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Paranormal Activity

Paranormal Activity is a 2007 "mockumentary" horror film written and directed by Oren Peli. The movie premiered at the Screamfest Film Festival in US on October 14, 2007, and at the Slamdance Film Festival on January 18, 2008. The movie is currently in limited release in several cities in the United States as of October of 2009. The movie centers on a young couple, Katie and Micah, who are haunted by a supernatural presence in their home. The movie is presented through the camera set up by the couple to capture the paranormal activity.

Plot


The movie begins with Micah testing out and playing with his camera. He talks about what they're going to do and how weird things have been happening in the house. A psychic is called in and learns from Katie that she has been haunted by a ghostly entity since her youth. The psychic informs the couple that they are being plagued, not by a ghost, but by a demon. The psychic explains that the demon feeds off negative energy so the couple must do their best not to antagonize it or give it reason to grow by way of being at each other's throats.

Micah continues his project. A camera is set up in the bedroom and, every night, it captures what happens as they sleep. There are some nights when nothing happens but, soon, minor things begin to occur. The bedroom door moves by itself and the lights turn on in the hallway on their own. Micah even finds strange tracks in baby powder that he smears on the floor prior to sleeping.

Things escalate as the couple hears a loud bang and then a door slams. Going to investigate this, Micah finds the attic door open inside the house. He goes up to the attic and finds a photo of Katie from when she was young. Katie is shocked to see the photo and says it's impossible for that photo to be in the house because it was burned to ash in a fire that consumed a home she lived in prior to this.

Strange things continue to happen to Katie at night. Sometimes, Katie will get out of bed and stand right next to the bed for hours, doing nothing but staring but never remembers herself doing this. She does this one night and ends up outside on a swing where Micah finds her but she doesn't remember it the next morning.

The nights begin to get more chilling as the sheets on their bed begin moving by themselves. One night, Katie is yanked and dragged screaming out of bed by an invisible force and down the hall. Micah has to give chase and forceably take her back. The next day, Micah notice bruises on her skin and a large mark that resembles a bite from an unknown source. The activity soon begins to occur during the day, indicating the presence in the home is getting stronger. During one afternoon, a photo of Micah and Katie is smashed, with most of the damage done to Micah's side of the portrait. They make plans to go to a hotel that night, hoping that the being won't follow immediately. But later on that day, Micah finds Katie sitting on the floor in a daze with her back against the wall, gripping a crucifix tightly in her hand. Micah helps her up and notices blood on her hands and leg from the crucifix. Micah soon tells Katie to get their things together so they can leave the house. But Katie now refuses, saying that she wants to stay. She tells Micah to trust her and that "everything will be fine from now on." Afterwards, she gives a disturbing smile to the camera.

Things come to a head a few nights later when Katie, for no reason whatsoever, gets out of bed and stands there again. But this time, she stares at Micah for two full hours. She then walks downstairs and begins screaming at the top of her lungs. Micah jumps out of bed as the camera remains fixed in the room.

From here, nothing is seen, the audience can only hear the activity downstairs. Katie continues to scream, some struggling is heard, and then dead silence. Moments later, footsteps are heard but are heavier sounding as if something heavy is going to appear. Suddenly, Micah's body is hurled towards the camera. He falls and doesn't move.

Katie is seen standing in the doorway with her shirt a bloody mess. She gets on the ground and crawls to Micah's body and, like an animal, sniffs at him. She sees the camera and smiles at it eerily, her face contorted and evil, appearing as though she has been possessed by whatever haunts the house. Katie lunges toward the camera with a loud scream and nothing more is seen.

An epilogue title card reveals that Micah's body was discovered by authorities a few days later but that Katie's whereabouts are unknown.

Alternate endings

Several blogs and news outlets are reporting that the ending currently being seen in theaters for the limited screenings does not match endings previously seen in earlier screenings at Screamfest and the Burbank screening. However, outside of the blogosphere (which go off independent viewer reports), neither of the two alternate endings can be confirmed. Fangoria's review of the film does, however, feature a frame from one of the alternate endings wherein a catatonic Katie is seen sitting, alone, next to the bed in the bedroom after the apparent murder of Micah downstairs. Most of the reviewers express some discontent and disappointment with the ending but say that, while it is contradictory to the build-up and more conventional, it does work within the framework of the film.

Cast
  • Katie Featherston as Katie
  • Micah Sloat as Micah
  • Michael Bayouth as the Demonologist
  • Amber Armstrong as Amber
  • Mark Fredrichs as the Psychic
  • Ashley Palmer as Girl on Internet
  • Randy McDowell as Lt.Randy Hudson
  • Tim Piper as Richard