Paranormal Activity (film series)

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Paranormal Activity
Paranormal Activity logo.jpg
Directed byOren Peli (PA1)
Tod Williams (PA2)
Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (PA3 and 4)
Christopher B. Landon (PA: TMO)
Gregory Plotkin (PA: TGD)
Produced byOren Peli (PA1-TGD)
Jason Blum (PA1-TGD)
Akiva Goldsman (PA2 and 3)
Steven Schneider (PA1, 3 and 4)
Written byOren Peli (PA1)
Michael R. Perry (PA2)
Christopher B. Landon (PA2, 3, 4 and TMO)
Tom Pabst (PA2)
Jason Pagan (PA: TGD)
Andrew Stark (PA: TGD)
Adam Robitel (PA: TGD)
Gavin Heffernan (PA: TGD)
Starring
Production
company
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
2007 – 2015
Running time
444 minutes (total)
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$28.015 million
Box office$890.5 million

Paranormal Activity is an American supernatural horror franchise consisting of six films and additional media. Created by Oren Peli, the original film was widely released in 2007.

The films are based around a family haunted by a demon 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 production cameras set up and used like security cameras or other recording devices in an attempt to present the films as found footage. The series has received overall mixed reviews across all films. The first and third films received generally positive critical reception, the second and fourth film received more lukewarm receptions, and the fifth and sixth received mostly negative receptions. The series is a strong financial success, making strong profits based on return on investment. The series as a whole has earned over thirty times the overall budget.

Films[edit]

Paranormal Activity (2007)[edit]

Set in October 2006, a young couple, Katie and Micah, who have recently moved to a new house in San Diego, California, 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 house.

Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)[edit]

Set in August 2006, two months before the events of the first film, Katie's sister, Kristi, and her family, who reside in Carlsbad, California, experience strange activity after Kristi's baby son, Hunter, is born. The film uses security cameras and, in some scenes, a hand-held camera to film the activity in the house.

Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)[edit]

Set in 1988, it focuses on a younger Katie and Kristi, who live with their mother, Julie, and Julie's boyfriend, Dennis, in Santa Rosa, California, as they encounter "Toby" the demon for the first time. Concerned, Dennis decides to set up a few cameras around the house, one of which is attached to a small oscillating fan that moves the camera back and forth. The film also uses a hand-held camera.

Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)[edit]

Set in November 2011, the film focuses on Alex Nelson and her family residing in a neighborhood in Henderson, Nevada. The family began to experience hauntings, concerning Alex's adopted brother, Wyatt, after Katie and her mysterious son, Robbie, move in across the street. Alex is helped by her boyfriend, Ben, to film the activity via MacBook webcams, Video camera, iPhone camera and Kinect technology. "Toby" is mentioned once in the film.

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014)[edit]

Set in June 2012, the film follows a Latino community in Oxnard, California, where a group of high school graduates deal with the demon of a mysterious cult which has "marked" one of them. They document their experiences using basic tools of recording and with clues from the previous films to try to understand what is happening to them. The Marked Ones is the last film in the series to feature Katie Featherston.

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (2015)[edit]

Set in 2013, the film follows the Fleeges, a family of three who, after having relocated to a house in Santa Rosa, California, discover several tapes that show Katie and Kristi in the midst of their initiation ritual to enter a demonic coven 25 years before. The family begins to be haunted by the demon when the daughter, Leila, is targeted as she was born on the same date as Hunter from Paranormal Activity 2. Along with normal recorders, the family also discovers a unique video recorder that can show supernatural happenings, which they use to record the increasing paranormal activities.

Japanese film[edit]

Paranormal Activity 2: Tokyo Night[edit]

A 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.

Cast[edit]

Character Films Japanese Film
Paranormal Activity Paranormal Activity 2 Paranormal Activity 3 Paranormal Activity 4 Paranormal Activity:
The Marked Ones
Paranormal Activity:
The Ghost Dimension
Paranormal Activity 2:
Tokyo Night
2007 2010 2011 2012 2014 2015 2010
Katie Katie Featherston Mentioned as Katie Higgins Katie Featherston
(archive footage only)
  Chloe Csengery   Chloe Csengery  
Toby Unseen Unseen and Mentioned Unseen Mark Steger Unseen
Micah Micah Sloat   Micah Sloat   Micah Sloat
(archive footage only)
Kristi Rey   Sprague Grayden Archive footage, uncredited  
  Jessica Tyler Brown   Jessica Tyler Brown  
Daniel Rey   Brian Boland Archive footage, uncredited  
Ali Rey   Molly Ephraim   Molly Ephraim  
Hunter Rey
Wyatt Nelson
  Jackson Xenia Prieto (infant)
William Juan Prieto (toddler)
  Aiden Lovekamp (boy)
William Juan Prieto (toddler, archive footage, uncredited)
  Aiden Lovekamp (boy)  
Martine   Vivis Cortez  
Dennis   Chris Smith   Archive footage, uncredited  
Julie   Lauren Bittner   Archive footage, uncredited  
Lois   Hallie Foote   Hallie Foote
(uncredited)
Hallie Foote  
Randy Rosen   Dustin Ingram  
Lisa   Johanna Braddy  
Alex Nelson   Kathryn Newton   Mentioned only  
Ben   Matt Shively  
Robbie   Brady Allen  
Doug Nelson   Stephen Dunham   Mentioned only  
Holly Nelson   Alexondra Lee   Mentioned only  
Jesse Arista   Andrew Jacobs  
Hector Estrella   Jorge Diaz  
Marisol Vargas   Gabrielle Walsh  
Irma Arista   Renée Victor  
Arturo Lopez   Richard Cabral  
Ryan Fleege   Chris J. Murray  
Emily Fleege   Brit Shaw  
Mike Fleege   Dan Gill  
Leila Fleege   Ivy George  
Skyler   Olivia Taylor Dudley  
Koichi Yamano   Aoi Nakamura
Haruka Yamano   Noriko Aoyama
Shigeyuki Yamano   Kazuyoshi Tsumura
Jun Nagoshi   Kōsuke Kujirai
Mai Yaguchi   Maaya Morinaga
Misuzu Kure   Ayako Yoshitani

Crew[edit]

Crew / Detail Films
Paranormal Activity Paranormal Activity 2 Paranormal Activity 3 Paranormal Activity 4 Paranormal Activity:
The Marked Ones
Paranormal Activity:
The Ghost Dimension
2007 2010 2011 2012 2014 2015
Director Oren Peli Tod Williams Henry Joost
Ariel Schulman
Christopher Landon Gregory Plotkin
Producer(s) Jason Blum
Oren Peli
Akiva Goldsman
Jason Blum
Oren Peli
Steven Schneider
Jason Blum
Oren Peli
Jason Blum
Oren Peli
Writer(s) Oren Peli Christopher B. Landon
Michael R. Perry
Tom Pabst
Christopher B. Landon Adam Robitel
Andrew Stark
Jason Pagan
Gavin Heffernan
Editor Oren Peli Gregory Plotkin Michel Aller
Cinematography Oren Peli Michael Simmonds Magdalena Gorka Doug Emmett Gonzalo Amat John Rutland
Production company Blumhouse Productions
Distributor Paramount Pictures
MPAA rating R
Running time 86 minutes 91 minutes 84 minutes 87 minutes 84 minutes 88 minutes
Release date October 14, 2007 October 22, 2010 October 21, 2011 October 19, 2012 January 3, 2014 October 23, 2015

Development[edit]

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 decision to make 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 and 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. Tod "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 fifth film, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones was released on January 3, 2014. Oren Peli, the creator of the franchise, returned to produce the film, while Christopher B. Landon, a screenwriter who had worked on the prior three entries in the series, served as the writer and director.

The sixth and final film in the series, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension,[1] was announced to be released on October 25, 2013.[2] However, in August 2013, the release date was pushed back to October 24, 2014.[3] On September 17, 2014, the film's title was finalized and the release date was set on March 27, 2015,[4] later changed to October 23, 2015.[1] In September 2013, it was confirmed that Gregory Plotkin, a film editor who had edited every release in the series since Paranormal Activity 2, would make his directorial debut with the fifth film.[5][6] Oren Peli, the creator of the franchise, and Jason Blum would return to produce the fifth film. In late September 2013, Paramount hired Almanac writers Jason Pagan and Andrew Stark to write the screenplay.[7] Though series writer Christopher B. Landon said that several sequels would follow The Ghost Dimension to wrap up the story,[8] producer Jason Blum later confirmed that the film would indeed be the last in the series.[9] He said:

"It’s coming to an end. This is it, the finale. We’re saying it before the movie opens. We’re not going to grind this horror franchise into the ground. This will keep Paranormal Activity as part of this culture and this particular time in a really fantastic way… All the questions that everyone has asked from the past ‘Paranormal Activity’ films: What does Toby look like? What’s the backstory to the families? These questions have been teased out. Now they will be answered."

Reception[edit]

Box office performance[edit]

Film Release date Box office gross Box office ranking Budget Ref.
North America Other territories Worldwide All time
North America
All time
worldwide
Paranormal Activity October 14, 2007 $107,918,810 $85,436,990 $193,355,800 #486 $15,000 [10]
Paranormal Activity 2 October 22, 2010 $84,752,907 $92,759,125 $177,512,032 #687 $3 million [11]
Paranormal Activity 3 October 21, 2011 $104,028,807 $103,011,037 $207,039,844 #514 #528 $5 million [12]
Paranormal Activity 4 October 19, 2012 $53,900,335 $88,917,657 $142,817,992 #1,253 $5 million [13]
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones January 3, 2014 $32,462,372 $58,442,482 $90,904,854 #2,142 $5 million [14]
Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension October 23, 2015 $18,300,124 $60,603,000 $78,903,124 #3,288 $10 million [15]
Total $401,384,320 $432,715,006 $890,533,646 $28,015,000
List indicator(s)
  • A dark grey cell indicates the information is not available for the film.

Critical response[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Paranormal Activity 83% (198 reviews)[16] 68 (24 reviews)[17] N/A
Paranormal Activity 2 59% (133 reviews)[18] 53 (23 reviews)[19] B[20]
Paranormal Activity 3 69% (120 reviews)[21] 59 (25 reviews)[22] C+[20]
Paranormal Activity 4 25% (106 reviews)[23] 40 (22 reviews)[24] C[20]
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones 39% (82 reviews)[25] 42 (19 reviews)[26] C-[20]
Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension 14% (72 reviews)[27] 30 (13 reviews)[28] C[20]

Video game[edit]

A video game called Paranormal Activity: The Lost Soul was released on August 15, 2017 for Microsoft Windows, PS4, and Xbox One. The game was engineered for use VR and made use of the PlayStation VR for the PlayStation as well as Oculus Rift and HTC Vive for Windows, but VR was not required for play.[29] The game was nominated for "Best Sound Design for an Indie Game" at the 16th Annual Game Audio Network Guild Awards.[30]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ge, Linda (January 27, 2015). "New 'Paranormal Activity,' 'Friday the 13th' Pushed Back; 'The Ring' Reboot Gets Release Date". TheWrap. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  2. ^ Kilday, Gregg (November 20, 2012). "Paramount Sets Release Date for 'Paranormal Activity 5'". The Hollywood Reporter.
  3. ^ "Paramount Sets Dates for 'Paranormal Activity 5,' Retitled Latino Spin-Off". TheWrap. August 8, 2013. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  4. ^ Lang, Brent (September 17, 2014). "'Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension' Moved to 2015". Variety. Retrieved September 17, 2014.
  5. ^ Chavez, Kellvin (September 27, 2013). "Gregory Plotkin to Direct 'Paranormal Activity 5'". Latino Review.
  6. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (September 26, 2013). "Gregory Plotkin Scares up Directing Debut on 'Paranormal 5.'". Retrieved September 26, 2013.
  7. ^ Kit, Borys (September 25, 2013). "'Paranormal Activity 5' Snags 'Almanac' Writers (Exclusive)". Retrieved September 25, 2013.
  8. ^ Lussier, Germain (January 6, 2014). "Exclusive: 'Paranormal Activity' Creators Have Planned an Ultimate Ending for the Series". /Film. Retrieved May 17, 2014.
  9. ^ "Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension Ends the Series". Slashfilm.
  10. ^ "Paranormal Activity (2007)". Box Office Mojo. IMDB, Inc.
  11. ^ "Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)". Box Office Mojo. IMDB, Inc.
  12. ^ "Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)". Box Office Mojo. IMDB, Inc.
  13. ^ "Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)". Box Office Mojo. IMDB, Inc.
  14. ^ "Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones". Box Office Mojo. IMDB, Inc.
  15. ^ "Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension". Box Office Mojo. IMDB, Inc.
  16. ^ "Paranormal Activity". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
  17. ^ "Paranormal Activity Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2012-10-22.
  18. ^ "Paranormal Activity 2". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
  19. ^ "Paranormal Activity 2 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2012-10-22.
  20. ^ a b c d e "CinemaScore". CinemaScore. Retrieved March 8, 2015.
  21. ^ {{cite web |url= http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/paranormal_activity_3/ |title= Paranormal Activity 3 | publisher = [[Fandango Media] |work=Rotten Tomatoes |access-date=2012-06-20}}
  22. ^ "Paranormal Activity 3 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
  23. ^ {{cite web |url=http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/paranormal_activity_4/ |title= Paranormal Activity 4 | publisher = [[Fandango Media] |work=Rotten Tomatoes |access-date= 2018-10-20 }}
  24. ^ "Paranormal Activity 4 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2012-10-22.
  25. ^ {{cite web |url= http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/paranormal_activity_the_marked_ones/ |title= Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones | publisher = [[Fandango Media] |work=Rotten Tomatoes |access-date= 2018-10-20 }}
  26. ^ "Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
  27. ^ {{cite web |url= http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/paranormal_activity_the_ghost_dimension/ |title= Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension | publisher = [[Fandango Media] |work=Rotten Tomatoes |access-date = 2018-10-20 }}
  28. ^ "Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2015-10-24.
  29. ^ "'Paranormal Activity' VR Game Coming in 2016". Bloody Disgusting.
  30. ^ "2018 Awards". Game Audio Network Guild. Retrieved April 14, 2018.