Why the First Four Paranormal Activity Movies Are the Franchise’s Best

Paranormal Activity 3 Poster

The paranormal activity The franchise started strong with the first low-budget installment of found footage in 2007. Audiences were blown away by the film’s successful marketing campaign and the gripping fear the film was able to portray with limited effects and funding. The film was such a success that three more films were made which retained the overall creepy tone of the first film. However, after Paranormal activity 4the franchise took a significant dive from which it could not recover.

Some of what made the top four paranormal activity The franchise’s best movies were the recurring tendency to confine all spooky happenings to one location. Using different cameras, they captured terrifying moments from different angles. And the concept that unconscious victims were surrounded by paranormal activity created a specific storytelling style that made early films scarier than their descendants. But a lot more went into it, so let’s look at all the ways the top four paranormal activity the films marked the genre of horror.

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Paranormal activity used its strengths to redeem a small budget

the original paranormal activity made an incredible profit considering the low initial investment in production. The actors were not given an official script for the film, so they improvised much of the dialogue which made the film more realistic to the events taking place on screen. And since there was little time and budget, most fears came from practical effects or the mystery of the type of demon that haunted the main characters. Ultimately, this growing tension, especially during scenes where the human characters weren’t present, added to the intense ending.

Paranormal Activity 2 raised the stakes by putting a family in danger

The second film in the franchise, paranormal activity 2, seemed to have a larger budget with a few more cast members. The scary elements of the film also seemed to happen more quickly, which was not common for horror films at the time. And where the original paranormal activity could have thrived on using a slow-paced story to build tension, paranormal activity 2 raised the stakes by adding more scares.

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Two crucial additions that increased the scare meter for this film were the toddler and the dog. Nobody wants to see an injured animal or child on screen, especially in horror movies. Utilizing this viewer aversion worked well for the film, as the growing threat to the two helpless characters added further awkwardness for viewers and made the film scary. The security camera style of this found footage film was also relevant to the success since the tone remained gritty and real.

Paranormal Activity 3 upgraded the franchise by showcasing the sisters’ past

Since paranormal activity 2 had proven to Paramount Pictures that the franchise was profitable, increased funding seemed to support the production of Paranormal activity 3, which took place in the past but still had better quality than the first two films. A significant departure from the premise of this film was that the “reality” of the franchise was finally starting to cloud over. Instead of clinging to this element with all of its might, the franchise made the smart move by simply elevating the film to create a more enjoyable experience for viewers.

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The horrors started much earlier for this film, and parents were still heavily involved as the main characters, even though the film’s premise focused on the sisters from the first two films as children. There were many scenes where the children were saying and doing scary things, showing obvious signs of possession. A lot of people find possessed children disturbing, so that element really diversified the film from the first two while still maintaining that fearful tone.

Paranormal Activity 4 changed the narrative but stayed true to the tone

In Paranormal activity 4, the franchise strayed completely from the original characters and focused the haunting on a completely different family. This factor did not hinder this particular production, but the change in narration becomes an issue in later films. Katie is still connected in this film as she technically lives across from the characters and ends up kidnapping this new family’s son. These elements keep the story tied to the original, and the tone remains relatively the same, just with new characters.

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The camera work changes in this film since most of the disturbance is captured on the teenager’s Apple devices instead of wearable or security cameras. The violence in this film also escalates as Katie twists her neck to kill one of the characters. And the ending is particularly terrifying because it involves Katie building an army of women for the demon to possess. This generated excitement for subsequent entries, but they did not follow this original premise.

The franchise goes completely in a different direction after Paranormal activity 4, and the army that Katie was developing seems forgotten. The franchise has also discontinued using the style of footage found in Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin. Although these new episodes still share the same name, the tone and elements of fear are different and lack the rawness that originally scared viewers in the first film.

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