Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Paranormal Activity Cast Almost Looked Extremely Different

Found footage horror films have become more than prevalent in recent years. As noted by IndieWire, "The Blair Witch Project" contributed to the modern found footage phenomenon, and the more recent "Paranormal Activity" franchise took the technique to another level. The original 2007 film starred Katie Featherstone and Micah Sloat as the protagonists, who went by their real names on-screen, too. In the film, the couple soon comes to realize that there is a demon attached to Katie, and they attempt to handle the situation on their own by recording any ghostly activity on their personal cameras. 

The low-budget quality of the film is an element that the "Paranormal Activity" production company Blumhouse Productions utilizes often — according to Vox, most of the films under the Blumhouse umbrella have been made for under $5 million. Additionally, in an interview with MTV, director Oren Peli described the improvisational quality of the film. The actors did not memorize any lines and improvised most of their dialogue, which added to the overall natural quality of "Paranormal Activity." But there was a short period where this realistic look to the film was almost changed entirely.

Imagine Paranormal Activity without Katie or Micah

As Katie Featherston explained on the Lone Star Plate Podcast, one of the elements that made "Paranormal Activity" work was the independent nature of the film. While the later sequels would go on to have bigger budgets, the creative team on the first film was dedicated to keeping it humble. There was one note from the studio, however: They briefly considered recasting the movie with bigger, established film stars. Blum almost acquiesced, but first suggested that the studio do a test-screening to see how well the film would do.

In the podcast, Featherston recalled that test audience members started leaving the theater early while watching "Paranormal Activity" because they were so terrified. The studio realized that the movie was working as it was, and decided not to re-cast. Featherson and Sloat remained in the film and it kicked off a franchise that is still profitable today — the newest film, "Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin," was released in October. And since then, Blum has continued his work at Blumhouse Productions and has gone on to spearhead several iconic horror films.