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