Paranormal Activity: Alternate Endings & Recut Scenes

Published 5 years ago by , Updated October 22nd, 2010 at 2:11 am,

paranormal activity alternate cut Paranormal Activity: Alternate Endings & Recut Scenes

UPDATE: Now you can watch the “Katie Myers” ending to Paranormal Activity!

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PARANORMAL ACTIVITY ORIGINAL ENDING

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[WARNING: This Article Contains HEAVY SPOILERS!!!]

So by now a lot of you have ventured out (and I do mean “ventured”) to see Oren Peli’s low-budget ghost story flick, Paranormal Activity. Ever since we posted an early review and the latest theatrical trailer, Paranormal Activity has become one of the hottest topics on our site. However, viewers seem split over whether the film is one of the best horror entries in recent years, or an over-hyped ripoff that couldn’t scare a ten-year-old.

Well, anybody who’s been following the Paranormal Activity knows that it took Oren Peli and his producing partners almost two years to get the film into a theater near you. And along that long journey, the film was cut and recut into the version we all saw in theaters. But how different were earlier versions of Paranormal Activity? Well, for one thing, the header image above was part of an alternate ending from an earlier version of the film – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg…

Love it or hate it, you should at least be aware of what Paranormal Activity might’ve been. If you loved the film, you may rejoice at the fact the old version was changed; if you hated it, maybe some info about the alternate cuts and endings will persuade you to check extra bits when they are (presumably) released on DVD/Blu-ray.

Either way, this is some interesting info about a much-debated film, so let’s get into it.

[FINAL WARNING, HEAVY, HEAVY, SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!]

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HOW WAS THE FILM RECUT?

According to Horror Squad, the earlier cut of Paranormal Activity had a much slower setup and less chemistry between leads Micah and Katie. Added to the theatrical version were more scenes of “play” between the couple (like Micah bringing the camera into the bedroom for a little romp in the sheets), as well as some daylight “haunting scenes” (Katie’s keys being thrown on the floor and the couple’s hanging photograph being smashed in), which were added to crank up the demon’s fright factor. When [ONE LAST SPOILER ALERT!!!] Katie starts to really slip into the darkside near the end, the filmmakers added some digital tweaking to her voice to make it sound more possessed.

paranormal activity katie and micah Paranormal Activity: Alternate Endings & Recut Scenes

Wanna watch 70 hrs of these two?

Horror Squad also reports that Peli and Co. originally shot about 70 hrs of “home footage” and even went back later to re-shoot some scenes. The running guestimate is that some of the “coupling scenes” were drawn from that original footage, while the daylight “scare scenes” were later re-shot and then added to the film. The sequencing of the demon attacks was also rearranged into escalating scale (instead of a random assortment of sheet pulls, drags and door slams). Finally, that heavy bass reverberation during the haunting scenes was added to the track as a signal to viewers that the demon was present.

VERDICT: There are a LOT of you out there (haters AND lovers) who held the criticism that Paranormal Activity started out too slowly. So if earlier versions of the film had an even slower buildup, and the only new bits added were scenes to make the lead characters more relatable, as well as some additional fright bits, I’d say the version we got in theaters was something of an improvement, wouldn’t you?

Continue reading about Paranormal Activity‘s alternate endings…

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TAGS: Paranormal Activity

134 Comments

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  1. I loved the ending to this film! I’m glad they stayed with this one. GREAt pay-off. The other two ideas were too cliche and wouldnt have been good at all.

  2. just finished watching this one and it had my heart pumping whenever they would go to the night shoots. i seem to remember seeing the boyfriend get thrown against the wall in one of the trailers and i was waiting for it in the movie but it never came. I’m definitely going to buy this DVD and have viewing party’s at my house. This movie is among my top ten of 2009 including District 9 and Star Trek. It just goes to show you with movies like District 9, Paranormal Activity, and the french movie REC that you dont need to spend millions to make a great movie.

    Best scene: the girlfriend is dragged out of bed and across the hall screaming.

  3. ok so i posted the comment above before reading the second page. I must have seen the orignal ending because well its what you wrote. She gets out of bed, stands there for acouple hours again and then goes downstairs. She screams, it wakes the boyfriend up and he goes running downstairs. He screams at her and a minute later she comes back into the room with a knife and blood on her shirt. She sits down on the floor with her back against the bed and rocks back and forth. the camera speeds up and she sits there all night then into the next day then to night and around 9 her friend comes into the house downstairs. walks around and must see the boyfriends dead body. she screams and runs out the house. then the cops come in the house and find the body downstairs. the light across the hall goes on and off again and the cops come up the stairs. when then cops see the girl she gets up walks towards them(theres two) and says the boyfriends name while holding the knife. shes gets as far as the doorway left side, steps out and gets shot twice. there pictures come on screen and you hear the cops say oh the cameras running something like dont touch it let blah blah blah handle it.

    now im going to have to find/watch the theatre ending.

  4. Denis, you’re not alone. I thought it built tension marvelously.

    Kevin S, you DO need to see the theatrical ending.

    I have to say I loved it – much more than the alternate endings written of here. I like the clarity of the theatrical ending leaving no doubt about what was going on. On the other hand, what was the demon’s original motivation when Katie was young? This ending and what the demon achieves was most certainly irrelevant when Katie was a young girl.

  5. I keep hearing everyone complain about the slow beginning. Am I the only person in the world that actually thought it was done very well?

  6. This movie scared me so bad that I couldn’t sleep that night. Every noise made me jump. It was well done IMHO I loved that it took place in their home (more specifically their bedroom) simply because, it’s supposed to be your “safe place” and once that was taken away I (the audience) and the characters in the movie felt vulnerable. I didn’t think the beginning was slow, I liked that I got to know them to a point where I was like “gah you guys make me puke” LOL I liked it cuz it delivered the scares for me at least (and the lady sitting behind me in the theater who was sobbing hysterically). So overall good movie + great audience = 2 thumbs up from me.

  7. The movie was great, not the scariest of all time like it’s being hyped to be, but who says a film has to live up to the hype to be good? I do, however, have a DVD Screener of the film as it was originally presented at festivals with the original ending downloaded. I plan to watch it to decide which I like better, but I’m worried one key factor will make me automatically like the festival version better: I will be at home, the film will be personal, it will be dark, and no stupid teens will be talking and laughing at inappropriate parts. Personally I think this film doesn’t play very well in theaters because patrons are too rude to let you get caught up in it, but maybe that’s just me.

  8. Kevin S– just an FYI, REC was Spanish…

  9. @ Jess:
    thanks alot, i hopeing no one would notice that little mistake lol

    anyway i found/watched the theatrical ending and i like the girlfriend at large angle but i prefer the alternate ending. it just makes the whole found footage thing work for me but… the theatrical ending does add to the demon aspect.

    now ive got to see the suicide ending but like i said before im going to buy the DVD and i have to assume itll be in there.

    and finally
    @ Matt:
    i find that audiences are only good for comedies,like a laugh track. for movies like this one it helps to be alone or with some friends. i planed on watching the whole movie with my girlfriend but she got scared and wanted the lights on so i decided to watch couples retreat with her instead and save PA for myself.

  10. I just finished watching the movie and I loved the build up of the entity, the tension of the couple, and the final ending. The only thing that I would of changed would be when Kate sniffs the body, looks at the camera and lurches at it. Have her sniff the body and look at the camera. The camera goes white and then a minute later hear a demonic yell. Roll credits.

  11. @Casey

    Nice, I like it! :-)

    Vic

  12. I think this was the best horror film of all time who cares if the begining was slow I think this film scared me just got home from watching it and let just say this scared me to death would say more but dont want to spoil it for others who havent seen it yet. Love the ending is all I got to say thanks Oren Peli low budget or not scared me for any haters of this film you only hate what you cant explain.

  13. That movie scared the heck out of me. I dont think ill be able to sleep for a couple of days without thinking about my blanket blowing up or someone standing there just watching me. I knew i shouldn’t have watched it. I think im going to church this Sunday. lol.

  14. really, really good movie!

  15. I saw this alternate cut and it wasn’t too bad…it really dragged on the first hour or so though…

  16. Frankly, its no Blair Witch Project. But you gotta love the effort.

  17. Hi,

    Just watched this cut with the “Myers” ending. Personally, I found the whole movie to be one big drag.

    I felt nothing for the characters.. no empathy or sympathy whatsoever. Cheap, jump tactics – silence before a big noise, all the cliches – nothing new. Course you feel nervous.. staring at a quiet scene knowing SOMETHING is going to happen causes you to feel nervous , but scared? No.

    Very disappointed after being really hyped up by the trailer (nothing new there).

    On a positive note, full marks for the scene where she was dragged out of bed, that was well shot! Shame about the laughable Ouija board scene…

  18. I saw the theatrical “money shot” version. Movie was well paced evenly build up the tension. We had a good audience which helped not ruining the tension.

    This movie was better than Drag Me/You to Hell, whatever it was called.

  19. I think Drag Me to Hell was meant to be more funny than scary.

    Vic

  20. For me Paranormal Activity was not scary, but it was creepy. For the budget, I thought the movie was good. I got chills several times. I also got a little nauseaus with the camera motion, and hope that will be better on the small screen when I get the DVD. A lot of people in the theater where I went didn’t like it, and they may not have really thought about the budget. If you expect million-dollar Hollywood effects, you will be disappointed. But if you’re a fan of “Ghost Hunters” on Sci-Fi, sit back and enjoy.

  21. I’ve seen this movie twice, thought it was fantastic! However I was upset by a change that they made. The first time I saw the movie it ends with Micah thrown into the camera. Katie is standing in the doorway then she goes down on all fours and “walks” very in-naturally on all fours over to Micah’s corpse, sniffs him then lunges to the camera. The second time I saw the movie was one week later and was the weekend the film was released nationally. In this version Micah gets thrown. Katie is standing in the doorway but then slowly walks (on just her legs) over to Micah’s corpse. Then sniffs him and the smile/camera lunge. I was very sorry to see that they removed the “demon walk” on all fours as it greatly added to the creepiness of the scene. Inspite of this the scene still works up to the moment that Katie screams and lunges at the camera with the CGI’d face. I think it would have been better/creepier if Katie sniffs Micah, looks and smiles at the camera, and then “demon walks” out of the bedroom towards the attic. A few moments later you hear the clunk of the attic door closing. Followed by the title card saying that Katie’s wearabouts remain unknown. This would be creepy as obviously at some point the police would search the attic and yet find no trace of her. I just have two more things to add. Next time you watch the movie look carefully at the computer screen when it shows the story about Diane the woman the demon possesed before Katie. It says that when Diane became possesed she would say, “everthing will be ok now.” This is the same line that Katie says when she’s in bed and doesn’t want to go to a hotel. And finally if you want to watch the original police ending you can see it at this web address: http://www.fastpasstv.com/watch/1/3016/3 it picks up when they find the picture of young Katie and includes an extra scene with Katie calling her family about the picture.
    Steven

  22. I saw the Myers ending too–the theater one sounds better. I hope it’s out soon. In general, I liked it. Of course, seeing it before hyped up would have been better (I hadn’t heard anything about Blair Witch before seeing it and it was truly scary–I imagine the same would have been the case here). I thought the actors did great, although I did find myself a little frustrated at times with Micah’s character (not the acting). Also, I have a friend with the same name but he pronounces it like My-kah instead of Mee-kah, so that was distracting at first (but I’m sure the actor Micah knows how his own name is pronounced). For a nearly amateur film project, it was really good.

  23. UPDATE: Well it looks like Paramount got wise to the fact that the original ending was avilable for viewing and had it removed.
    Steven

  24. Already?? That was quick…

  25. ok Steven can put up a link to view it illegally but when i do it it gets edited out? Gotta stay on top of it screenrant. And saying “well the link doesnt work” isnt going to cut it. By the way its the same damn link i posted but it worked.

  26. I WAS SCARED ,BIG TIME AND YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS, IT WAS LESS IS MORE..IT LEFT YOU TO YOUR IMAGINATION AND IT ONLY BOLSTERED YOUR FEELINGS ON SOUND AND HAPPENINGS AT NIGHT AND I KID YOU NOT..YOU GO HOME…YOU GET SETTLED IN BED…TRY TO WATCH A CARTOON TO GET YOU IN A DIFFRENT MODE–ONCE YOU TRY TO GO TO SLEEP..ALL THOSE LITTLE SOUNDS,CREEKS,EVEN THE SLIGHTEST THINGS CATCH YOUR ATTENTION AND YOU START SCREAMING IN YOUR HEAD, “WHAT WAS THAT?””I NEED TO CHECK THAT OUT”..”WHOS THERE???”…….THE MOVIE DELIVERS AND LEAVES ITS MARK ON YOU ALL THE WAY HOME AND THROUGH BED TIME.

  27. I’m convinced that the people who hate this movie have no appreciation for the slow burn and escalating fear and anticipation. I thought this movie was perfectly constructed to scare the pants off of viewers. The best part is that the movie doesn’t take place in the woods, or a resort, an abandoned building, or any other place that people can avoid. Instead, it takes place in the one place we’re all supposed to be safe – our bedroom, near a darkened staircase. It’s the unknown that’s truly frightening – what could be around the corner or in the shadows. This movie is masterful story telling, and the most scary thing I’ve ever seen, after 25 years’ experience of horror movies and novels.

  28. Well to all those who said “This movie wasn’t scary”, or “the pacing was this or that”….Don’t understand that different things scare different people. There is no universal way to make a movie like this work for everyone. So while it may not have scared some, it scared the crap out of many. To me over the top effects, and “interesting” locations pull me right out of the experience (most of the time). To me this movie worked simply because it was set in way that was believable. So please try and understand that just because it didn’t scare YOU, does not mean in any way that the movie was not scary. Or simply adding the words “to me” will make you sound less like an idiot in general.

  29. Having watched what must have been the earlier version, I was so glad there was -not- a scene where their photo was knocked down. Haunted-Couple Cliche 101?

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