Paranormal Activity is a 2007 American supernatural horror film written and directed by Oren Peli. The film centers on a young couple, Katie and Micah, who are haunted by a supernatural presence in their home. It is presented in the style of "found footage", from cameras set up by the couple in an attempt to document what is haunting them.
Originally developed as an independent feature and given film festival screenings in 2007, the film was acquired by Paramount Pictures and modified, particularly with a new ending. It was given a limited U.S. release on September 25, 2009, and then a nationwide release on October 16, 2009. The film earned nearly $108 million at the U.S. box office and a further $85 million internationally for a worldwide total of $193 million. Paramount/DreamWorks acquired the U.S. rights for $350,000. It is the most profitable film ever made, based on return on investment, although such figures are difficult to verify independently as this is likely to exclude marketing costs.
An independent film is a professional film production resulting in a feature film that is produced mostly or completely outside of the major film studio system. In addition to being produced and distributed by independent entertainment companies, independent films are also produced and/or distributed by subsidiaries of major film studios. Independent films are sometimes distinguishable by their content and style and the way in which the filmmakers' personal artistic vision is realized. Usually, but not always, independent films are made with considerably lower film budgets than major studio films. Generally, the marketing of independent films is characterized by limited release, but can also have major marketing campaigns and a wide release. Independent films are often screened at local, national, or international film festivals before distribution (theatrical and/or retail release). An independent film production can rival a mainstream film production if it has the necessary funding and distribution.
In 1908, the Motion Picture Patents Company or "Edison Trust" was formed as a trust. The Trust was a cartel that held a monopoly on film production and distribution comprising all the major film companies of the time (Edison, Biograph, Vitagraph, Essanay, Selig, Lubin, Kalem, American Star, American Pathé), the leading distributor (George Kleine) and the biggest supplier of raw film, Eastman Kodak. A number of filmmakers declined to join or were refused into the trust and came to be described as "independent".
In film theory, genre (// or //) refers to the method based on similarities in the narrative elements from which films are constructed. Most theories of film genre are borrowed from literary genre criticism. Besides the basic distinction in genre between fiction and documentary (from which hybrid forms emerged founding a new genre, docufiction), film genres can be categorized in several ways.
The setting is the milieu or environment where the story and action takes place. The theme or topic refers to the issues or concepts that the film revolves around. The mood is the emotional tone of the film. Format refers to the way the film was shot (e.g., anamorphic widescreen) or the manner of presentation (e.g.: 35 mm, 16 mm or 8 mm). An additional way of categorizing film genres is by the target audience.
Horror is a film genre seeking to elicit a negative emotional reaction from viewers by playing on the audience's primal fears. Horror films often feature scenes that startle the viewer; the macabre and the supernatural are frequent themes. Thus they may overlap with the fantasy, supernatural, and thriller genres.
Horror films often deal with the viewer's nightmares, hidden fears, revulsions and terror of the unknown. Plots within the horror genre often involve the intrusion of an evil force, event, or personage, commonly of supernatural origin, into the everyday world. Prevalent elements include ghosts, vampires, werewolves, demons, vicious animals, monsters, zombies, cannibals, and serial killers. Conversely, movies about the supernatural are not necessarily always horrific.
Found footage is a filmmaking term which describes the use of footage as a found object, appropriated for use in collage films, documentary films, mockumentary films and other works.
Historical found footage is often used in documentary films as a source of primary information, giving the viewer a more comprehensive understanding of the subject matter. Director and cinematographer Ken Burns is famous for his use inclusion of archival footage in his films. Baseball (1994), his documentary television series for PBS, incorporates historical footage accompanied by original music or actors reading relevant written documents.
Paranormal Activity 2 is a 2010 American supernatural horror film directed by Tod Williams and written by Michael R. Perry. The film is a parallel prequel to the 2007 film Paranormal Activity, beginning two months before and following up with the events depicted in the original film. It was released in theaters at midnight on October 22, 2010 in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Poland and Ireland. Paranormal Activity 2 is also the longest film in the franchise, with a run time of 101 minutes, or 1 hour and 41 minutes.