2013 will mark the first time in nine years that neither a new Saw installment nor a Paranormal Activity movie played in theaters, but don't think we're in the clear just yet - at least, as far as the latter horror franchise being done is concerned. As though in an effort to makeup for lost time, Paramount intends to release two new Paranormal Activity installments in 2014.
The first of these (... figuratively-speaking) spectral monsters, titled Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, takes place in a cinematic universe that is parallel to the central PA universe, but will revolve around a Latino main cast and delve into the darker side of the Catholic religion (i.e. by dealing with issues like demonic possession). The Marked Ones is being written and directed by Christopher Landon, who scripted PA 2-4 - so, best to not expect the spinoff to stray from the formula that's led this series to gross more than $700 million worldwide against a total cost of $13.015 million (over four movies).
Deadline has the exclusive that Paranormal Activity 5 - the next chapter in the series' original continuity (which opens in theaters close to Halloween 2014) - is going to be directed by Gregory Plotkin, who has edited all but the first Paranormal Activity movies (... so far). Box office returns for Paranormal Activity 4 dropped significantly when compared to those for PA 3 (the same is true for the general critical response), so it remains to be seen if Plotkin can stop that downward trend; though, at the least, he and Landon's contributions to the franchise has given their filmmaking careers a boost (so good on them).
Found-footage has, thus far, proven to have been useful territory for fostering promising creative talent, as evidenced by directors like Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) and Josh Trank (Chronicle) moving on to fry much bigger fish after their additions to the genre - in the shapes of the upcoming Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and the Fantastic Four reboot, respectively. That hasn't been so true for the movie artists who've collaborated on the Paranormal Activity franchise (they've so far gone on to... well, make more Paranormal Activity movies, by and large), but that could change for the writers on PA 5.
The fifth PA installment, as it were, is being scripted by Andrew Deutschman and Jason Pagan, whose mystery found-footage screenplays Almanac and Raindrop are both being produced by Michael Bay. As such, it seem the pair have a skill for crafting promising found-footage scripts, boding well for their work on Paranormal Activity 5. Question is, will their output be good enough so they can thereafter move onto writing films that don't need to be realized through the pseudo-realism (Gimmick? Format?).
Drop us a line and let us know if you're still onboard the Paranormal Activity train after four movies, or if you've already jumped off before this series flies off the rails completely (... assuming you don't feel that it already has).
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones opens in theaters on January 3rd, 2014.
Paranormal Activity 5 will arrive in theaters on October 24th, 2014.