Paranormal Activity (film series)
Theatrical release poster for the first film.
|Directed by||Oren Peli (PA1)
Kip Williams (PA2)
Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (PA3 and 4)
Christopher B. Landon (PA: TMO)
Gregory Plotkin (PA5)
|Produced by||Oren Peli (PA2-present)
Akiva Goldsman (PA2 and 3)
Steven Schneider (PA1, 3 and 4)
|Written by||Oren Peli (PA1)
Michael R. Perry (PA2)
Christopher B. Landon (PA2, 3, 4 and TMO)
Tom Pabst (PA2)
Jason Pagan and Andrew Stark (PA5)
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Running time||444 minutes|
The films are based around a family haunted by a demonic entity, that stalks, terrifies and ultimately murders several members of the family, and other bystanders, during the course of the films. The series makes use of camcorders, security cameras and other recording devices, presenting the films as found footage. The series has received mixed reviews, with the first and third films receiving generally positive critical reception, while the second and the Latino spin-off (Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones) films received more lukewarm receptions and the fourth received mostly negative reception. The series is a strong financial success, making strong profits based on return on investment.
- 1 Development
- 2 Films
- 3 Cast
- 4 Unofficial film
- 5 Reception
- 6 References
First-time director Oren Peli had been afraid of ghosts his whole life, even fearing the comedy film Ghostbusters, but intended to channel that fear into something positive and productive. Peli took a year to prepare his own house for shooting, going so far as to repaint the walls, add furniture, put in a carpet, and build a stairwell. In this time, he also did extensive research into paranormal phenomena and demonology, stating, "We wanted to be as truthful as we could be." The reason for making the supernatural entity in the story a demon was a result of the research pointing to the most malevolent and violent entities being "demons". The phenomena in the film take place largely at night—the vulnerability of being asleep, Peli reasoned, taps into a human being's most primal fear, stating, "If something is lurking in your home there's not much you can do about it." Attempting to focus on believability rather than action and gore, Peli chose to shoot the picture with a home video camera. In deciding on a more raw and stationary format (the camera was almost always sitting on a tripod or something else) and eliminating the need for a camera crew, a "higher degree of plausibility" was created for the audience as they were "more invested in the story and the characters". Peli says that the dialogue was "natural" because there was no real script. Instead, the actors were given outlines of the story and situations to improvise, a technique known as "retroscripting" used in the making of The Blair Witch Project. In casting the movie, Peli auditioned "a few hundred people" before finally meeting Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat. He originally auditioned them individually and later called them back to audition together. Peli was impressed with the chemistry between the actors, saying, "If you saw the footage, you would've thought they had known each other for years." During a guest appearance on The Jay Leno Show on November 3, 2009, Sloat and Featherston explained they each saw the casting call on LACasting. Featherston noted they were originally paid $500 for their work. The film was shot out of sequence due to Peli's self-imposed seven day shooting schedule, though Peli would have preferred the story unfold for the actors as he had envisioned it. Sloat, who controlled the camera for a good deal of the film, was a former cameraman at his university's TV station. "It was a very intense week", Peli recalled, stating that the film would be shot day and night, edited at the same time, and would have the visual effects applied to it as the acting footage was being finalized.
Paramount and DreamWorks hired screenwriter Michael R. Perry to create Paranormal Activity 2. Oren Peli, the director of the first film, served as a producer for this prequel. Kevin Greutert, director of Saw VI, was initially hired to direct the prequel; however, Lions Gate Entertainment exercised a clause in Greutert's contract to have him direct the final film in the Saw film series. Both of the actors from the first film, Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat, reprise their roles in the prequel. Kip Williams directed Paranormal Activity 2, which started production in May 2010 and was released in October the same year.
Paranormal Activity 3 and 4 were directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, documentary filmmakers who were well-known for their feature debut Catfish. Production on the third entry began in June, 2011, with a release October 21 of the same year. Filming for the fourth film commenced in June, 2012, with a release of October 19.
A Latin American-themed spin-off film, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones was released on January 3, 2014. Oren Peli, the creator of the franchise, returned to produce the spin-off. Christopher B. Landon, a screenwriter who had worked on the prior three entries in the series served as the writer and director.
A fifth film in the series, Paranormal Activity 5, was originally planned for release on October 25, 2013, but was later pushed back to a release date of October 24, 2014. In September, 2013, it was confirmed that Gregory Plotkin, a film editor who has edited every release in the series since Paranormal Activity 2, will make his directorial debut with the fifth film. Oren Peli, the creator of the franchise, and Jason Blum will return to produce the fifth film, and Katie Featherston will reprise her role as Katie. In late September 2013, Paramount hired Almanac writers Jason Pagan and Andrew Stark to write the screenplay. Filming began in February in Los Angeles
Paranormal Activity (2009)
A young couple, Katie and Micah are terrorized by a demon that Katie believes has been following her all her life. The film is designed to look like a found footage-styled film with Micah filming the activity in their household.
Night 1: 18.9.2006 - Night 21: 8.10.2006
Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)
Several weeks before the events of the first film, Katie's sister, Kristi Rey, and her family experiences strange activity after her baby son, Hunter, is born. The film uses security cameras and a hand-held camera used in some scenes to film the activity in the house.
Night 1: 7.8.2006 - Night 19: 25.8.2006 (+ Night X: 9.10.2006)
Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)
The film, set in 1988, focuses on a younger Katie and Kristi as they encounter "Toby" the demon for the first time. Their mother, Julie, and her boyfriend, Dennis, get concerned. So he sets up a few cameras around the house; one of which is put on a device that moves the camera, the film also uses a hand-held camera.
Night 1: 10.9.1988 - Night 15: 24.9.1988
Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)
The film takes place in November 2011 and follows Katie and her mysterious son, who have just moved into a house together. Their neighbors, Alex and her family, begin to experience hauntings, concerning Alex's brother Wyatt. They film the activity via MacBook webcams, Video camera, iPhone camera and Kinect technology.
Night 1: 6.11.2011 - Night 13: 18.11.2011
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014)
The film takes place in June of 2012, after the events of Paranormal Activity 4 and follows a Latino community in Oxnard, California, where a group of teenagers deal with the demon of a mysterious cult who have "marked" one of them. They document their experiences from basic tools of recording. Scenes unexplained in the previous films were eventually explained in this spin-off.
The fifth film, sixth in order, will be released on October 24, 2014. Details on plot and cast are currently unknown. It will be the directorial debut for Gregory Plotkin, who edited all of the Paranormal Activity films.
Christopher B. Landon confirmed that there is an end-game planned, and that it would take a few more movies to complete the Paranormal Activity story.
|Paranormal Activity 2
|Paranormal Activity 3
|Paranormal Activity 4
|Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
|Katie Featherston||Katie Featherston||Chloe Csengery (young)
Katie Featherston (adult)
|Katie Featherston||Chloe Csengery (young)
Katie Featherston (adult)
|Micah Sloat||Micah Sloat||Micah Sloat|
|Dr. Fredrichs||Mark Fredrichs|
|Kristi Rey||Sprague Grayden||Jessica Tyler Brown (young)
Sprague Grayden (adult)
|Sprague Grayden (archive footage)||Jessica Tyler Brown (young)|
|Daniel Rey||Brian Boland||Brian Boland (archive footage)|
|Ali Rey||Molly Ephraim||Molly Ephraim|
|Hunter Rey/Wyatt Nelson||Jackson Xenia Prieto
William Juan Prieto
|Randy Rosen||Dustin Ingram|
|Alexandra "Alex" Nelson||Kathryn Newton|
|Doug Nelson||Stephen Dunham|
|Holly Nelson||Alexondra Lee|
|Oscar Hernandez||Carlos Pratts|
Paranormal Activity 2: Tokyo Night
An unofficial Japanese Paranormal Activity sequel was released in 2010. It follows Haruka Yamano, who was in a car accident that broke her legs. She stayed home with her brother while their father was away as strange activity started happening in the house. It is later revealed that Haruka killed the possessed Katie in the car accident, causing the demon to transfer to her. This confirms that the film is non-canonical.
|Paranormal Activity||83% (191 reviews)||68% (24 reviews)|
|Paranormal Activity 2||58% (130 reviews)||53% (23 reviews)|
|Paranormal Activity 3||68% (116 reviews)||59% (25 reviews)|
|Paranormal Activity 4||24% (103 reviews)||40% (22 reviews)|
|Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones||39% (75 reviews)||44% (16 reviews)|
Box office performance
|Film||Release date||Box office revenue||Box office ranking||Budget||Reference|
|United States||Foreign||Worldwide||All time domestic||All time worldwide|
|Paranormal Activity||September 25, 2009||$107,918,810||$85,436,990||$193,355,800||#486||N/A||$15,000|||
|Paranormal Activity 2||October 22, 2010||$84,752,907||$92,759,125||$177,512,032||#687||N/A||$3 million|||
|Paranormal Activity 3||October 21, 2011||$104,028,807||$103,011,037||$207,039,844||#514||#528||$5 million|||
|Paranormal Activity 4||October 19, 2012||$53,921,300||$88,917,657||$142,838,957||#1,253||N/A||$5 million|||
|Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones||January 3, 2014||$32,396,575||$53,900,000||$86,296,575||#2,102||N/A||$5 million|||
- Kilday, Gregg (November 20, 2012). "Paramount Sets Release Date for 'Paranormal Activity 5'". The Hollywood Reporter.
- "Paramount Sets Dates for 'Paranormal Activity 5,' Retitled Latino Spin-Off". The Wrap. August 8, 2013. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
- Fleming Jr., Mike (September 26, 2013). "Gregory Plotkin Scares up Directing Debut on 'Paranormal 5.'". Retrieved September 26, 2013.
- Kit, Borys (September 25, 2013). "'Paranormal Activity 5' Snags 'Almanac' Writers (Exclusive)". Retrieved September 25, 2013.
- Cheney, Warner Bros Scheduling Spree Continues With ‘The Conjuring 2′, ‘Mean Moms’, 2 Others. Variety http://deadline.com/2014/02/warner-bros-scheduling-spree-continues-with-the-conjuring-2-mean-moms-2-others/. Retrieved 2014-02-26. Missing or empty
- "Paranormal Activity". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2012-06-20.
- "Paranormal Activity Reviews, Ratings, and Credit". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2012-10-22.
- "Paranormal Activity 2". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2012-06-20.
- "Paranormal Activity 2 Reviews, Ratings, and Credit". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2012-10-22.
- "Paranormal Activity 3". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2012-06-20.
- "Paranormal Activity 3 Reviews, Ratings, and Credit". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2012-10-22.
- "Paranormal Activity 4". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
- "Paranormal Activity 4 Reviews, Ratings, and Credit". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2012-10-22.
- "Paranormal Activity: The Marked One". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
- "Paranormal Activity: The Marked One Reviews, Ratings, and Credit". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
- "Paranormal Activity (2009)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb.com, Inc.
- "Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb.com, Inc.
- "Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb.com, Inc.
- "Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb.com, Inc.
- "Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones". Box Office Mojo. IMDb.com, Inc.