New horizon for horror as 'Paranormal Activity' gives up the ghost

Wed Oct 28, 2015 6:21pm EDT
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - For six years, horror fans have wondered what the supernatural entity is scaring the "Paranormal Activity" movie franchise, but as they get their answer with the final film, ghosts could be cast aside for horrors rooted in reality.

"Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension," which opened last weekend just in time to entice the Halloween revelers, concludes the tale that began in 2009 with Katie and Micah, a couple who are stalked at home by a supernatural entity.

"Paranormal Activity," a found-footage, or pseudo documentary style, horror made for around $15,000 and acquired by Paramount Pictures, revolutionized the horror movie genre after grossing $193 million worldwide.

Katie's possession by a demon named 'Toby' led to four more films and a spin-off, and brought a slew of ghost-centric micro-budget movies, replacing the gory fare that dominated horror in the 2000s, such as "Saw" and Eli Roth's "Hostel."

"Horror has been more supernatural than bloody, and I think that had a lot to do with the 'Paranormal Activity,'" franchise producer Jason Blum told Reuters in an interview.

But as "Paranormal Activity" wraps up with "Ghost Dimension," Blum believes horror may be taking a more psychological and human turn.

The producer suggested that his 2013 movie "The Purge," about a society in which all crime is legal for 12 hours, may usher in an era of psychological horror that humans can inflict on each other.

"The Purge" will see a third installment next year, while this summer's "The Gift" and "The Visit," all produced by Blum, served up real life fright.   Continued...

Cast members Chris J. Murray and Brit Shaw pose at the premiere of "Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension" in Hollywood, California, October 22, 2015.   REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni