children&rsquo;s cartoons or recent popular literature. How often do we see angels on Saturday morning cartoons? The elves in the &ldquo;Lord of the Rings&rdquo; are such angelic type beings who frighten Sauron&rsquo;s Black Riders pursuing Frodo.

Parents have a responsibility to screen what their children watch. Studies have shown that children and adults who watch regular violence on the screen become desensitized to it. The same applies with intensive exposure to the occult. Jesus said, &ldquo;Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung round his neck and he were cast into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin&rdquo; (Luke 17:1-2).

So what can be said of the Christian entertained by the occult? The analogy can be drawn to the person who is not engaged in immoral sex but is being entertained by pornographic books or magazines. There is no such thing as a Christian &ldquo;voyeur.&rdquo; What is sinful to a child is sinful to an adult. Christ does not respect the &ldquo;adult&rdquo; bookstore nor the &ldquo;adult&rdquo; voyeur. Those who deal in darkness will be engulfed by it. Poison is poison. A little recreational poison can be as lethal as a lot of poison from the hand of an assassin. There is no such thing as a recreational s&eacute;ance (channeling session).

For all those who have engaged in sinful conduct including occult or sexual voyeurism there is only one avenue for cleansing, nothing less than the atoning blood of Jesus. Both the non Christian and the Christian need to repent of their sins by asking God to forgive them. The non Christian needs to invite Jesus through a simple prayer to take charge of his/her life (&ldquo;Jesus I accept your sacrifice for me on the cross. Forgive me for my sins. Please come into my life and take charge. Help me walk in your light&rdquo;).

Take a lesson from the sorcerers and witches who came to a saving knowledge of Christ in Acts 19:19, &ldquo;And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of all; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.&rdquo; All occult objects should be destroyed as these items are vehicles or &ldquo;windows&rdquo; for occult activity and oppression. They are literally magnets, which draw the demonic host.

God is not an evil God. He is not vengeful, but in the Bible he has given us a mechanic&rsquo;s manual for our well being. If we insist on placing lemonade in our engine instead of oil we&rsquo;ll destroy it. If we don&rsquo;t obey God&rsquo;s admonitions against witchcraft, sexual conduct and promiscuity, rage, envy, and substance abuse we&rsquo;ll destroy our bodies and condemn our souls for eternity. You may not believe in God, but violation of his principles will nevertheless bring destruction. Witchcraft may be very alluring and comforting for you. It may give you success and power. It may give you the &ldquo;warm fuzzies.&rdquo; Nevertheless it&rsquo;s evil and dangerous just as the serpent was to Adam and Eve in the Garden.

For those who have had extensive occult involvement including the actual practice of witchcraft it would be advisable to seek the counsel of a pastor of a spirit filled Christ centered church involved in the deliverance ministry. Keep in mind that you have power over all demonic principalities in the name of Jesus once you have accepted Christ as your personal Savior and are covered by His blood (&ldquo;Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name&rdquo; Luke 10:17).

In the 1950&rsquo;s Science replaced God. There was an ensuing spiritual hunger, which sought expression in the counterculture of the 1960&rsquo;s and 1970&rsquo;s through drugs, Eastern religions, and sexual promiscuity. This led to materialism and the cult of the self of the 1980&rsquo;s and 1990&rsquo;s. None of these substitutes can replace man&rsquo;s deep spiritual hunger. The absence of God can only be replaced with the presence of God, and certainly not by a counterfeit such as witchcraft. Witchcraft is like illicit sex, it may offer thrills and gratification for a time but only a personal relationship with the God of the Universe through his Son Jesus Christ will satisfy, bring joy, and life eternal.


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