On Monday, just hours after “Paranormal Activity 2” finished up its $40.7 million opening weekend , MTV News stepped in to answer some burning questions about the horror film with the help of director Tod Williams.
But you know what? We had even more questions we wanted answered, so we brought in “PA” creator Oren Peli — who stepped into a producer role for the sequel — to respond to some other lingering queries we had about the film (major spoilers below).
What Happened to the Dog?
As the demon presence ramps up its activity in Kristi and Dan’s home, their dog essentially freaks the hell out and has to be rushed to the vet. Perhaps he had a seizure, one of them speculates. But the dog is never seen again. So is the German Shepherd OK?
“Many are concerned,” Peli laughed. “As far as I know, the dog is OK. There’s a line in there that they’re going to pick her up from the vet. So I think she’s OK.”
What Did the Scratches on the Door Say?
The demon seems to have taken up residence in their basement, and after Kristi is dragged kicking and screaming down there, the camera focuses in on the door. It appears as though a word is scratched into the wood. Does it actually say anything?
“I will say that it does say something, but I’m not sure when is the right time to reveal that,” Peli confirmed. “We might want to save that for later. I’m going to keep quiet on that.”
Aren’t They Glad They Didn’t Kill Off Katie in the First Movie?
As fans of the first movie know, Peli filmed a few different endings. In the ending that made it into the theatrical release, Katie survives. But in an alternate ending, she’s shot by police. But “PA 2” begins its story prior to the events of the original and ends after those original events take place, with Katie showing up at Kristi’s house to commit a few murders. Given that storytelling technique, how happy is Peli that he didn’t kill off Katie in the first movie?
Turns out, Peli is confident that even if the alternate “PA” ending stuck, Katie could still have showed up to wreak bloody havoc at the end of “PA 2.” “When I did the first one, I wasn’t thinking about a sequel or anything like that,” he explained. “But there are a lot of smart writers out there. There’s probably ways to get around anything.”
How Did They Avoid the ’Blair Witch 2’ Curse?
“PA” is often compared to “The Blair Witch Project,” insofar as they are both breakout horror hits that utilize the found-footage narrative technique. While “Blair Witch” grossed almost $250 million worldwide, the sequel abandoned its found-footage roots and ultimately made just 19 percent as much as the original.
For “PA 2,” Peli and his fellow filmmakers learned the lessons of “Blair Witch 2” well and were sure to preserve the elements of “PA” that made it so popular. ” ’Blair Witch’ was an example of a movie that really worked and they really changed the format. The audience that loved the first one came to see the second one, and they got something very different,” he said. “We wanted to make sure that the fans that had been waiting will not be disappointed. The things that they liked about the first one, we tried to stay true to that but also give them a different story and a grander scope of things, so it’ll be both new and consistent with what worked the first time.”
What Did Peli Actually Do on ’PA 2’?
While Peli wrote and directed “PA,” he stepped into the role of producer for “PA 2.” So, um, what the heck did Peli actually do for the sequel?
“I was there during the entire shoot,” he said. “It was much more of a collaborative effort. [Tod] was the main guy running the show, but he was very collaborative. Everyone got to chip in their ideas, and I had a lot of ideas. There was a lot of teamwork involved, but it was so tricky to pull off the right tone. Everyone checked their egos.
“We all really love Tod. He got what made the first one work,” Peli added. “Tod is also a writer, so he brought a lot of good ideas in. Also, I’ve already lived with ’Paranormal Activity’ for four years, so I was ready to move and transition and let someone else take over.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “Paranormal Activity 2.”
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