|Riffers||Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett|
|Date Released||February 11, 2010|
Paranormal Activity is a 2007 American supernatural horror film written, photographed, edited, and directed by Oren Peli. The film centers on a young couple, Katie and Micah, who are haunted by a supernatural presence in their home. It is presented in the style of "found footage", from cameras set up by the couple in an attempt to document what is haunting them. Originally developed as an independent feature and given film festival screenings in 2007, the film was acquired by Paramount Pictures and modified, particularly with a new ending. It was given a limited U.S. release on September 25, 2009, and then a nationwide release on October 16, 2009. The film earned nearly $108 million at the U.S. box office and a further $85 million internationally for a worldwide total of $193 million. Paramount/DreamWorks acquired the U.S. rights for $350,000. It is the most profitable film ever made, based on return on investment, although such figures are difficult to verify independently as this is likely to exclude marketing costs. RiffTrax released their riff in February 2010.
Synopsis and Preview
Young couple Katie and Micah move to a new house in San Diego. Katie claims an evil presence is haunting her. Micah then sets up a camera in their bedroom to record any activity that occurs while they sleep. Katie hires psychic Dr. Fredrichs, who assesses that Katie is haunted by a demon who feeds off of negative energy, and is intent on tormenting Katie. He advises the family not to communicate with the demon and to contact demonologist Dr. Johann Averies if needed. Katie seems interested, but Micah does not take this seriously.
Strange happenings are recorded by the cameras, such as noises, flickering lights and doors moving on their own. On the 13th night they awake with the sound of a demon screeching. During the 15th night, Katie, in an apparent trance, stands beside the bed and stares at Micah for two hours before going outside. Micah tries to convince Katie to go back inside, but she refuses and appears to remember none of it the next day.
One day Micah brings home a Ouija board, which infuriates Katie and she yells at Micah to put it away. When they leave the house, cameras record an unseen force moving the board to form an unknown message on the Ouija board, which then spontaneously catches fire. Katie sees the video and pleads with Micah to contact the demonologist, but again he refuses. During the 17th night, Micah sprinkles talcum powder in the hallway and bedroom. The couple are awakened by creaks, and they find non human footprints leading to the bedroom from the attic, where Micah finds a burnt photograph of a young Katie, previously thought destroyed in an unexplained house fire. Katie finally calls the demonologist, Dr. Averies, but he is unavailable.
They eventually call Dr. Fredrichs back to the house, instead of Dr. Averies, but he is overwhelmed by the demonic energy upon entering. He apologetically leaves despite their pleas, stating that his presence only makes the demon angrier. During the 20th night, Katie is pulled out of the bedroom by an unseen force. When Micah rushes to help, the demon slams the door on him. Micah eventually rescues her but feels that the demon's presence still lurks upstairs; they head downstairs with blankets to sleep on the couch. The following morning Micah discovers bite marks on Katie's back. Later, Micah finds a catatonic Katie sitting in a hallway, gripping a cross so tightly that it bloodies her palm. He angrily burns the cross and photograph in the fireplace, and packs to head for a motel. Just as they are set to leave, Katie, seemingly out of touch with reality, insists they will be okay now.
The following night, Katie gets out of bed and stares at Micah for two hours before going downstairs. After a moment of silence, Katie screams Micah's name along with another inhuman voice; he abruptly rushes to her. Katie's screaming stops and heavy footsteps come up the stairs. Micah's body is violently hurled at the camera, which is knocked sideways, revealing Katie in the doorway. She slowly walks into the room, stained with blood. Crouching and crawling, she goes to Micah's body and then looks up at the camera with a grin. As she lunges toward the camera, her face takes on a demonic appearance just as the scene cuts to black. An epilogue text states that Micah's body was discovered by the police on October 11, 2006, and Katie's whereabouts remain unknown.
Cast and Crew
- Katie Featherston as Katie
- Micah Sloat as Micah
- Mark Fredrichs as Dr. Fredrichs
- Amber Armstrong as Amber
- Ashley Palmer as Diane