Do we really need a reboot of the ‘Paranormal Activity’ movies already?
We currently live in the age of reboots, remakes, and revivals for both movies & television. Sometimes, it’s good. Other times, it’s okay. Most times, we curl up in the corner, screaming “why won’t it stop” over & over again like we’re stuck in an episode of The Twilight Zone or something. Yes, some reboots happen way too quickly, like Spider-Man.
But Paranormal Activity? Really? The first of the movies is barely 15 years old! Why does this need to be remade? Who thought this was a good idea? Is it even a good idea?! Here’s everything we know about the incoming Paranormal Activity remake along with some thoughts about why it’s a horrible idea (and maybe why it’s a solid one).
What we know
The Paranormal Activity reboot will see writer for previous Paranormal Activity movies Christopher Landon (Happy Death Day) team with director Will Eubank for what The Hollywood Reporter described as an “unexpected retooling” of the franchise from Paramount Players. Franchise creator Oren Peli will produce with Blumhouse’s Jason Blum while Steven Schneider & Landon will serve as executive producers.
Outside of the writer & director, we only know that the reboot of the Paranormal Activity movies will continue the tradition of being a found footage film. It also has a release date of March 4, 2022. So we can expect to hear casting news within the next couple of months for the upcoming reboot.
Why this is a terrible idea
The original 2007 Paranormal Activity is considered one of the best found footage horror films out there. It’s usually compared with the other crown jewel of this horror subgenre, The Blair Witch Project. Shot on a micro-budget in Peli’s own home, there’s something genuinely unsettling & creepy about that first film. Subsequent films, however, were . . . less good.
It’s clear that they wanted to make this big epic horror story about cults & demons, but it just never came together the way they wanted. Paranormal Activity just kind of fell down the rabbit hole of many horror franchises becoming less than great as the series moves on. Even so, the last Paranormal Activity film The Ghost Dimension was released in . . . 2015. So not even six years ago.
That’s the thing. Enough time hasn’t passed yet for the franchise to be rebooted. When we talk about a reboot or a retool of a property, theoretically, it should happen a decade or two down the line. It’s just too soon to do a reboot for the franchise. By 2015, Paranormal Activity felt pretty tapped out creatively, and it lost the plot of whatever the franchise was supposed to have to start with.
How the Paranormal Activity movies reboot could be good
Here’s the thing, the 2007 original Paranormal Activity movie felt like its own contained story. It’s still a horror movie that’s guaranteed to make you jump during the spookier times of the year. That being said, the piecemeal story from the subsequent Paranormal Activity films is actually more silly than outright scary. Demon cults? Really, Paranormal Activity 3?
The Paranormal Activity movies rebooting could be good in terms of developing stories for future installments. Go in with a plan versus trying to make things up on the fly between each installment. Have something to move forward set in motion. Done well what could be a sequel hook, could also serve as a terrifying & unsettling ending for horror fans.
Outside of that, if Paranormal Activity avoids the pitfall of the reboot for something like The Blair Witch Project (looking at you, 2016’s Blair Witch), then it could be a movie worth seeing. Look at what made the first movie so great, discard the subsequent films, and just go for it for the Paranormal Activity reboot. It could be something genuinely creepy & terrifying in the best way.