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!




[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.




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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  1. I think it was one of the freakiest films I’ve seen in a while.. I would really get spooked when the bedtime came around.. The ending, not so good. It shouldve ended something like katies friend coming over only to find michas body (with katie nowhere to be found) then the cops show up then turn off the camera or somethin.. I don’t know but overall it was great!

  2. I really did not like this movie. It was not scary enough for me, which is pretty sad, considering it’s “one of the scariest movies ever”. It did make me jump, but it was defiantly not pee your pants worthy.

  3. This is The Best Horror Movie Of All Time No Doubt!:D

  4. I only saw the original ending and it was amazing and maintained the same level of suspense that the rest of the film has. Katie gets out of bed, stands there for quite sometime, goes downstairs and screams. You see Micah run down to her, hear screaming, and then only Katie returns, drenched in blood, with a knife. She rocks back and forth for days. A light in a room on the 2nd floor goes on, making the viewer aware that the door is open. A friend leaves messages and eventually finds Micah. The police arrive and come upstairs to find Katie. When they shine their flashlight on her, she snaps out of her trance, asking where Micah is and crawling towards the police (still with the knife). The demand she drops the knife, which she does not. The door in the background slams shut, which startles the police and they shoot her. The police then search the room and find nothing. The movie ends with a dedication to Micah and Katie, showing pictures of the two during happier times. It leaves you with a sense of dread that does not go away for a while. Perfect ending for a movie like this. I’m glad I didn’t see the theater ending, because I think it would have been too “hollywood”.

  5. I have found that in most situations where someone wasn’t scared by this that they were either watching a screener of it, laughed everything off or talked all the way through it. We had a lot of talkers around us in the theater who clearly didn’t WANT to get into it. If you weren’t scared and were watching it properly, that’s a bit creepy lol. To all those who watched it on a small screen as a bad copy, that’s like someone asking you to try some food, you covering it in condiments and then saying you didn’t like it. Great movie. It scared the crap out of me later that night.

  6. I just saw this tonight (appropriate for Halloween) and really had not heard much about it prior to heading to the theater. It was great. The audience was “in” to the movie and it was truly a great film. The timing was good…the use of sound…the fast forward of time on the video only to fill us with dread when it went to real time…and I am VERY glad that they didn’t go to a cheap slasher ending with the knife. I knew when I saw it flashed around early on that it would come back in to play, and I am glad we didn’t have to SEE it happen. That would’ve cheapened what I felt was a good “in your head” movie.

    This was honestly one of the scariest movies I have seen in a long time!

  7. I watched the original eding first and I thought the movie was great. Didn’t seem too slow, definately did a good job of freaking me out. I left thinking that was a great horror movie. Then the next day I went to see it in theaters with a friend of mine, I was pretty excited knowing there was a differnt ending. But it was a complete let down. The hollywook changes to that movie made it just like all the other crappy horor movies out there. The ending and the day haunting scenes took the realness the movie had and that was what made it good.

  8. I was really looking forward to this movie because I like scary movies but I haven’t found one that’s really scared me. Sure, a sudden loud noise or whatever startles me and makes me jump, but I wasn’t scared by this movie and I went right home and went to sleep without a problem. It was a good movie, it achieved what it set out to achieve – the whole “this could be real” feel to it. Some of it was a bit cliche and expected, but I liked that it built suspense until the end, although I’m not sure which ending I would have liked better. The “original”, i.e. police ending, which I watched, was IMHO lame … I liked the theatrical one, but perhaps the murder/suicide version would have been best. I haven’t seen it and don’t know where I could, but it would have satisfied the need for a violent conclusion that viewers wanted by the time they had sat through 2 hours of “home footage” with nothing very scary.

  9. Worst movie I’ve ever seen. Even worse than Blair Witch. We saw the updated ending where she throws him at the camera. I was giggling through the entire movie waiting to be scared and it never came. It was so anti-climatic because of the strong start and weak finish. It really could have been something which is what most disappoints me. Don’t waste your money on this film. Go rent The Audition (Japanese flik) if you want a good scare.

  10. @Bad Movie

    95% of Audition was boring as hell – it was the last 5 or 10 minutes that make that movie horrifying. Then again maybe the point of it was to lull the audience into a sense of boredom so that the ending comes across as that much more shocking.


  11. Here is a link to the original ending:

  12. I personally felt it was overated in the spook department, but it was well put together.. I thought Blair Witch was far more scary, then again i was several years younger.. It was “alright”.

  13. This movie created such a sense of dread; it gives you JUST enough information to suspect how it’s going to end, and then to dread what you can see coming. That’s what scared me. I think the theatrical ending was best, having seen that and the “original ending” with the cops. But, I’ve heard of an ending where she slits her throat, and I bet that would’ve been good.
    What I think would’ve completely terrified me would’ve been if, after hovering over him for several hours, she goes downstairs, but then returns to the bedroom with the knife, while he’s sleeping. A few seconds of her hovering over him w/a knife, while he sleeps, would’ve been more terrifying. I don’t know why an ending like that doesn’t exist.
    -B/C what scared me most was the building sense of dread, and having to watch her do what you hope to God she doesn’t would’ve really freaked me out. And they could’ve kept the feel of the movie and done it without a lot of gore. IMHO.

  14. The release of the DVD will include the original as well as the theatrical version. I completely relate to what you are saying about how you wish they would of pasted the two endings together. I found it so creepy in the theaters ending when Katie is standing over micah before going downstairs, while suddenly the blanket is pulled off of him. It was so frightening to me because it was basically showing that the demon was in the room with her. I also liked the second ending because she just stays there in a trance for so many days. However I did not like the way that the police shoot her. Realistically it just seemed stupid and immoral because she was really only freaking out. I probably would of been more satisfied if she would of suddenly woken from her trance and realizing that he is not in sight gone downstairs to find his dead body and realizing what she had done. THEN she could of killed herself or that could of possibly left room for a sequel. I think what is truly disappointing about this film is that there were so many possible options for improving the film. I walked away from it feeling that the idea of it was suprisingly really awsome, but felt that some parts just destroyed my enjoyment towards it. Upon recently seeing the film, researching its regarding information, and really thinking about it. I feel that there were so many options that a major motion picture simply ignored. One scene that leaves me extremely confused is the one with Micah studying the scratched (or whatever) ouja board, saying that it contained “a message” that he couldnt figure out… AND HE NEVER DID. It seemed so pointless to even keep the scene in the movie but Im not sure if I missed its meaning toward the movie. But for those who have not seen it, I definitely think its worth checking out. It seems like it would be scarier at home but the experience is better in front of a large screen. So conclusively, if you have a large television in your home, you are in luck for an improved experience.

  15. I loved the original ending. I saw the original version of the movie and thought it was excellent.

  16. Something I noticed…a kind of neat effect.

    I dont know how often this was done, but I noticed it when watching the alt ending. There is a low bass frequency playing in the background. I think it plays a big part in messing with your mood. I watched it again and turned it down with the eq and felt completely different.

    It could be that this freq or the low bass hum makes your body feel uncomfortable, making the scene more nerving than it otherwise would be.

    I dig it.

  17. The movie was disappointing Why is the demon so petty? It’s like it’s screwin’ with their heads just for laughs. Just to get a kick out of it.

    It’s a never ending game of chicanery being perpetrated by Micah and the demon in trying to outdo one another. The movie had 2-3 scary parts. BUT THAT’S IT!

    No movie can claim to be “one of the scariest movies of all time” when they defy logic and insult the audience’s intelligence. All the stereotypes the average horror movie is accused of harbouring are on full display in this movie.

    Guy suddenly wanting to explore an unnatural/demonic entity against his better judgment – Check

    Exploring the interiors of the secluded portions of your own house WITH THE LIGHTS TURNED OFF – Check

    Refusal to move out despite being scared for like 20 nights in a row or something (?)- Check

    Other anomalies from the movie

    *The night Katie wakes up and walks down to the porch and sits on the swing. Micah finds her outside sitting in freezing weather with just the nightwear on. He brings her back to the room and she goes to sleep.*


    Next day when she sees the video she is only mildly concerned that she was obviously possessed for a couple of hours. (Oh no big deal I guess)She says that she didn’t remember any of it and only remembers standing at the entrance of her door with Micah going hysterical.

    The problems with this part?

    Firstly, she should have screamed the night before when she was brought back into the room. Why? Well, if you wake up in the middle of the night standing at your door entrance in a house where the presence of a demon has been successfully detected, and on top of it you have your boyfriend screaming at you… I don’t know about you, but any sane person would be freaked out.

    Another thing wrong with this part. The girl is possessed for a couple of hours during this night. For all purposes, the demon has achieved its objective (since that’s what it does in the end and the fact that the movie didn’t end right here shows that he had a dick measuring contest with Micah all along) and YET, in this scene the demon leaves her after that only to (DO NOT READ THIS – SPOILER) inhabit her again and kill Micah.

    Other retarded things with the movie:

    RIGHT after they find the demon’s footprints, they are calmly searching through the paraphernalia of random s*** in their house when they know that the DEMON is in the other room.

    They NEVER call the cops. Not even when they are assaulted. They don’t approach them with the video tape. (And for those who say that screening the video tape would have made the demon more angry, what do you think the demon’s state of mind was all this while?)

    They never call their friends to stay with them (any sane person would do that as well and invite a lot of his/her friends to stay the night over). And they don’t seem to have more than 1 friend. They also don’t seem to counsel any close friends/relatives as one would do when confronted with paranormal crap of this type. Not even till the end when they are assaulted do they bother to contact anyone else.

    Lastly, while not a criticism, one of the funny things about the movie was the demon’s giant ass feet. Was it in the WNBA or something?

    This movie only got the reception it did because people wanted to see how a movie made on a budget of 15k can gross even couple of millions and be green-lighted by a veteran like Spielberg. Apparently, he got locked in his room right after he watched this movie. Hence the release on the big screen.

    I’d say that even after all this, one should watch the movie, if only to enjoy the parodies made afterwards.

    Look. It’s not hard to scare someone. You can be a in a dark room and have someone jump you without warning. That’s scary? No. What’s the point? This movie had GENERALLY a good plot which it screwed by comitting the mistakes I have listed above. Leaving the camera in the same position and foreshadowing something bad by turning up the bass and then have random things like doors being slammed is a shock tactic. Genuinely scary?GTFOH

    Also, about the endings.

    Dreamworks changed the ending for just one thing. TO MAKE A SEQUEL!

    And in doing so, they screwed over the entire point of the movie which was that the demon wanted to destroy and annihilate Katie in an incremental process. That was the point of the psychic’s advice. THE point of going online and finding information about Dianne. So the original ending and the slasher ending actualy make sense because it shows that the demon plays her and kills her.

    But the theatre ending says makes Micah the focal point of all the happenings. And contradicts the very nature of the demon.

    I expect the sequel to be contradictory as hell as well.

  18. Some of you have said this is the best horror flick you’ve ever seen, well, when it comes to scary youve obviously never seen the original Amityville horror, the original Changeling, early 80′s screamers such as My bloody valentine, Happy Birthday To Me. heck, even Evil Dead was better. I slept thru most of this movie and couldnt stay awake for anything. Blair Witch , Quarantine and paranormal to me, were all boring. I dont like these home video kinda movies. Maybe lack of background intense music is what makes the difference here.

  19. I like the movie. it creeped me out pretty good. I highly suggest watching it by yourself really late at night with all the lights out. i think that helped a lot. I wouldnt call it a classic or anything because i dont really see myself watching it over and over but it was fun the first time through IMO

  20. Alex:
    The Ouija board said the name of the girl who after some research Micah discovered was haunted in a very similar manner to that of Katie. The he demon this other girl faced was so angered by an attempted exorcism that it completely took her over and ultimately she bleed out after chewing her own arm off despite attempts by loved ones to restrain her. i believe the part with this back story was taken out in the theatrical version so the Ouija board scene no longer seemed important. I dont like the theatrical ending its much less creative. And i think the theatrical version is much less organic and it seems more like a typical Hollywood film.


  22. This movie was boring… and slow… and not scary… /sigh

  23. This movie SUCKED. Scariest movie ever? How can that be when it was scary for all of the last 2 minutes. The rest was a big bore waiting for something to happen. Skip it and the sequel.

  24. This movie isn’t a slasher flick; I have the feeling that a lot of people who didn’t like it were expecting more of the blood and guts type of horror.

    The horror of this movie doesn’t lie in its special effects, or even in specific scenes. The horror is generated by identifying with the characters and feeling for their situation, in imagining yourself in their place.

    It really doesn’t take much, in the real world, to spook ourselves; sounds of someone in your house, things being moved with no explanation, lights or electronics being turned on or off with no apparent cause. These sorts of things happen to many people (with very non-supernatural explanations), but they initially give us a scare until we figure it out.

    To sum up: the horror lies in the conviction that there is no rational explanation for what is happening, and the ability of the viewers to identify with the characters and put themselves in their shoes.

    If the “home video” aspect of the movie, or the characters, or the lack of guts and gore are turn-offs, then the movie falls flat, and no amount of re-editing can fix that.

  25. About the original ending, at 1st i thought it was the cops that shot katie, but then they search the house and 1 of them specifically says “i dont know where that came from”.
    did the ghost pop katie??? cuz if so that really sucks lol

  26. No the ghost didn’t shoot katie, there was that door slamming or whatever that noise was and that startles the cop into shooting her.

  27. Who ever thought this movie was a waste of time and blah blah really didn’t take the time to get into it. You can’t jus sit there and wait for something to happen every 1.2 second. Open ur damn mind and allow yourself to get into the movie. I enjoyed it very much i must have jumped like 3 or 4 times. And for those of you who are wondering why would someone lunge at a camera is because at that point katie was possesed by the demon right? Ok during the movie micah was kind of urking on the demon with the whole camera and recording everything. so it would make sense why the demon inside katie would lunge at the camera in the end. In my opinion the theatrical ending was better than the original. Reason being is that it leaves you wondering is it real or not. With the whole katies whereabouts remain unknown and what not. Made me freakin look it up the next day to see if it was real! The only corny part that i would have to agree with what someone said was finding the picture in the attic. -_-

  28. This was a great movie!

  29. lol, not scary…. what they mean is they watched a copy in dayligh haha, better to watch alone in dark, then tell me it isnt scary. 10/10 great film