I’ve seen just about every Paranormal Activity movie, and I’m willing to make the bold statement that none of them are good. They never were. The original rode on some of that this-really-happened wave that propelled so much found footage garbage to mainstream success. This series, however, was perhaps the worst of the bunch. Since it often relied on a single-house setting and used security camera footage, most of its alleged pacing was actually a whole lot of staring at nothing until something maybe moved a little–until you get close to the end when a person who was moving suddenly stops moving.
As a franchise Paranormal Activity has made nearly a billion buckaroos, all thanks to one aggressive marketing campaign that showed audiences of teenagers screaming. What a world.
The one with the witches, though, I think it was the fourth one. That one was actually kind of fun.
Last we heard of the franchise was The Ghost Dimension, which landed in 2015. Honestly, the fact that it’ll take us half a decade to a get a new installment in a series that even with diminishing returns likely always made a profit is shocking.
At a CineEurope event, Paramount CEO Jim Gianopulos stated that, “We are partnering with uber horror producer Jason Blum to bring a new installment of Paranormal Activity.”
That’s pretty much all we got for now, not even a title or anything. There is one interesting tidbit, though. My surprise is that unlike with Saw, this quote suggests that the newest Paranormal Activity will not be a reboot. This will continue the franchise, which is doubly weird since I thought Ghost Dimension ended the story on some sort of time loop that syncs everything up. I don’t know. I don’t think I saw that one, though I can’t say for sure. They all run together. A continuation seems like a super bad idea, given that this franchise has a big ol’ tangled mess of lore that anyone who avoided the most recent outings would know nothing about. We’ll see. I’d be very surprised if this won’t later be announced to be some sort of reboot, either soft, hard, or some rigidity in-between.
The worst news to come out of this, however, is not that there will be a new Paranormal Activity, but that the greater found footage sub-genre won’t yet be laid to rest. I really thought it would have ended with the Blair Witch remake, but no. Nothing that dies ever stays truly dead, and a fresh Paranormal Activity might be just what it takes to ignite a resurgence of handheld horror films where nothing happens right up until someone gets dragged off the screen, and then it’s over.
The only good found footage movie is the book House of Leaves, and no one will ever convince me otherwise.
Prepare to see commercials aping the same night-vision footage of teenagers in theaters screaming to remind us that Paranormal Activity had people excited once upon a time before promising “The Lost Tapes” or something in the next year or two.