Page last updated at 18:06 GMT, Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Paranormal Activity sparks panic attacks in Italy

Still from Paranormal Activity
The film was shot in the director's home in San Diego in 2006

Parents and politicians in Italy are up in arms over US horror movie Paranormal Activity after several cinema-goers suffered from panic attacks.

It opened in Italy at the weekend with no restrictions - despite being rated 15 in the UK and R-rated in the US.

An emergency services spokesman told news agency Ansa the most serious case was a 14-year-old girl "brought to the hospital in a state of paralysis".

The Italian parents' association wants an age limit of 18 to be brought in.

The spokesman said emergency services had received dozens of calls, especially in southern Naples "where several panic attacks lasting more than half an hour took place on Saturday".

'Terrible thing'

Italian Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa said he was concerned about a trailer for the film shown on Italian TV.

"For the past two weeks a trailer has been shown obsessively on TV and is terrifying thousands of children," he said.

Paranormal Activity has led to several people actually toppling off the edge of their seats.
Duncan Kennedy, BBC News, Rome

"It's a terrible thing. I took notice because my seven-year-old son told me, 'Daddy, I'm scared'."

Culture Minister Sandro Bondi said the committee that decided on age restrictions had given the film the go-ahead, but he was now considering possible measures to protect children.

Director Oren Peli filmed the movie on a video camera in his own house for just $15,000 (£9,000).

The fictional movie, shot like a homemade documentary, follows a young couple coping with supernatural phenomena in their home.

The movie took $22m (£13.5m) in its first weekend on nationwide release in the US at the end of October.

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Sky Movies Italy Panics Over Paranormal Activity - 3 hrs ago
Telegraph Paranormal Activity 'causing panic attacks and paralysis' in Italy - 9 hrs ago
ABC Online Horror film sparks panic attacks - 14 hrs ago

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