'Paranormal Activity 6' Isn't A True Story, But Real-Life Fears Helped Make It Happen
One of the most groundbreaking horror movie franchises will end its run (or so they say) with Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension , the sixth movie in the popular found footage series that has haunted audiences since 2009. The climactic conclusion will surely bring even more the terror, jumps, screams and squeals that its predecessors brought before it, and adding another layer to the horror is the fact that the movie is the first in the franchise to utilize 3D. The technique will bathe viewers in unflinching terror that will forever be burned into their minds, and even though Paranormal Activity 6 isn't based on a true story, the scares seem creepily real. And while this particular movie may not be based on anything in reality, the origin of the franchise was rooted in something very familiar.
Oren Peli, the director and writer of the original Paranormal Activity, has spoken about the eerie real-life influences for that first film. In a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette interview in 2009, Peli talked about living in San Diego (just like the doomed couple in the first movie), saying that it was his experiences in his home there that made him make the film. "I never lived in a single detached family home," he said, making him hyper-aware of every little noise he heard at night. From the house settling to items moving on the shelf, Peli was freaked out enough to set up a video camera at night to document the mysterious noises. Thus, the premise for Paranormal Activity was born.
Peli also said that he was scared by "anything that had to do with ghosts, demons, possessions," ever since he watched Exorcist as a kid. "It totally, totally freaked me out." This fear was what built the foundation of one of the most successful horror franchises of our time. After the first film's release in 2009, it immediately became a phenomenon. Picking up where The Blair Witch Project left off, Paranormal Activity used found footage, taking it to an intense, new level of terror. The story may not 100 percent true, but it was inspired by something that scared Peli enough to want to share his fear with the world — and it worked. Here are a few other horror movies inspired by true stories that will forever haunt their viewers.
The Conjuring (2013)
Based on an actual tale, the movie follows a pair of noted paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren, as they investigate the supernatural events of a farmhouse in Rhode Island. It is definitely one of the scariest movies of the past five years.
The Haunting In Connecticut (2009)
This one is based on Ray Garton's book, In a Dark Place: The Story of a True Haunting, about Carmen Snedeker and her family, namely the events that happen after they move into a house that used to be a funeral home. You can only imagine the scary stuff that happens here.
The Exorcism Of Emily Rose (2005)
Any movie that has the word "exorcism" in the title and is based on a true story immediately sends shivers up my spine. The Exorcism of Emily Rose is based on the real "exorcism" of a young German woman in 1975.
The Amityille Horror (1979)
Like Paranormal Activity, Amityville Horror was the start of an uber-scary and uber-successful horror franchise. The first movie (and the 2005 remake) were both based on the true events about the Lutz family, who moved into a home where a mass murder had previously happened. Needless to say, supernatural stuff occurs that will scare the crap out of you.
Good luck sleeping at night after watching any of these.
Image: Paramount Pictures