Fans of low-budget horror have been delighted for six films in the Paranormal Activity franchise. From its humble, indie beginnings with little more than prosumer cameras and intense performances, to its increasingly heightened stakes and tricks, the franchise keeps reminding us the inherently primal simplicity at the core of horror. Now, as reported by Deadline, Paramount Pictures has reported that the as-of-yet untitled Paranormal Activity 7 will be released March 19, 2021.
The sequel’s development was originally announced in June of this year, with Paramount reteaming with Jason Blum‘s prolific, acclaimed Blumhouse Productions. While we still don’t know anything about its plot, cast, or director, a defined release date gives Paranormal Activity fans something to be excited about. At the moment, it’s opening against Tomb Raider 2, United Artists’ sequel to the 2018 reboot of the popular multimedia franchise starring Alicia Vikander. For reference, Tomb Raider grossed $275 million worldwide, whereas the last Paranormal Activity entry (The Ghost Dimension) grossed only $79 million. However, it’s important to note the budgets of these franchises when speculating on how the upcoming sequels will do: Tomb Raider cost $94 million to make, whereas The Ghost Dimension only cost $10 million. With these numbers taken into consideration, it’s not hard to see why Paramount and Blumhouse want another Paranormal Activity — even at their lowest-grossing, their low budgets make them huge profit-generators. The first Paranormal Activity is still one of the most profitable films ever made!
From a story perspective, fans and critics alike have started to find diminishing returns in the Paranormal Activity franchise. Much like the other hit low-budget 2000s horror franchise Saw, mythologies and timelines have gotten bizarrely convoluted and unnecessarily heightened. I’d love to see this seventh entry be a back-to-basics soft reboot to what made the original film so scary — amateur cameras set up to capture unexplained occurrences, and bitterly realistic performances anchoring it all. But if the filmmakers decide to double down on the complexity of their mythology? Hell — that sounds pretty entertaining, too.
Barring any changes or ghostly mischief, Paramount Activity 7 will be released in theatres March 19, 2021. For more on the found footage horror phenomenon, check out our ten favorite found footage flicks, ranked.