Films

15 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Paranormal Activity

Find a sofa and cower behind it urgently. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is coming to a living room near you.

And while you experience the latest chapter of that utterly terrifying film saga in your very own home, The Marked Ones, unlike its previous brethren, takes place away in an entirely new and expansive setting.

It might just be the best yet. But ask yourself, how much do you really know about the original 2009 classic? We assume not enough to prevent a raised eyebrow at some of these beguiling facts...

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is out Blu-ray and DVD on 12 May

  • 15 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Paranormal Activity

    1

    The production only took ten days to shoot and was filmed entirely in director Oren Peli’s San Diego home using his own camera. It marked his directorial debut.

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    2.

    A software programmer by trade, Peli hadn’t much experience with cameras and edited the footage on a basic version of Sony Vegas he’d taught himself to use.

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    3.

    Along with being spooked himself (one night a detergent mysteriously fell off his shelf while he was sleeping), another inspiration for the film came from Peli’s fascination with reality TV.

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    4.

    Speaking of which, former Survivor runner-up Katie Gallagher almost got a lead role but Peli deemed her slightly too well-known. Instead, he opted for Katie Featherston, who, like on-screen partner Micah Slot, kept her Christian name for the role.

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    5.

    The two lead actors deliberately missed the film’s premiere screening and avoided cinemas upon initial release so they could pretend they were dead as in fitting with the film. A small sacrifice to pay for clever marketing.

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    6.

    Because the crew was so small and filming location so narrow, many sound effects were added later in post-production, forcing to react to imaginary bumps and bangs in the night.

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    7.

    Between the film's 2006 shoot and 2009 release, Peli turned down several straight-to-DVD offers before Paramount/DreamWorks eventually snapped up the rights.

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    8.

    A rough cut was seen by DreamWorks founder Steven Spielberg, who, according to Peli, got so spooked watching it in his house at night that he stopped it halfway through and had to resume his viewing the following day.

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    9.

    It was Spielberg’s idea to replace Peli’s original ending (which sees cops come into the house and shoot the knife-wielding Katie dead) with the ending we see in the theatrical release.

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    10.

    There were other smaller changes made, mostly cuts. The scene in which Micah and Katie search for the story of Diane (Ashley Palmer) on the internet was originally lengthier, showing more of the video of the exorcism, was trimmed down severely.

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    11.

    Ashley Palmer initially auditioned for the role of Katie.

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    12.

    Peli spent upwards of a year researching paranormal activity including, as he puts it, “hauntings, demons, demonology, ghosts and possession.”

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    13.

    Paramount/DreamWorks bought the rights for $350,000 - a snip given that the film went on to make $193 million worldwide.

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    14.

    When we first see Micah playing around with the camera in the opening shot of the film, the metal band rocking away on the TV are called Disgorge, playing their track Consume The Forsaken.

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    15.

    The knife Micah wields when chatting to Katie during the dinner scene is the same knife he is killed with in the alternate ending available as a bonus on the DVD.

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