1. Paranormal Activity, 2007
2. Written by: Oren Peli – Directed by: Oren Peli – Produced by: Jason Blum and Steven Schneider – Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
3. I viewed this film during one of the test screenings at a Chicago movie theater, previous to its nation wide release.
4. Target Audience: Horror film fans… it’s marketed as being the scariest movie of the decade (while that’s a lie, in my opinion, the film isn’t without its share of scares).
5. Paranormal Activity is the epitome of an independent film. Made with a budget of $15,000 and a shooting schedule of 7 days (filmed entirely in Peli’s own home), the film first premiered in 2007 at Screamfest. Miramax originally showed interest, though when Sundance refused to screen the film, Miramax backed out. In 2008, a DVD of the film ended up at Dreamworks… highly impressed with the film, they passed the DVD on to Steven Spielberg… with his approval, Paramount agreed to distribute the film. The film was finally released September 25th, 2009 in 13 college towns. When 12 of the 13 showings sold out, Peli took to the internet, encouraging people to demand the film and where it would play next, by voting on a website called eventful.com. By Friday, October 2nd, the movie had expanded to 20 more markets, including Chicago and New York… all 33 screenings sold out. The following Tuesday, Paramount announced that the movie would see a wide release if it received one million demands on eventful… by Friday, the counter was well over a million and as such, Paramount announced that the film would see a wide release on October 16th. As of October 25th, Paranormal Activity had grossed over $61 million in the US and Canada.
6. Film Description: Katie and Micah, a couple on their way toward engagement, move into their first home together in the burbs of San Diego. All is going well until Katie reveals that she has been haunted by some sort of ghostly entity for the majority of her life, and believes it has followed her into her new home. Determined to get to the bottom of the problem, Micah buys a video camera, which he leaves on all night in the couples bedroom, in order to record any sort of paranormal activity. What unfolds in a roller coaster ride of emotion, as Katie and Micah not only discover what is haunting their home, but also learn how to cope with said entity.
7. Technical Considerations: The entire film was show with a hand held video camera, often by Micah instead of Peli, to create a more authentic feel. Much like The Blairwitch Project, Paranormal Activity is striving for the mockumentary feel… it’s as if the audience is experiencing what Katie and Micah are experiencing, right along side them.