The Paranormal Activity franchise may have hit a bit of slump with the series’ fifth entry, last week’s opener Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, but the team behind the highly profitable films is still plugging right along on the next film in the series (Paranormal Activity 5, which remains a confusing choice of title, considering it’s the sixth film, but what can you do). While the fifth film isn’t exactly a part of the traditional PA series (basically, whichever films focus on the various hauntings and possessions of sisters Katie and Kristi), it is certainly a piece of a greater story, and one that introduces elements and revelations that will have an impact on other entries in the franchise.
Basically, this film might have different characters and a different setting, but if you’re a fan of the mythology that the PA team is making, you better check it out.
But what exactly is the deal with the mythology that the PA team is making? Oren Peli’s first film, the ludicrously popular Paranormal Activity, was originally meant as a one-off film, but when it popped at the box office, Peli and his team were stuck expanding it out into a massive franchise. The series now includes a lot of moving pieces and, no, they don’t always fit together in a coherent way. Just look back at the first film and compare that to the biggest reveals of The Marked Ones – the difference is staggering (and, no, we won’t spoil it here, but needless to say, the most jaw-dropping elements of The Marked Ones are packed with huge ideas and majorly game-changing bits). It’s like the films are from different series, and that’s not a good thing when trying to make a franchise that flows and fits.
And yet the Paranormal Activity team swears that they’ve been meticulously working on a big narrative and overarching idea since the second film – one that will wrap up with one hell of an ending.
Over at /Film, Germain Lussier sat down with The Marked Ones writer and director Christopher Landon (who has also written the second, third, and fourth films in the series) to get an idea of what he’s been building towards for years now. Landonn shared, “We’ve always been looking ahead. I’ll say this much. There is a very specific end goal and I’m hoping we have enough time in the franchise to get there. We have a really big idea that’s at the finish line but we need time to get there. So we’re hoping the fans keep coming back and allow us to get them there.”
Landon also shared what we all know already – the building started in the second film, telling the outlet: “I don’t think Oren realized it then, because when he made the first movie it felt like a stand alone movie, but then when we started making 2 and we started to see the potential and possibility there for a franchise, that’s when the real think tank element came in to play and we really started to throw out crazy ideas. Then, over the course of the last couple movies, we came to a really good, interesting place.”
The next Paranormal Activity film will arrive in October, and if Landon is to be taken at face value, it won’t even be close to the conclusion of the series. No matter how we feel about how they’re getting to their end, we certainly want to see this grand plan in action.
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