#5: Paranormal Activity:
This extremely popular film was reportedly shot for around $15,000, again proving that less is more where found footage horror is concerned. Set in a modern home that definitely does not have the look of a haunted house, Paranormal Activity gave the found footage horror genre a much-needed shot in the arm.
A young couple named Katie and Micah have moved into a new house. When they start experiencing some odd paranormal activity in the house, they set up a camera in the bedroom, because during the night is when Katie starts to act a little…let’s just say odd.
While a ouija board spontaneously combusting is unexpected, for my money the most chilling moment (other than that jump-scare ending) is a time lapse shot that shows Katie standing at Micah’s side of the bed, just staring at him for several hours. Several. Hours.
Paranormal Activity was a huge success. After it was screened at some film festivals, it was snapped up by Paramount Pictures, who invested around $200,000 into some modifications, including a different ending. In some circles, it is considered the most profitable film ever made.
It has spawned six sequels thus far, including 2021’s Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin and a documentary called Paranormal Activity: Unknown Dimension. All can currently be streamed on Paramount+.