The Paranormal Activity movies are kind of like cat videos on Youtube: they're cheap to produce and a lot of people watch them. The franchise has so much potential for profit, in fact, that Blumhouse Productions has this year made the move from annual releases to bi-annual releases, with spin-off Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones released earlier this month and Paranormal Activity 5 arriving in the fall.
From its simple beginnings as a movie about things going bump in the night, Paranormal Activity has built up a mythos that connects all of the films, even those that at first feel unrelated. Love them or hate them, the Paranormal Activity movies have an effective working formula that keeps audiences coming back for more. Perhaps it's no wonder that Platinum Dunes is considering making the next Friday the 13th movie found footage as well.
Screen Rant's review of Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones found it to be a little underwhelming, but for those who follow the main series of films it may well be necessary viewing. In an interview with ComingSoon, writer and director Christopher Landon said that the plot of Paranormal Activity 5 will be connected to the ending of The Marked Ones.
"Gregory Plotkin, who is directing [Paranormal Activity 5], he's been the editor on all of these and if there's anyone who knows these movies, it's him because he has to sit with all of the footage all day long. I think he's going to take it in a cool direction. We obviously have discussions about it because we want the movies to be connected. So, we were talking at the end of [The Marked Ones] because it's going to be tied to what they're doing in the fifth film."
The characters of the Paranormal Activity movies don't tend to have a very high survival rate, which means that Paranormal Activity 5 will follow a brand new family, who will presumably also find an excuse to kit their house out with cameras. Moviehole has managed to track down the casting information for the new characters, and also notes that Katie (Katie Featherstone) will likely make another appearance.
The newbies are Ryan and Emily, a young couple with a 6 year-old daughter called Leila. There's also Mike, Ryan's "less fitter, less funkier" younger brother, and Emily is said to have had a sister who died a year previously. In true horror movie fashion, the family has just moved into a brand new house in Pala Alto, where Ryan has a new job working for Rockstar Games. Ryan is described as a "big kid" (with an awesome job), while Emily is a bit of a hippie who is very into yoga, the arts and gluten-free food.
Paranormal Activity 5 is expected to begin shooting next month, meaning a pretty fast turnaround before its late October release. It was scripted by Andrew Stark and Jason Pagan, who also wrote Platinum Dunes' upcoming found footage sci-fi movie Welcome to Yesterday, out next month. It looks like 2014 will be the year of shaky camcorder footage.
Paranormal Activity 5 will be out in theaters on October 24, 2014.