With horror sequel Paranormal Activity 4 grossing more than $135 million worldwide, the franchise is defying critics as a good return on its investment. Series creator and director of the original, Oren Peli, returns to produce Paranormal Activity 5 with Jason Blum. Gregory Plotkin, the franchise editor, will make his directorial debut and Katie Featherston will reprise her role for the fifth time.
Paramount has hired scribe duo Jason Pagan and Andrew Stark to write the script. Although Pagan and Stark are newcomers, they have also penned the upcoming Almanac, a found-footage style horror flick being produced by Michael Bay (the Transformers series) with the feature length debut of director Dean Israelite.
Following the footsteps of The Blair Witch Project, found-footage films become the trend in Hollywood. Cost effective and easy to make, they employ hand-held cameras and home movies to capitalize on a true life experience. The script is often just an outline, allowing actors to improvise which adds to the realism.
The original Paranormal Activity was created by Oren Peli and had no script. He wanted to face his lifelong fear of ghosts. Oren was even frightened in the movie Ghostbusters! He wanted to use the idea of shooting at night, when people are asleep and the most vulnerable. He used the concept of a demon because he felt it was pretty much a scary idea in everyone’s subconscious, the bogey-man syndrome.
The Paranormal Activity franchise deals with one family possessed by a demon. It utilizes gory murder scenes and chilling blood and guts scenarios. A Latino-based spin-off, relying on Catholic demon and ghost mythology is being created by Christopher Landon, who has worked on the creation of the last three Paranormal Activity films. It is called Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones and will be in theaters in January, 2014.