Paranormal Activity 7 has tapped Will Eubank to direct a reboot of the found-footage franchise. Oren Peli's original Blair Witch-inspired horror movie made waves in 2007 when it managed to terrify viewers using only home video and security camera tapes. The resulting supernatural slow-burn spawned a series of low-resolution ghostly encounters. Because of their low-budget method of filming, both the first movie and the series have been extremely profitable.
The first four films of the franchise center around one family's inability to escape a demonic presence, beginning with Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat (the actors' real names), a couple who live together. Subsequent prequels retrace the Featherston family's haunted history in different locations around the country, while the fourth movie jumps ahead to haunt Katie's cousin. A spinoff series including Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones and Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension branches out to document supernatural encounters unrelated to the Featherston haunting. In June 2019, Paramount Pictures announced its plan to produce Paranormal Activity 7 with Blumhouse Productions. The scheduled release date of March 19, 2021, was pushed back in August 2020 when production was delayed due to the pandemic.
Eubank has signed on to direct the seventh installment in the series, according to THR. The director has three sci-fi features under his belt: Love, a lost-in-space drama, The Signal, an independent thriller, and Underwater, an action-horror film starring Kristen Stewart. The latter was Eubank's first movie for a major studio, 20th Century Fox, as well as the filmmaker's first foray into the horror genre. No plot specifics have been revealed yet, but the movie is rumored to be an "unexpected retooling" of the franchise. It will likely stay true to the series' use of found footage.
Eubank will direct a script written by Christopher Landon (Happy Death Day), who is also executive producing. Landon wrote or co-wrote the screenplays for Paranormal Activity 2-4 and The Marked Ones, the last movie in which Katie Featherston appears. Oren Peli is back to executive produce along with Blumhouse's Jason Blum and Steven Schneider. Paramount has rescheduled the reboot for a March 4, 2022, release.
As home video technology has progressed over the years the series has existed, the films have reflected the evolving nature of amateur videography using webcam and cell phone footage. Peli specifically prioritized realism in the first movie, an approach that proved successful in eliciting pure fear from viewers. It will be interesting to see if Paranormal Activity 7 reflects how people are currently capturing their lives on film and communicating virtually during the pandemic. Someone experiencing a demonic haunting today would theoretically have a camera at the ready to document it, as well as a virtual audience of friends and strangers. That person might also be quarantined with a ghost. This could be shaping up to be the scariest TikTok ever made.
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