In 2007, a low budget film made with a price of $15,000 USD began to make the film festival circuit to astonishingly high praise. One horror website, Dreadcentral, spoke highly of it two years prior to its 2009 general release to film audiences. The movie, Paranormal Activity, seemed to bring back the feel of the old ghost story that had been missing in genre film since the Nicole Kidman vehicle, The Others. But unlike the usual tale of the apparition, Paranormal Activity was both done as found footage and cinéma vérité with a twist. What may be haunting the residents may be more than a ghostly presence.
When the film was picked up by Paramount Pictures and Dreamworks for a price of $350,000, an original marketing campaign began which brought the film to the attention of audiences. Shortly after it went on to gross $193,000,000 USD. With such a success, in 2010 a follow up was made that was as critically praised as the original while going on to sweep Halloween box offices and possibly beginning a new horror franchise to replace the Saw series.
When, in 2011, a prequel was made which went on to become the highest grossing opening of any horror film in history, the Paranormal Activity franchise was secure. In a three year span, the trilogy made for a mere $8,000,000 USD went on to gross over $500,000,000 USD. Though a backlash by some horror fans has followed, the series has become a staple to general audiences while keeping to the roots of low budget film making. Eric and Philip discuss the franchise and how an inexpensively made film went on to become the center of one of the most popular horror franchises of all time.