It’s been nearly eight years since the original PARANORMAL ACTIVITY thrilled audiences with its minimalist approach to filmmaking. Whether you liked the film or not, it’s hard to deny that the found footage film took Hollywood by storm and ushered in an era of low budget horror films trying to capitalize on that success. Though it didn’t invent the notion of a found footage horror movie, its influence has made the subgenre a commodity that is still affecting the film industry to this day, so much so that by the time PARANORMAL ACTIVITY:THE GHOST DIMENSION hits theaters, it will be the 11th found footage movie released in 2015.
On June 23rd, 2015, the official trailer for the sixth film in the series was released. From what we can see, it looks like a family consisting of Ryan, Emily, their six-year old daughter Leila, and Ryan’s brother, have all recently moved into a new house in Palo Alto, CA. They find a series of VHS tapes from 20 years ago in the basement, containing footage of Katie and Kristi with their grandmother. They also find a camera which can see paranormal phenomenon that the human eye can’t detect. When Leila becomes the target of supernatural forces, Ryan must find a way to protect his daughter before it’s too late.
After the negative reception of the spin-off film, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES, many fans wondered if Blumhouse would ever return to the series to answer all of the questions that have baffled fans since the first film’s release in 2007. With each film, audiences were treated to a little more of the mystery behind the paranormal activity that surrounded Katie and her family, but with each answer came roughly a dozen more questions as to what really happened and who (or what) was really behind the activity. After all these years, Producer Jason Blum promises that this will be the final film in the franchise, and that all will be revealed:
“It’s coming to an end. This is it, the finale. We’re saying it before the movie opens. We’re not going to grind this horror franchise into the ground. This will keep PARANORMAL ACTIVITY as part of this culture and this particular time in a really fantastic way.
We couldn’t go just teasing all the questions that everyone has asked from the past PARANORMAL ACTIVITY films: What does Toby look like? What’s the backstory to the families? These questions have been teased out. Now they will be answered.”
He goes on to say that they’re open to the idea of rebooting the series, but for now they’ve treated this film as though it’s the “end of the line.” Even more surprising is the fact that this film will be the first film in the series to be presented in 3D. As a fan of this franchise (or at the very least, the first three movies), I have a very strong attachment to the overall storyline of the series. Seeing the PARANORMAL films in theaters each October eventually became a tradition for my friends and me, and as such I have a lot to say regarding the trailer for the final film.
First of all, even if this is the last film, I highly doubt that it will be able to answer all of the questions (and plot holes) that have puzzled audiences since 2007. Secondly, I’m genuinely concerned about this being a found footage 3D film, as both found footage and 3D films have given me numerous headaches separately, I can’t imagine how they would make me feel when combined together. Thirdly, the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY trailers are infamous for showing us scenes that don’t actually appear in the final cut of the movie. As such, I can’t necessarily believe that anything in this trailer will actually end up in the movie I’ll be seeing in October. Finally, I’m concerned that in the spirit of giving fans a “grand finale” that the filmmakers have long since lost sight of why people found these movies scary in the first place. It’s well known in the horror world that a monster you can’t see will always be scarier than anything a director and CGI could put onscreen. A camera that can show us the spirit world is a really cool idea, but “cool” and “scary” are two very different things, and at this point I’m not sure if this will be able to deliver on the latter. I’ll be happy to finally see this story come to a close, but there isn’t a lot in this trailer that makes me excited to see the movie outside of carrying on the tradition of seeing it with my friends.
What did you think of the trailer? Are you exited to finally see the thrilling conclusion of this tale, or do you wish this series would just give up the ghost already? Be sure to let us know @TheMovieChickk!
~ Megan Salinas
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