After experiencing what they think are a series of "break-ins", a family sets up security cameras around their home, only to realize that the events unfolding before them are more sinister than they seem.
After a young, middle class couple moves into a suburban 'starter' tract house, they become increasingly disturbed by a presence that may or may not be somehow demonic but is certainly most active in the middle of the night. Especially when they sleep. Or try to.Written by
Producer Jason Blum worked at Miramax in the 1990s as a movie distributor, and passed on the opportunity to acquire The Blair Witch Project (1999). A decision he quickly regretted, when the movie became one of the most profitable low-budget movies of all times. The market quickly became saturated with knock-offs made for more money, but without the financial success. When the time was right, Blum produced his own low-budget found-footage film with Paranormal Activity; a decision that paid off, as he was able to found Blumhouse Productions with the profits. See more »
The security system is set every night, yet Katie goes outside and sits on the swing without setting off the alarm. See more »
Is that what I think it is?
Depends on what you think it is.
I think it's a big-ass camera! Whatever happened to one of those little hand held cameras?
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Fans who submitted their name on the official website during the film's theatrical run were treated with having their name listed in the film's ending credits on the DVD/Blu-ray release of the film as thanks from Paramount for making the film such a success. See more »
The version that was released in theaters is the cut supervised by Steven Spielberg. The Director's Cut, comprised of the unedited film with three possible endings, has several differences:
1. There is a scene in the Theatrical Cut not present in the Director's Cut that takes place early on, where Katie and Micah wake up and find her keys thrown from the kitchen counter to the floor.
2. The low frequency tone that occurs when the demon is present is not quite as loud in the Director's cut. There is only one instance of the demon whispering in the Theatrical Cut; there are at least three in the Director's Cut, all of which are heard in the bedroom at night.
3. A lot of the demon noises - the loud growl followed by the bang, the footsteps, even the shadows that appear on the bedroom doors - were completely re-dubbed and retouched. All of these scenes are much, much louder/noticeable in theaters for jump scares. There seem to be at least two added "shadow" effects - another on the bedroom door, and a silhouette in the hallway - in the Director's Cut, whereas the Theatrical Cut only has one shadow used.
4. The night when the demon plays the door games with Katie and Micah (opening and slamming it shut, knocking furiously) has been re-dubbed, as well. The knocking is much faster and louder in the Theatrical Cut.
5. There's some added dialogue between Katie and Micah where they discuss how the stress is negatively affecting their lives. She says she's failing her university course and won't pass unless she "does something drastic" on her midterm. He says he lost a large sum of money playing the stock market earlier, and that he'll be taking a break for awhile.
6. The demon's daytime attack is completely absent. The only time we get a good look at the picture that is smashed and clawed is when the two run up and down the hallway during the night to get away from the demon.
7. There's an extra video attached to the "Goodbye Dianne" explanation at the computer. There is at least two minutes of added footage of the woman's ordeal, which has been heavily used in the TV commercials. Micah shows Katie footage of Dianne's demonic possession and subsequent exorcism as she is tied to a bed. Her appearance transforms from healthy to disheveled and dark, with large cuts on her face and body. Eventually, the footage shows that the exorcism was unsuccessful, and the possessed Dianne becomes so destructive that she chews her own arm off to the elbow.
8. The double-layered voice Katie projects in bed when she says, "Everything will be fine from now on" (and later screaming downstairs) uses a different effect to achieve this. Unlike the Theatrical Cut, the two voices are very distinct.
9. The ending is completely changed. Katie awakes shortly after midnight on the final night, gets out of bed and stares at Micah for roughly three hours. Unlike the Theatrical Cut, she does not move to his side of the bed to continue watching him, and the sheets do not fly off of his body. Instead, she goes straight downstairs. After Micah is awakened by the scream, he runs downstairs and we hear the ensuing scuffle. Like before, Katie slowly climbs the stairs, except the footstep effect is slightly altered and when she enters the room, she is holding a knife and covered in blood. Micah's body is not thrown at the camera; he remains downstairs. Katie sits down on the floor against the bed and proceeds to rock back and forth, knife in hand, for several days. We hear her ignore phone calls and the door bell. Eventually, one of her friends comes in to check on her and finds Micah's body, which momentarily interrupts Katie's rocking. The friend lets out a scream and runs out of the house. Twenty minutes later, we hear the police knock and enter, warning anyone in the house to "make themselves known" because they have their weapons drawn. As they search the first floor, it appears as if the demon has left Katie's body: we see the light to the attic turn on, then off, as if the demon went back into hiding. The police come upstairs, find Katie and warn her to drop the weapon. She's dazed, running toward them yelling, "Where's Micah!? Where's Micah?!". The door to the attic slams shut, startling the police so much that one accidentally shoots Katie dead. The final sixty seconds of the film shows the confused policemen, asking "Where did that [noise] come from?" and ultimately declaring the house "clear". The film fades to black, and a text appears that dedicates the film to Katie and Micah.
Have not commented on anything in a long time. But after reading all the overly positive "scariest movie of all time" and overly negative "two hours of my life I'll never get back (hour and a half actually)", I had to comment. I heard about this in Entertainment Weekly and was waiting patiently for it to come out in wide distribution. All in all, it's a good movie for what it is. A low budget horror movie using the faux documentary premise. Compared to The Blair Witch Project, where you couldn't see a damn thing to be scared of, and Cloverfield, which just made me nauseous from the jerking camera, this film at least has steady camera work most of the time. If you are a die hard horror movie fan, will this movie terrify you? Probably not, except on a psychological level possibly. The notion of a demon haunting a person as opposed to a haunted house, while nothing truly original in the sense it hasn't been done elsewhere, is still not seen to much in horror (except in possession films), least these days in the days of Saw and Hostel and other crap. There are a few startling moments in the film. They are comparable to a friend sneaking up on you from behind and shaking you. But honestly, that's what I want from a horror movie. To be in suspense and have something shock me and get my heart pumping for a few. I can't remember the last film I saw to do that so at least Paranormal Acivity got my blood flowing a couple times. But mostly its disturbing. Some of the night scenes would be slightly shocking, others would just be creepy to watch. But in each something different happens. In terms of acting, nothing spectacular but hardly as terrible as some are whining about. And while the film suffers from all other faux documentary films with the "'WHY ARE YOU STILL FILMING? TURN THE CAMERA OFF!' 'I WOULD BUT THEN THERE WOULDN'T BE A MOVIE TO SHOW.'" moments, there are actually times when the boyfriend gets yelled at to turn off the camera and does so. And his character is shown from the beginning to be stubborn, frat boyish, and egotistical. So, while his stupidity starts to wear on you, its a slightly more plausible reason for the continual filming than say Blair Witch Projects "THE CAMERA IS ALL I HAVE LEFT!!!" moments. To sum up, is this the scariest film of all time? No. But it is without a doubt the scariest film to be shown in the mainstream theater in the last few years. Its more terrifying then the endless remakes and sequels we have been plagued with. One thing I hope for with all the hype is that horror fans want more genuine shock moments than over the top gore.
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