While some horror movies come with a “based on a true story” motif, others evoke a sense of realism through their direction choices, narrations, and most of all, marketing. Even to this day, because of its unique conceptual art and phenomenal marketing, ‘The Blair Witch Project’ is considered to be one of the best found-footage films. In 2007, ‘Paranormal Activity’ found its way in the found-footage hall of fame and even became one of the highest-grossing horror movies of all time. So if you’ve watched this horror classic and you’re looking for an explanation for its simplistic yet terrifying storyline, read on.
A young couple, Katie and Micah move to a new home. Katie casually claims that something evil has been following her and her sister since they were children. Adding to this, she also reveals that the hauntings of this evil entity have been rather sporadic. Katie’s boyfriend, although quite skeptical about it at first, decides to set up a camera in their bedroom to capture whatever’s going on. When the hauntings get worse, Katie invites Dr. Fredrichs, a psychic, to their home. Fredrichs believes her and even warns her to not establish any form of contact with the entity. He even asks them to get in touch with demonologist Dr. Johann Averies, but Micah doesn’t take all this too seriously.
Micah’s video recordings reveal some minor “anomalies” in and around their room. But what starts off as minor disturbances soon manifests into something bigger. With each night, the hauntings only get worse and then comes a night when Katie even shows signs of possession. She wakes up in the middle of the night, just stands and stares at Micha for hours, and then walks down to the living room. When Micah asks her to come back to the room with him, she refuses and the next day she recalls none of this.
Even after being warned by the psychic, Micha brings home an Ouija Board. Instead of contacting the demonologist, Micah tries to take it upon himself to free them from the evil entity. But as expected, this really pisses off Katie and she storms out of the house. While Micha rushes behind her, the camera in the house shows the board’s pointer moving back and forth. The board catches fire, and when Katie and Micah later see this on tape, this really concerns them. But even after realizing how powerful the evil being actually is, Micah refuses to give up on his ego and put baby powder at their room’s entrance.
As a result, when the evil entity enters their room at night, they find its inhuman footsteps on the floor. When they track these footsteps, it leads them to the cellar where Micah finds a very old, burnt picture of Katie. Things get even worse when Katie finally decides to defy Micah and call the demonologist. But to her dismay, she is told that he is out of town. In a desperate attempt to get rid of the evil being, they call Dr. Fredrichs again. But the negative energy surrounding the house overwhelms him and he asks them to wait for Dr. Johann Averies to return.
Micah finally gets a wake-up call when Katies literally gets dragged out of bed on their twentieth night in the home. The next morning, he even reveals that Katie was bitten by something the previous night. From the trauma, Katie loses all hope and gets lost in a state of trance. Meanwhile, Micah desperately packs their bags to leave and stay at a motel. When he’s finally ready to leave, Katie suddenly becomes all normal again and claims that they should stay. She insists that they will be fine and Micah believes her.
Dusk falls and their 21st night in the home begins. In the middle of the night, Katie walks out of her bed and just stares at Micah for hours straight. She then heads down to the living room and disappears from the recording range of the camera. Soon after this, she lets out a piercing scream, and Micah charges down to check on her. Her scream is followed by Micah’s and then there’s dead silence. The film ends with Micah getting murdered by Katie, who now seems to be possessed by the devil. Before the credits start rolling a text says “Micah’s body was discovered by the police on October 11, 2006, and Katie has vanished.” Many viewers must be wondering what happened to Katie? Well, although the movie reveals nothing about Katie’s whereabouts after the final night, Katie is actually a major connective thread between all the sequels that followed the first film. So to know more about what happens to Katie next, you can check out the other sequels in the franchise.
How Did Micah Die?
Since the closing scenes don’t clearly reveal how Micah was killed, many viewers might also wonder how he died and how did the hauntings get so bad. It all started off with flickering lights, strange noises, and moving doors. But the hauntings only got worse when Micah tried to provoke the entity. In the initial moments of the movie itself, Dr. Fredrichs had warned them to avoid making any contact with the entity. But Micah, being the egoist that he is, keeps confronting the evil presence and even avoids calling the demonologist.
Things got so bad towards the ending of the film because Micah kept gaslighting Katie into believing that he is the man of the house and nothing can get past him. There are moments in the film where it almost looks like he’s willing to get into a fistfight with the evil spirit, which obviously is not even possible. Moreover, by using the Ouija Board, he gives the entity a doorway to enter their world. As mentioned by Dr. Fredrichs in the beginning, evil beings feed on one’s sorrow and negative energies. As a result of Micah’s negligence towards the seriousness of the situation, Katie started manifesting negative feelings and thoughts. And thus, she eventually became the victim of the possession. As for Micah’s death in the ending scene, Katie killed him and he was clearly asking for it all along.
The ending of the movie is previously foreshadowed in a couple of scenes. There’s a scene where the demonic entity smashes only Micah’s half of the couple’s framed picture. This suggests that the demon was plotting to kill Micah from the very beginning. Moreover, the fact that Katie was always a victim of its hauntings and even her burnt picture was found in the cellar suggests that the demon was only looking for the right opportunity to find her in her most vulnerable state and then possess her.
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