Today, we stand (or sit with a blanket over our head) exactly one month away from the fourth entry in what’s become a October institution, “Paranormal Activity.” As a lead-up to “Paranormal Activity 4,” we’re taking weekly looks at the series and why it has us screaming and laughing in just the right way.
This week, we revisit the standout scares that have made going to the bathroom in the middle of the night seem like an impossible journey.
Bloody Mary in “Paranormal Activity 3″
The first few trailers teased this moment for us, but when it came time to see the finished film, the version the filmmakers went with was drastically different and worked as a perfect example of why this series continues on strong. In the scene, Randy takes control of the camera when he babysits Katie and Kristi, and before you know it, the worst advised game of Bloody Mary turns the whole thing sour. The sequence generates as many laughs as screams and hits the balance that “PA” is known for.
Dragged out of Bed in “Paranormal Activity”
Looking back on the series, it’s almost comical how mundane the scares from the first film seem after an entire kitchen drops from the ceiling. The OG (original ghoul) from “PA” preferred a more subtle thud over a big flashy stunt. Toby did up the ante, however, when he pulled Katie out of bed and down the hall. The slow burn paid off, and we were left wondering how bad things would get.
Kitchen Cabinets in “Paranormal Activity 2″
You know how we just said that thing about subtle scares having great pay offs? Well, sometimes the big scares are the ones that stick in your memory, and when Toby did some redecorating in the kitchen for “Paranormal Activity 2,” it raised the bar on the complexity of a “PA” scare. Even though “PA3″ took the kitchen scare even further, we have to show the original some respect.
Footprints in “Paranormal Activity”
The closest we’ve ever come to seeing some physical form of Toby came early on in the series when Katie and Micah got the brilliant idea to sprinkle talcum powder in front of their bedroom door. When the couple woke up the next morning, they found some unfriendly footprints heading back to the closet.
Fan cam in “Paranormal Activity 3″
The best way to stave off series exhaustion is with the force of sheer creativity. That was definitely the strategy when it came to “PA3″ and the infamous fan cam. By simply resting the camcorder on an oscillating fan base, the film gained a gimmick that created an unprecedented amount of suspense for the series and gave us the sheet scare, perhaps the best one ever.
What do you think is the most frightening scene of the series? Leave your “Paranormal Activity” scares in the comments!