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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Paranormal Activity can be found here.
When Katie (Katie Featherston) tells boyfriend Micah (Micah Sloat) about the paranormal activity that has followed her from childhood, he gets a camera and decides to film their daily activities to see whether he can capture any of it.
Paranormal Activity is based on a story outline by Israeli-born film-maker Oren Peli, who also directed the movie. The dialogue was retroscripted (improvised by the actors) in order to give it a documentary effect. Two prequels, Paranormal Activity 2 and Paranormal Activity 3 were released in 2010 and 2011 respectively. Two sequels have been released: Paranormal Activity 4 (2012) and Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (2015).
No. This is shot in a faux documentary style (mockumentary) that was been made popular by such films as The Blair Witch Project (1999) and Cannibal Holocaust (1980).
According to Micah's camera, filming started on 18 September 2006 and ended 21 nights later on 8 October.
During the film, Micah translates the message as "Diane". However, the pointer would have to move left to reach "D", whereas the first move it makes is clearly to the right. Actually, it spells out "Micah", then slides down to "goodbye" as the board catches fire.
Following the night #20 attack on Katie, where she is dragged out of her bed, she gives up hope and wants to move to a new house. She shows Micah a bite mark on her back. When Micah announces it's time to move, however, Katie doesn't want to go. When Micah storms out of the room, leaving the camera on the bed watching Katie, Katie speaks in a voice which is hers but also the voice of a man at the same time. The next night, shortly after 1 AM, Katie wakes up, walks over to Micah's side of the bed, stares at him for two hours, and then leaves the bedroom. She walks down the stairs and about half a minute later she screams. Micah runs out to her. After screaming and thumps and squishy noises, heavy footsteps are heard. Micah's body is tossed at the camera, knocking it over. Katie enters the bedroom, hovers over Micah's body, and growls at the camera. A followup note reads: Micah's body was discovered by police on October 11th, 2006. Katie's whereabouts remain unknown.
There are three endings; the theatrical ending, the original 2007 ending and the "Unrated" ending.The theatrical ending (suggested by director Steven Spielberg) has Katie awaken to once again stare at a sleeping Micah for several hours. She then goes downstairs into complete darkness and suddenly starts screaming for no apparent reason. Micah hears her and wakes up, running to her aid. The camera can only see the bedroom and dark hallway as it records what sounds like a struggle between Micah, Katie and whatever else is downstairs with them. Micah and Katie's screams suddenly stop, and the brief silence is followed by the sound of heavy footsteps coming up the stairs. Micah's body is suddenly hurled at the camera, knocking it over. Katie appears in the doorway, her clothing covered in blood. She crouches down and starts sniffing at Micah's lifeless body, then smiles at the camera before lunging toward it and the screen smash cuts to black and the credits roll.In the original 2007 ending, Katie returns to the bedroom after the struggle heard downstairs, wielding a knife with blood on her tank top. She then sits next to the bed and rocks back and forth in a catatonic state throughout the remainder of the following day. Her friend Amber calls the house, and later arrives, discovering Micah's body downstairs. When police officers arrive, Katie comes out of her catatonic state and approaches them asking for Micah. The officers instruct her to drop the knife, but shoot her after being startled by a door suddenly slamming behind them. The movie ends with audio of the police discovering the camera as the credits roll.The Unrated DVD/Blu-ray has an all-new ending (that was, apparently, shown once before at a film festival) which involves Katie returning to the bedroom with the knife (just like she did in the original ending) and slitting her own throat in view of the camera. The credits then roll. A detailed comparison between the ending of the theatrical version and the one from the Unrated DVD/Blu-ray with pictures can be found here.
It was as early as 2007 that Oren Peli, director of "Paranormal Activity" manufactured his first version of the movie. This was screened on several American film festivals and distributed on the festivals and sent to film studios as a DVD-Screener by Peli himself. The later released theatrical version features several differences from the first festival cut. In order to stress these differences, two comparison with pictures were created: (1) Comparison between the festival cut and the theatrical version: here., and (2) Comparison between the theatrical version and the festival cut: here.
The first notice about the release of this film announced that it would only be released in 13 theaters in the U.S. The official website and trailers asked people to demand it in their area using Eventful.com/demand. On 10 October 2009, Eventful.com announced that it had reached over 1 million requests and the movie opened nationwide on October 16th. The studio boasts, the "first-ever major film release decided by you." "From the very beginning, we put this film in the hands of the fans and we trusted them to tell us where and when it should be seen. We couldn't be more thrilled by their overwhelming support and we are happy to release the film in every town - big and small," said Rob Moore, Vice Chairman of Paramount Pictures.
Those are the individuals who helped to promote the film via the "Demand It" viral marketing campaign. Individuals who voted for the film to come to their city and/or linked others to the eventful site were given the opportunity to submit their names to Paramount for inclusion in the credits as a way of thanking them for their efforts. Some individuals chose to submit their online handles (such as "Pimpman Squeezejuice") as opposed to their real names.
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