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Paranormal Activity is getting turned into a stage play, somehow

The found footage horror franchise will lose the whole "footage" part, as the minds who adapted Life Of Pi and The Da Vinci Code bring it to the stage

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Katie Featherston, Oran Peli, Micah Sloat
Katie Featherston, Oran Peli, Micah Sloat
Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images For Paramount

Few film franchises are more wedded to their format than the Paranormal Activity movies, which, for the last decade-plus, have explored pretty much every angle (often literally) that the found footage horror idea could support. (Remember that time they put the camera on an oscillating fan? Slow panning shots have never been more spooky!) It’s an inherent part of what makes those films as distinctive as they are: People meticulously recording their own destruction at the hands of…demons? Witches? Amish people? (We’ll admit, it’s been a minute since we checked in on the franchise’s needlessly over-complicated lore.)

Now, though, it sounds like the world of theater might be hoping to divorce Paranormal Activity from its “footage” roots entirely: THR reports that Simon Friend, who recently adapted boat-and-tiger-heavy story Life Of Pi for Broadway, has picked up the rights to the PA franchise for a potential stage adaptation for London’s West End. Levi Holloway will reportedly write the script, presumably working from the original 2009 Paranormal Activity, which was “written” by series creator Oren Peli. (Verb in quotes because the first movie was mostly retroscripted, with stars Micah Sloat and Katie Featherston improvising their own dialogue from an outline given to them by Peli.)


And while we might make jokes about the difficulties of trying to replicate the films’ aesthetics for the theater—in our heads, they have to put in some sort of sign in the bottom right corner of the stage to recreate the video timestamp, right?it’s worth noting that the first Paranormal Activity is already basically a two-person play. (There’s a reason Peli was able to shoot the thing in a week, for basically no money, making it the most profitable movie of all time in the process.) The basic story of a troubled couple whose various personality conflicts and secrets open them up to a horrifying nightmare is more-or-less universal—whether it’s being taped through a grainy night-vision camera or not.