So, Paranormal Activity 3 ended up making $52.5 million in its first three days domestically and just shy of $80 million worldwide. The film was the most expensive of the first three to produce, costing a measly $5 million. Paranormal Activity 4 will obviously be made, but what are the story possibilities? To answer that, we have to explore what we already know.
Last night I sat down and watched Paranormal Activity and Paranormal Activity 2 to beef up my knowledge and re-familiarize myself with the material. I hadn’t seen either film since seeing them one time in the theater and I didn’t want to make any assumptions with the facts. So, let’s take a look back.
NOTE: I think it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, this article essentially spoils all three Paranormal Activity movies. If you don’t want to know what happens in any of them, stop reading now…
Paranormal Activity is set in San Diego, CA and centers on the story of boyfriend and girlfriend, Micah Sloat and Katie Featherston. When the film begins we learn Katie has been hearing some strange noises and Micah has set up cameras around the house in an attempt to capture whatever it is she’s hearing on tape. He’s also set up audio recorders to capture any potential “EVP” (Electronic Voice Phenomenon).
As the supernatural events continue to happen Micah and Katie call in an expert. Katie tells him the first time she remembers something similar happening was when she was 8-years-old and she shared a room with her sister Kristi who was five. Both would experience the breathing. They were so terrified they couldn’t move, and she remembered seeing whatever it was, always at the foot of her bed, not Kristi’s.
After that she remembers her family house burning down and they had to move. As for the supernatural events, they started happening again when she was 13 and would occur on and off periodically from then on. When the expert tells Micah and Katie the entity feeds off negative energy Micah jokes, “We shouldn’t let your mother come over anymore.”
Soon, a burned picture from Katie’s childhood is found in the attic above the couple’s bed. Katie says she hasn’t seen that picture since her childhood house burned down, which would lead the audience to believe it should have burned in that fire.
Later on in the film, Micah purchases an Ouija board, which is presumed to spell out the name Diane, a name Micah later finds on a website telling of a woman in the ’60s who suffered from the same happenings Katie has experienced her whole life. She ended up dying during an exorcism.
At the end of the film, Micah is killed as a possessed Katie throws him at the camera before her face changes and she lunges at the camera herself.
If we are to presume Paranormal Activity 3 begins during the events Katie describes when her and Kristi where 8 and 5-years-old, that would make them 26 and 23-years-old respectively at the beginning of Paranormal Activity 2.
The film begins sometime in 2005 with Dan and Kristi returning home from the hospital with their newborn baby boy, Hunter. We also meet Martine, the family’s nanny who is also something of a psychic herself, Ali, Brian’s daughter from a previous relationship and Kristi’s sister Katie is also seen early on.
The film fast forwards to August 7, 2006, a day where the house appears to have been burglarized but it seems as if nothing has been stolen except for a necklace Katie gave Kristi. This is the first night the paranormal activity begins, 62 days before Micah from the first film will be killed by a possessed Katie.
Two key pieces of information are then given. As the strange phenomena in the house continues Ali begins researching based on what’s going on and Katie and Kristi’s stories of a haunted past. She’ll later tell us Hunter is the first male born on Kristi’s side of the family since “at least the 1930s” and she has her boyfriend read the following passage from a site on the Internet:
It has been said that if a human makes a bargain with a demon for wealth, power or any other benefit they must forfeit their first born male. If the debt is not honored the demon will follow the defaulter and his or her brood until the soul of an infant is collected.
Paranormal Activity 2 also explores what Katie and Kristi remember of similar events happening when they were younger. Kristi remembers being scared but not what she was scared of, but Katie remembers a bit more saying:
“Wanna know what I remember? I remember you crying… all the time. I remember you couldn’t sleep and had anxiety attacks. I remember you stopped talking for months. I remember weird people coming to our house and our mom was upset all the time. That’s what I remember. Whatever it was, it thrived on fear. The more we paid attention to it the worse it got. You need to leave this alone. You need to ignore it or you’re going to end up just like mom. Do you understand me?”
This is the second time Katie and Kristi’s mother is referenced in the first two films. Micah’s comment from the first film would lead us to believe she’s still alive and something of stereotypical, nagging and negative mother-in-law. Katie’s comment here would have us assume she suffered some sort of mental breakdown or worse.
As we near the end we learn the burned photo of Katie that was found in the first film wasn’t burned in the fire that burned down the family house, but it was part of a ritual Dan and Ali performed to exorcise the demon from Kristi and since it has to be passed off to a family member, Katie was the unlucky recipient. Karma, however, is a bitch.
The film picks up three weeks after the ritual, the demon has been passed off and shortly after that the dates begin to align with the first film leading up to October 9 as a blood-stained and possessed Katie enters the house, snaps Dan’s neck, goes upstairs and kills Kristi and kidnaps Hunter, the first born son the demon was presumably promised.
Paranormal Activity 2 ends by telling us Ali returns from a school trip and finds the bodies of Kristi and Daniel Rey on October 12, 2006 and Katie and Hunter’s whereabouts remain unknown.