So you’ve seen the latest trailer for Paranormal Activity 4 with the killer X-Box Kinnect, and hopefully some tweaks will be made to the work in progress film to bring it up to par with Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman’s last impressive one. We got to check out the latest and it definitely feels like a backward movement in the series which is surprising with these guys. They’ve brought the timeline up to the present with today’s technology, but the story just left me a little wanting more. After the response with the last trailer (below), the guys might do some fixes, but as we know with them, some of what’s in the trailers doesn’t always make it into the final movie.
New Cast, High Earnings Expected
The latest cast member will be introduced as Alex will be played by Matt Shively, a 21-year-old actor who most recently appeared in 59 episodes of Nickelodeon’s “True Jackson, VP.” Why “Paranormal Activity 4″? “Paranormal Activity 3″ cost $5 million to make and earned nearly $100 million in the U.S. and another $100 million internationally. A $200 million gross profit on a $5 million investment is pretty good money.
Besides that, the “Paranormal Activity” franchise is trying to make really good scary movies. Take the spine tingling parts from “The Exorcist”, “Blair Witch Project,” “Poltergeist” and “The Amityville Horror” and you have the beginnings of “Paranormal Activity.”
Original “Paranormal Activity” Background and Production
The first movie debuted in 2007 with a simple premise. Katie and Micah’s house is haunted and in order to find out what’s going on, they set up several cameras to photograph the activity. This begins the “found footage” concept on which all of the “Paranormal Activity” movies are based. This movie was originally an independent film bought by Paramount/DreamWorks for under $500,000. It went on to make more than $200 million worldwide.
What keeps people going to these films is the tingle-factor. With most horror movies, we hear the “something bad is going to happen” music, see the effect and think, “Yep, I saw that coming.” Imagination seems to often be replaced by special effects. The “Paranormal Activity” series keeps us on the edge of our seats and causes us to jump just at the right time. The original film leaves us with the message that if your partner is haunted, take it seriously and don’t tease the demon. Demon’s really don’t like being teased. Halloween costumes of funny demons take on a different light after seeing this movie.
Success of “Paranormal” 2 and 3
“Paranormal Activity 2″ was released in 2010 as a prequel to the first film and follows the “found footage” technique introduced in “Paranormal Activity.” This film describes the events that caused Katie to be possessed in the first film. We learn that demons will go out of their way to fulfill a business deal, and again, that they have no sense of humor at all. What do you call a prequel to a prequel? “Paranormal Activity 3″! Released in 2011, this film happens several years before the first two films. “Paranormal Activity 3″ set several records including the highest grossing opening day for a film in the horror genre, at more than $26 million.
Prior to its release, social media was used to promote the film in unique ways. On Twitter, the “Tweet Your Scream” campaign was met by followers in a big way. Critics were lukewarm on the movie, but ticket sales still brought in more than $200 million. This time, an invisible and “imaginary” childhood friend causes trouble for the family…more cameras and more film footage to review. This film seeks to explain a little more of the history behind the hauntings. Wiccan symbols, demonology books and first-born male sons dominate this movie. No, the demons aren’t any easier to get along with.
Not Your Normal Film Franchise
“Paranormal Activity” continues to be active because it can always go back and explain something that happened earlier. How far back it will go to find the “beginning” is anyone’s guess. Perhaps when fans tire of the format, there will be a final “wrap up” prequel.
Until then, we’ll have to wait until October to see what the latest version has in store for us.