Why are these movies a thing? At all? I can understand why the first one exists and got so popular but after that…I’m at a loss. Let’s start with the logical reasoning behind why the first one got so huge. Hint: It’s not because it’s scary.
The first movie centers around a couple. Katie and Micha. They have been noticing some paranormal activity and so Micha buys a video camera against Katie’s wishes and starts to film shit. Katie has told him not to because the ghost always gets worse when they try to film it. Which she somehow knows, but also doesn’t seem to remember much of her actual childhood. Other than the fire which burned down their house when she was like 13 or something. Then of course at the start of this “found footage” there is a note about how it’s part of a police investigation. Which it couldn’t be. Mainly because no police investigator would cut found footage like this to make a movie. Who was supposed to be watching this and why? There was no need to have 90% of the things in that movie if it were part of an actual investigation.
The majority of the movie is very predictable jump scares and nothing happening. People complain about nothing happening in The Blair Witch project but seriously, nothing happens in this. I mean even less in than in Blair Witch. At least in that movie the people are walking around and looking at shit. This movie is just Micha making bad jokes and doors opening by themselves and footprints in baby powder.
I think that the only reason this movie got as big as it did was the marketing campaign. The one that tricked people into thinking they totally couldn’t see this movie and they had to vote for it to play at theaters, even though it was due for a wide release after a short period of time. That and I heard somewhere that they used certain sound frequencies with the jump scares that make most humans feel naturally uneasy which also tricked them into being scared. It’s not uncommon for movies to use this (especially not horror movies). Also, these days, people are just really easily scared I guess? Or tricked into thinking a movie is good. There were more questions than answers and since the movie made so much money there was a sequel the next year.
This sequel reveals Katie has a sister with a son (Hunter) and maybe a daughter? I can’t remember. She’s also married and they have a dog. Once again, weird shit starts happening so they film it. This is done slightly different with security cameras but there are also handhelds thrown in there. It’s pretty much the same movie as the first (even filmed in the same house it was just redecorated to look like a different one). Katie makes a few appearances in this movie but it’s mainly about that family. Until the end. When Katie comes in and kills everyone but steals Hunter. Once again, the movie is painted as some kind of footage pertaining to an ongoing police investigation. As if.
Having seen both of these movies because, why not? Who doesn’t love a train wreck? I went in to see the third. Which was a prequel to the first and second. It’s about Katie and her sister (who’s name I don’t care to remember) when they are kids. Their father conveniently has some kind of wedding video business where he films parties and then edits tapes, allowing him to have access to 800 cameras and editing equipment. As in the second film, these people are taping their house at all times yet seemingly never go back to watch the footage. At least not as much as they need to. When the father of Katie and the other girl does find weird shit he tells their mother but also somehow fails to show her the real important shit on the tape. Then, eventually, they seem to just give up on checking the tapes at all even though they are all aware that something weird is happening in the house.
This ends with the mother and father being killed and some kind of demon wedding to an entity that the weird ass grandma and girls call “Toby” and no one ever sees and is also never explained for any reason. Which brings us to the fourth movie.
It’s about a seemingly random family. I think maybe they imply it’s the same house as the first movies or something but I don’t remember, nor do I care to. The girl in the family notices that weird shit is happening and once again the trope of filming everything all the time is set up. Apparently, these people have magical computers with endless hard drives and shit because there’s no way they should be able to film as much as they do and keep it all on a computer. There’s also the same situation of knowing shit will be caught on tape but the characters seemingly forget they started taping anything in the first place. At one point the main character even forgets her password and how to get in to watch the footage. Which she doesn’t seem all too concerned about even though shit is WAY worse at that point and the ghost has tried to kill her. She needs to prove it to her father and has it on tape but I guess goes to a party instead of proving it.
Katie is the neighbor woman in this and has a son. Then she gets “sick” and her creepy-ass son has to stay with this family for a while. Apparently, he somehow gets this Toby demon to like this new kid. Then it turns out that OMG the kid is actually Hunter from the second movie. The kid that Katie stole and then for some reason put up for adoption only to come back when he was like 8 to come and get him because reasons? Also at some point, Hunter is like possessed by Toby or something like that? Then the main girl, I want to call her Alex (but I could be wrong) figures out something is wrong, fails to call anyone useful for help, picks up her entire computer and runs to Katie’s house to go after her brother. There are about 400 women in the backyard cause they are a coven or something and I guess they kill her? Because the movie ends there.
So major plot points thus far:
- Katie has been followed by some sort of demon her whole life as well as her sister
- Katie’s boyfriend Micha decided to film the paranormal activity and this caused Katie to become possessed and kill Micha
- This also caused Katie to go kill her sister and her family but steal the baby, Hunter and give him up for adoption even though it would have been way easier to keep him herself
- This all started to happen when they were young because their grandmother decided to marry them off to some demon named Toby
- Katie comes back to collect Hunter from the people who adopted them by killing all of the people in that family instead of using her ghost powers to just take him and leave.
Confusing right? I know, I don’t get it either. Keep in mind there is still not an explanation of who or what Toby is or why he’s marrying 10-year-old girls in weird lesbian witch coven ceremonies. Then the next movie it totally just strays from the point entirely and they have a movie completely unrelated to the entire franchise. It’s called “The Marked Ones” and is arguably the best movie of the franchise despite not having anything to do with any of the others. I was actually entertained most by this one even if it wasn’t that good. It never connects to the original story. Nor does it add in any new information about anything. No idea why they did this. It’s about a bunch of Hispanic teenagers in California somewhere. Far more likable characters than the people in the main franchise.
The last movie in the franchise (and keep in mind they are trying to play this off as if it were totally planned as the ending which it couldn’t possibly be) is called “Ghost Dimension”. It once again centers around a family. I’ve only seen it once and the only good thing about it was that the 3D was pretty damn awesome. Otherwise it sucked because it made no sense.
I guess this family moved into the house that Katie used to have or something? I don’t know but it’s vaguely connected in some way. The guy in the house finds some old camera that can film another dimension or something, he doesn’t even know and it’s never explained fully. He just knows he can see weird stuff on it. Mainly a black blob of shit moving around and bothering his daughter. Also his brother comes to stay for the holidays and is utterly annoying and a pothead. So the daughter starts acting weird and what do you know? Another situation of filming everything but not going back to go look at the tapes. Also, once again, the mother doesn’t believe anything is really happening and the father doesn’t show her any of the important shit on camera.
The little girl eventually gets possessed or something and attacks a priest. Which they are like…okay with? I dunno but they decided to move from the house to a hotel. Now the franchise goes out of it’s way to explain that it’s not the houses that ar haunted it’s the people who are marked or something so we all know them moving out won’t work. Then the little girl uses her ghost powers to transport back to the house. In her room, there is some kind of portal that she invented by drawing symbols on her wall. She goes through it a few times in the movie. It’s caught on film. Somehow the father never reviews the film enough to see this I guess? Anyway, so this final time when she transports herself back she goes through the hole. The mom finally finds the hole/portal/whatever and goes through it at well. Apparently, they go all the way back to the 80’s when Katie and her sister were kids? Then “Toby” is there but you really only see his legs and he kills the little girl’s mom and they leave together.
Oren Peli (the creator of this crap franchise) claims that this is totally the planned end of the franchise and he couldn’t be happier with it. When the truth is that this “final” movie really took a hit at the box office and didn’t even come close to making back it’s budget. It’s obvious with how they left it, there is no way this was the intended ending. They probably will get some funding to do a paranormal activity 7 or something in a few years if people show renewed interest and it can make money. As of now here are the unanswered questions:
- Who or what the fuck is Toby and why is he marrying 10 year old girls?
- Who the fuck was this Grandma and why was she obsessed with marrying her grandkids to this Toby demon?
- This demon can time travel? Or something? Because several times it was implied that there were time travel elements.
- What does Hunter have to do with any of this? He was never seen after the fourth movie nor was he ever mentioned again.
- Where is Katie? Did she time travel back with this random little girl or is she still in our current world?
- What the fuck did the Hispanic kids in the 5th movie have to do with anything? What the hell was that about?
To tell the “fanbase” (and to be honest I don’t know why there are ANY fans of this movie beyond watching it be a train wreck) that this last movie with the MOST open ending was the planned last movie is retarded. I can’t imagine anyone would be happy with this lack of closure for a long running franchise. Though I won’t be losing any sleep over any of this I’m irritated that this got 6 movies in the first place, when the first one wasn’t even good. Hopefully this will mark the beginning of the end of the found footage horror crap and we can all move on to better things. I’m sure I’ll be back in a year or two complaining about Paranormal Activity Seven…*Sigh*.