It’s hard to separate Oren Peli’s series from the hype that’s accumulated around it. Making the most consistently effective use of the “found footage” subgenre of horror invented by The Blair Witch Project, the PA movies have a deceptively simple premise, the video recording of inexplicable phenomena afflicting a family that moves into what turns out to be a house full of angry and mischievous poltergeists.
You’re supposed to be more than just scared; you’re also supposed to marvel at the low-budget ingenuity of the filmmakers at engineering shocks out of familiar household situations without fancy special effects. You’re even supposed to admire the marketing of the films, which managed to garner a huge following on Twitter, supposedly issuing grass-roots demands for bookings in various towns, before almost anyone had actually seen the movies.
One thing that is novel about the series is its reverse chronology, making the series a set of prequels instead of sequels, though with the fourth film, the chronology began to move forward again. A fifth film is in production and is due next October.
Warning: This clip may not be safe for work
Next The Ring