When the first Paranormal Activity came out in 2009, it took found footage horror movies to a whole new level. With eerie handheld camcorder and surveillance footage, the low-budget film followed a couple that was being harassed by a demon and it ended with a terrifying cliffhanger that led to the creation of four more movies. Some were great, while others left much to be desired — but that doesn't matter. Good or bad, the franchise still makes you jump out of your skin with every new movie. So don't worry, if you're asking yourself how scary Paranormal Activity 6 is going to be, let's put it this way: if you don't like creepy kids talking to you through the TV and a little girl with blackened eyes just staring at you, then you may not want to see this movie alone.
Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, out Oct. 23 (just in time for Halloween!) follows a family that finds a camera that detects paranormal activity and — surprise! — discovers that their daughter is being stalked by a sinister entity that probably wants to kill everyone in the house. This is supposed to be the final installment of the franchise, so if this truly is the end, the filmmakers are probably gonna pull out all the stops with the scares. And to boost the level of fright, they decided to make this one in 3D.
This is the first Paranormal Activity to be shown in this version, which could be a good move, as it makes the movie more immersive and like an amusement park attraction. Considering it's the first Paranormal film where the audience gets to "see the unseen," the 3D adds an extra thrill that will make the audience shudder and scream with delight — much like the people in the video clip above.
I, for one, love a scary movie. Any movie, no matter how good or bad it is, can have scary "Oh s**t!" moments that will make you jump, gasp and cover your eyes. It's all about timing and framing of the movie — and that's exactly what the Paranormal movies do very well. But which of the five movies before The Ghost Dimension is the best? Here is a ranking of all of them from scary to scariest.
5.) Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)
The most tech-driven installment wasn't exactly the strongest of the bunch, but it did stir up some scares.
4.) Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2009)
The fifth installment left the confines of white suburbia and into a Latino community in California. The movie veers towards the occult, which makes for some gnarly scenes and a lot of glorious scares.
3.) Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)
The first sequel pretty much picked up where the first one left off, but it was a prequel documenting the crazy events leading up to the first. Nothing totally new here, but it did deliver the same amount of fright, which is always a good thing.
2.) Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)
This installment was less of a prequel and more of an origin story, which made it three times as terrifying and made me not want to play "Bloody Mary" ever again.
1.) Paranormal Activity (2009)
Nothing will ever beat the original. Usually, horror movies made on a shoestring budget are the best. The concept, intimacy, and different way of storytelling totally changed the game when it came to horror movies — and it made me sleep with the light on for a couple of nights after watching it.
Even though it's likely The Ghost Dimension will be the last movie in the franchise, I'm pretty sure that there will be more Paranormal Activity in the future — if only in our nightmares.
Image: Paramount Pictures