It’s easy to forget that the original Paranormal Activity, released in 2009, wasn’t just a massive box office hit. It was an event. I’ll never forget the early festival buzz and I’ll never forget the girl silently weeping in terror in the row in front of me when I saw it on opening night. Even though the many sequels ultimately drove the franchise into the ground, this is a landmark series and perhaps the most influential and important horror title to emerge in the past decade.
So yeah, news that another Paranormal Activity sequel, the seventh in the franchise, is in the works shouldn’t surprise anyone. Not really. It was inevitable. And it’s time.
The news of another Paranormal Activity movie emerged from CineEurope (via Coming Soon), where Paramount Pictures Chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos made the following announcement:
“We are partnering with uber horror producer Jason Blum to bring a new installment of Paranormal Activity.”
The details begin and end there, but that’s all we need for now, really. We can safely assume that the new film will follow in the footsteps of its predecessors and tell a story through security cameras, laptop cameras, and phone cameras, giving us an up close and personal look at things going bump in the night for a doomed family who picked the wrong house to call home.
No matter your opinion of the Paranormal Activity movies (they range from great to awful!), they transformed producer Jason Blum into one of the most important and continually vital names in horror filmmaking. After the first film in the series made $193 million worldwide on a budget of only $150,000, he was launched into the stratosphere and his credits now include Get Out, Us, Halloween, Happy Death Day, Oculus, The Purge, Ouija, Sinister, The Visit, Split, and dozens of other projects, both acclaimed and completely forgotten. At the very least, Paranormal Activity gave Blum the power to spend the past decade shaping the modern form of the horror genre, which makes any news of a new film, especially with his involvement, noteworthy.
While audiences eventually gave up on Paranormal Activity – 2015’s Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension earned $78 million worldwide against a $10 million budget, which is fine but a far cry from the series’ glory days – a comeback feels right. Found footage horror has been taking a break for a few years and maybe audiences are hungry for it again. And maybe a new film will revert back to the style of the earlier films, which utilized its micro-budget brilliantly and built scares out of a naturalism that is generally lacking in other films of this ilk.
Plus, the final film in the series did little to cap off the franchise’s increasingly complex and labyrinthine mythology and nerds like me demand closure, damn it. Plus, any devotee of the franchise knows that the odd-numbered entries are the good ones, so a seventh film has to be good. I don’t make the rules, I just relay them.
We’ll let you know when we hear more about Paranormal Activity 7 or whatever goofy subtitle they decide to give it. One thing is for sure: they can turn these movies around in about six months, so don’t be surprised if one appears suddenly and without warning.
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