Is the Paranormal Activity Original Ending Scarier Than the Theatrical Ending?

Thursday, October 13 by Lara Stewart

The “Paranormal Activity” original ending is markedly different from the ending in the eventual theatrical release. While many people feel the theatrical ending was scarier, the original ending was sadder and raises questions about what was really going on. If you haven’t seen “Paranormal Activity,” and don’t want to spoil your viewing experience, you should probably stop reading now, but you knew that, right?

In the ending of the theatrical version of “Paranormal Activity,” you see the film’s only traditional horror movie jump scare. Katie gets up and stands motionless over sleeping Mica for two hours before walking out of the bedroom and down the stairs. She begins screaming and Mica runs down the stairs, screaming her name. Everything suddenly goes quiet. After an extended uncomfortable silence, Mica’s limp body is suddenly hurled at the camera. Katie crawls over him like an animal, and we see her face distort, presumably showing the demon inside. Text after the screen goes dark tells viewers that Mica’s body was found by the police, but Katie’s whereabouts remai unknown.

In “Paranormal Activity’s” original ending, you do not see Mica again after he runs down the stairs to save Katie. Katie walks back upstairs covered in blood with a knife in her hand. She sits next to the bed and begins rocking back and forth. The clock in the corner of the screen shows that two days pass this way. We hear noises downstairs as people come to check on the couple. After dark on the second day, we see flashing lights which¬†appear to be cast by a police car’s flashers. There are noises downstairs, and then the police come upstairs. Katie finally stands and takes a few steps toward the police. When she fails to heed their order to drop the knife, they shoot her, and she falls down, presumably dead, at the bedroom door.

This ending of “Paranormal Activity” introduces some doubt that Katie was ever possessed at all, and perhaps was operating under some delusion the entire time. While it robs the audience of a satisfying jump-scare and the creepy idea of a demon on the loose and wreaking havoc, it also spells a sadder end for both Katie and Mica. Look for the DVD version so you can see both endings in the extras.

- Lara Stewart

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