Objects moving of their own accord. Lights turning on and off in the middle of the night. Growls and footsteps echoing throughout the house. Welcome to the world of Paranormal Activity.
Making its debut in 2007 at the Screamfest Film Festival in California, Paranormal Activity was officially released at the box office on the 25th of November, 2009. For its opening weekend alone, Paranormal Activity made £3,593,762 in the UK, premiering on 394 screens. This is unbelievable, considering that the film itself was made with less than $15,000 (£9,400). Director Oren Peli spent a year redecorating his own home to use for the entire set of Paranormal Activity. Allegedly, Katie and Micah, the two lead actors, were only paid $550 (£350) each for 10 days of filming. Paramount bought the rights to Paranormal Activity, and any other sequels that may be filmed, for $300,000 (£190,000).
In October of 2010, Paramount came out with the sequel, Paranormal Activity 2. This film was shown on 389 screens in the UK and made £3,764,722, even more than Paranormal Activity did for its opening weekend at the box office. However, Paranormal Activity was filmed with a budget of less than $15,000 (£9,400). Paranormal Activity 2 was filmed with a budget of $2,750,000 (£1,720,000). Paranormal Activity 2 includes the same cast as the first film, except director Oren Peli was replaced by Tod Williams for the second film. Unfortunately, Paranormal Activity fans thought that the first movie was slightly better than the sequel.
Beginning with Paranormal Activity, a young couple, Katie and Micah, both move into a new house together. They began to be plagued with unexplainable phenomena, such as objects moving by themselves and footsteps inside the house with no one there. Realizing that Katie is haunted by a demon, they try to get rid of it. In Paranormal Activity 2, the film shifts to Katie’s sister, Kristi, who is married and has a one year old son. There seems to have been a pact made with a demon by Kristi’s great grandmother, and the demon wants the first born male as payment. This film sets up the background for the first Paranormal Activity movie. Finally, Paranormal 3 is set to release this week theatres across the UK. This film goes back in time to Katie’s and Kristi’s childhood, when the children are first haunted by the demon. This film is the prequel for the first two Paranormal Activity movies.
A new set of directors, Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, have taken the helm of Paranormal Activity 3, and both of them have experience working and directing films together. In 2010, Henry and Ariel directed the film Catfish, a documentary about a young man who becomes involved in a relationship over Facebook that takes him on an adventure of truth and discovery. This documentary has been contested by views as to whether the documentary is authentic or not. “Morgan Spurlock, director and subject of the documentary Super Size Me, walked up to the producers of the film during one of its initial screenings and told them “it was the best fake documentary I have ever seen””. Paranormal Activity sees us going back in time to 1985 where we learn that the origins of Kate and Kristi’s paranormal activity, that that they truly are keeping it in the family. Whether the documentary Catfish was faked or not, Paranormal Activity 3 is sure to be the best film in the series yet.
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Paranormal Activity 3 is in a cinema near you now.