Now that Paranormal Activity 2 has emerged as a bona fide box office smash, it’s time to consider possible outcomes for the inevitable threequel that is sure to come our way in the not-too-distant future. While confirmation has yet to surface regarding a second sequel to the most profitable film of all time, it’s a safe bet that Paramount Pictures will fast track one as soon as possible. So where does the series go from here? I’ve come up with four possible outlines for the third film and you can check them out after the jump.
PA2 picks up several months before the events in the first film. The mysterious demon, which, like a 3-year old toddler, has a tendency to bang pots and pull on mommy’s leg to garner attention, sets its sights on a small suburban family, particularly little baby Hunter.
I more or less agreed with Bill’s review of PA2 – a fun, crowd pleasing thriller that offers little in the way of substance. This is the kind of horror movie where the reaction garnered from the audience is more exciting than anything happening onscreen – a popcorn throwing thrill ride that harkens back to the days of Jason and Freddy, minus the gore. You won’t walk out any smarter than when you walked in, and the movie will likely fade rather quickly from the recesses of your mind, but I’ll recommend it if only because it provides ample entertainment on a Saturday night.
As stated above, the film follows a small suburban family: Dan, Kristi (Katie from the first film’s sister), and Dan’s step-daughter Ali. If you’re reading this you’ve most likely seen the film and have no need for further plot points. Suffice to say, Dan sets up cameras which begin documenting strange happenings throughout the house, and then everything goes to crap.
The question is: where do we go from here? At this point in the series we’ve learned that Katie and Kristi were considerably screwed up kids who enjoyed practicing witchcraft and such for fun. There is talk of an old relative who may or may not have made a pact with a demon in return for riches – at which case the evil spirit is entitled to the firstborn son in the family tree. I’m guessing all of this is fairly relevant since, by film’s end, Kristi and Dan are offed by a possessed Katie who then ultimately takes Hunter into her custody.
So now, Katie and Hunter are on the run (?).
After the film, I went home and scribbled down some possible plot points for the third installment in the Paranormal Activity franchise:
Paranormal Activity 3: Ghost Hunters
Someone has obviously found this footage and is making good use of it through Paramount Pictures. I’m curious as to who, or what, is documenting all of this information. A possible plot could reveal the mysterious presence linked to the films themselves – is it Oren Peli? Or a group of ghost hunters who are steadily tracking the demon? The next film could be set up like a documentary a la The Blair Witch Project as we follow the hunters through various homes that have been infected by the demon. Perhaps they come across Katie’s body, no longer possessed, abandoned in another home, at which point the team sets up camp in an attempt to contact the evil entity – and, perhaps, even save Hunter. Scares ensue. The set-up might entail a reality TV series, or something along those lines. Perhaps the twist might be the whole trilogy is actually a reality TV show, one that has generated a lot of revenue and buzz … and we’re the audience!
Paranormal Activity 3: The Demonator
Another outcome would revolve around Katie and Hunter being tracked by the police. PA2 added five (or six) new camera set-ups for its plot, there’s no reason to suspect PA3 wouldn’t want to continue building off of that. Cameras littered around the city could record strange occurrences – even a squad car’s camera might prove useful in this situation – at whichever location Katie is present. Again, Katie could suddenly return to a normal state, at which point she attempts to get help (she would presumably still have Hunter in her possession), and the demon – more powerful than ever – would pursue in an attempt to recollect its prize. Think police station shoot-outs ala The Terminator in which all of the cops are killed off, leaving Katie alone and helpless. Various setups might be employed – police stations, car garages, buildings, etc. This would require a bigger budget, but at the moment Oren Peli could buy up Paramount, take all of their lots, and turn them into his ping pong room. Okay, I’m done.
Paranormal Activity 3: The Second Prequel
In staying with the narrative flow of the first two films, perhaps the storyline would venture even farther back in time to explore Katie and Kristi as kids. Home video footage could document the strange occurrences that Katie alludes to in PA2 regarding her sister. The relative who made a pact could play a role – or maybe even an exorcist is brought in to help Kristi, who would therefore had to have been possessed as a child. The priest would then secretly document his footage. Such a story would work because neither Kristi nor Katie would know about the incident, or the tapes. The demon’s back story could be further fleshed out, so that by film’s end you could literally watch all three films back-to-back-to-back starting either from the first film, or the last. That being said, I would most likely stop the series at three, lest it dissolve into an incoherent mess.
Paranormal Activity 3: Apocalypse
The final option is a stretch, but with the right budget it could work. Utilizing all of their funds from the first two films, Paramount could acquire Matt Damon, who would play his Hereafter character to greater effect, Bruce Willis, reprising his role from The Sixth Sense, and Bill Murray as Peter Venkman – with the likes of Max von Sydow, Patrick Fabian, Tom Wilkinson, Gregory Peck, and Anthony Hopkins filling in as supporting players. The main trio would search for and destroy every last freaking demon on the face of the earth, be it one of those evil catholic spirits, or the Stay Puft marshmallow man. Damon could use his senses to track the spirits, Willis could spot them, and then Venkman would lock them in with his proton pack, after which both Damon and Willis would open up a can of whoop-ass, reprising their Jason Bourne and John McClane characters in high style. This film would essentially nix any reasons for a Bourne 4, Die Hard 5, Ghostbusters 3, or any other unnecessary sequel/prequel or franchise extension of any kind all in one tremendous blow. You could even bring in Will Smith and his computerized horde of I Am Legend zombies; and even Samuel L. Jackson … because what would a film be without Samuel L. Jackson? Everybody wins!
What do you think the plot for Paranormal Activity 3 should be? Should there even be one? Should Paramount stop while it’s ahead? Chime in below.