Paranormal Activity (2007) Poster


The knife Micah is wielding when talking to Katie during the making dinner scene at the beginning of the movie is the same knife he is killed with in the alternate ending.
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The original ending was changed at the suggestion of Steven Spielberg.
The actors weren't given scripts but were given guidelines on how to behave or what to discuss in their scenes.
The entire movie was filmed in Oren Peli's own home.
Filming was completed in 10 days.
Steven Spielberg had to stop watching the film halfway through on a home screener as he was genuinely spooked by the experience. He completed it in daylight hours the next day and loved it.
During the first test screenings, people started leaving the theater. Originally the crew thought this was because the film wasn't going over very well with its audience, only to discover that people left the auditorium because they couldn't handle the intensity of the piece.
Dreamworks wanted to remake the movie with a bigger budget and better known actors rather than release the film as it was and use the original as a DVD extra.
Paramount acquired the US rights for $350,000. The film went on to make $193 million worldwide, making this the second most profitable film ever made based on a return of investment. (First most profitable is The Blair Witch Project (1999) which cost $22,000 and made $240.5 Million)
Oren Peli shot the entire film with a home digital camera.
Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat were reportedly paid just US$500 each for their performances. But due to the success of the film, the director, Katie and Micah are now renegotiating the amount.
Oren Peli got the idea for the movie from a personal experience. Late at night he was sleeping and a box of detergent fell off the shelf. The box was pushed too far back for it to just tilt and fall.
Contains no opening or closing credits.
Shot in 2006, not put into general release until 2009.
Oren Peli's directorial debut.
Out of the eight people hired to star in the movie, only five cast members remain in the theatrical release.
Filmed for USD$15,000 and grossed USD$9.1 million in its first week in the US, breaking the record of highest-grossing weekend ever for a movie playing at less than 200 theaters.
All the crew had to wear black clothes at all times so that no colored reflections would show up on the walls or wooden floors.
All the special effects were practically done in-camera, enhanced by director Oren Peli on his PC.
Oren Peli bought the Ouija board in his local Costco.
Although released by Paramount, this film is unique in that the studio's logo does not appear, nor do credits, except for one establishing copyright.
Oren Peli spent a year redecorating his house prior to filming; the walls were originally stark white in every room and there was no railing to the staircase.
Oren Peli intended to make the film for around $10,000 but the final budget ended up being between $11,000 and $15,000.
Paramount bought the domestic rights for the film and sequels for $300,000.
(at around 23 mins) The book Micah consults is a 1971 trade paperback from Dover Publications titled "Picture Book of Devils, Demons and Witchcraft", by Ernst and Johanna Lehner.
The role of Dr. Johann Averies was cast with a real Paranormal Investigator from the Independent Investigations Group, Spencer Marks. The role was shot to help explain certain anomalies in the film. The role was predominantly mentioned in the movie, but the footage never used.
Paramount Studios utilized paranormal researcher, Christopher Chacon, who is recognized as one of the world's foremost experts on paranormal phenomena, to promote and publicize the film. Chacon also works in the entertainment industry as a writer, director and producer.
It beat Saw VI (2009) to the top of the box office charts, effectively bringing about the end of the Saw franchise.
Though the format is discontinued in the United States, this film received a VHS release in the Netherlands.
Survivor (2000) runner-up Katie Gallagher was originally cast to play the role of Katie, but was laid off because Oren Peli decided she was too "well-known" to keep the film as real as possible. Coincidentally, both Katie Gallagher and Katie Featherston have the same name as each other, and the main character.
On October 25, 2009, Paramount Pictures announced plans for a sequel.
Shown as a "Surprise and Mystery Film" during the 23rd Leeds International Film Festival's "Day of the Dead III" horror film marathon (7th November 2009).
Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
The death metal band on the television in the first shot of the film is Disgorge, from San Diego, performing their song "Consume the Forsaken".
(at around 4 mins) The guitar that Micah (Micah Sloat) plays towards the beginning of the film is a "trans blue" Line 6 Variax 700 six-string electric guitar. The guitar, created by amplifier manufacturer Line 6, was one of the first in a line of pickup-less electrics (meaning the electronics are internal) and features the ability to model or mimic "up to" 25 different stringed instruments including the distinct sounds of a Telecaster, Stratocaster and full hollow body electrics.
During the weekend of October 9-11, 2009 it reached #4 at the US box office while playing in only 160 theaters, the fewest number of theaters for a top five film since box office data was regularly tracked in the 1980s.
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The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The scene where Micah shows Katie the Internet page about Diane originally showed a lengthy online video of the exorcism; the scene was cut down significantly.
The carpet in the upstairs hallway had to be removed to accommodate two scenes: the powder scene, and the dragging scene.
A third ending was planned where the possessed Katie corners Micah and bludgeons him to death with his precious camera, while viewers would watch from the camera's POV. In fact, this version of the ending was so complicated - not to mention brutal - that Peli never actually shot it.

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