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Paranormal Activity: The Ultimate Chills Collection Blu-ray Review

Paranormal Activity: The Ultimate Chills Collection Blu-ray set contains everything…so far.

Now this is how you do a box set. Not only does it have every movie released thus far, but it contains 2 new exclusive releases that have yet to be released on home video outside of this set (the latest sequel “Paranormal Activity: Next Of Kin” and the documentary film “Unknown Dimension: The Story of Paranormal Activity”). So, what is all in this set? Allow me to break it down and take you on my journey of rewatching all 7 films.

“Paranormal Activity”- As I sat in the theater, I knew I was seeing something special in the horror genre with the first “Paranormal Activity.” It was a deceptively simple found footage movie that you wish you had thought of first. It’s an intimate story that focuses on a down to earth engaged couple (Micah and Katie) in a suburban San Diego home. The couple experience strange phenomenon and Micah sets up recording equipment to try and capture things that are happening. It turns out that Katie is being haunted by a demon and let’s just say things get worse from there. What makes this such a classic horror movie is that it preys on people’s fear of the unknown and the unseen. The fear of not being able to escape what is haunting you makes it even more chilling. There’s no score to cheapen the movie as the film relies heavily on effective sound effects. It’s simply one of the best found footage movies. Note: Viewers have the option of playing the film with the alternate ending.

“Paranormal Activity 2” takes place before and after the first film and is set in Carlsbad, California. The story revolves around Katie’s sister Kristi (Katie and Micah also make appearances) and her family including a newborn baby and a badass family dog. The stakes are raised here as both a child and a dog are in danger. The film suffers from being a bit too repetitive with the nightly security cam shots, but it gives fans some answers as to what is going on and provides a follow-up to where Katie went. Note: This disc contains the theatrical and extended cuts.

“Paranormal Activity 3” is arguably the best sequel. It acts as a prequel to the first 2 and focuses on Katie and Kristi’s childhood in Santa Rosa in 1988 with their parents. It also ties in to the second one at the very beginning. The plot further delves into the mythology and introduces Kristi’s “imaginary friend” named Tobi (who is far from imaginary) and concludes with a major disturbing reveal. The video quality is too good for the 80’s and it never made sense why the camera wasn’t pointed at the door where things were clearly happening, but this sequel has some of the best chills (the fan camera and the ending) and opened up the franchise in unsettling new ways. Note: This disc contains the theatrical and extended cuts.

“Paranormal Activity 4” is a bit of a frustrating sequel. This one takes place after the events of 2 and answers the question “Where are Katie and the baby Hunter?” This time the setting is in Henderson, Nevada and focuses on the Nelson family who have new neighbors (you can probably guess who). There’s a fantastic twist, an amazing last shot, great use of the Xbox Kinect, a creepy new kid character Robbie, and great chemistry between Kathryn Newton (who became a star) and Matt Shively, but the whole film feels rushed (especially the ending). Still, there’s a lot to like about this one. Note: This disc contains the theatrical and extended cuts.

“Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” is a spin-off set in Oxnard, California in 2012. The main character in this one is a high school graduate named Jesse who discovers that his neighbor Anna may be a witch. Moreover, he soon becomes marked and possessed by something. It makes zero sense why he or his friend were filming everything in this one, but this entry is a nice change of pace. There are clever ties to other entries in the series (including an incredible ending), but the stereotypes and clunky storytelling narrative hurt it. Note: This disc contains the theatrical and extended cuts. 

“Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension” is a weird sequel. On one hand, you finally get to see Tobi (albeit with cheap CGI) and get some major answers. On the other hand, showing off the haunts defeats the purpose of what made this series so captivating to begin with. Plus, the whole “spirit camera” and 3D gimmick are extremely cheesy. Anyway, this sequel takes place after the third film before jumping to 2013 where a family now lives in a home that was built on top of Katie and Kristi’s old home that burned down. As you can probably guess, the family (especially the daughter) find themselves in great danger. By this point, it became clear that the mythology had become quite convoluted. Piecing together what is going on over a franchise is a unique way to tell a horror story, but not when it goes off the rails. Still, if the franchise were ever to continue down the line, the end scene is a great jumping off point. Note This disc contains the theatrical and unrated cuts along with a 3D disc. 

Last year the franchise returned with “Paranormal Activity: Next Of Kin” which deviates from the rest of the series and revolves around a young woman (Margot) making a documentary with her friend about her biological parents. Her research leads her to an apparent Amish community where her mother lived. Of course, there’s something very off about this community and Margot soon learns the horrific truth about her mom. The sequel starts off promising enough with a good mystery, the best cinematography in the entire series, and eerie concepts, but idiotic character actions really sink this one (and possibly the entire franchise). 

Last, but not least there’s the highly entertaining documentary film “Unknown Dimension: The Story Of Paranormal Activity” which is done in the vein of “Crystal Lake Memories” and “Never Sleep Again” in that it covers the entire Paranormal Activity franchise. Expect plenty of interviews, production stories, tidbits about fandom, the journey of the first film getting distributed, and so forth. As a sucker for stories behind the movies, this was an absolute delight. There’s so much to learn about behind-the-scenes.


Presentation: Widescreen. How does it look? Given that technology evolved over the course of this series, each film has differing video quality. Obviously, ‘Next Of Kin’ looks the best here but really every film looks pretty solid. Watching them on Blu-ray is a significant step up in quality from the DVDs to be sure. 

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? Given how much each film relies on sound effects you would hope the 5.1 tracks would deliver. They do. Every chandelier crash and wall thump sounds crisp here.

* A sticker
* Digital copies for all 8 titles.
* Teaser trailer and nearly 4 minutes of deleted scenes from “Paranormal Activity 2.”
* 2 “Lost Tapes” (AKA deleted scenes) for “Paranormal Activity 3.”
* “The Recovered Files”- 29 minutes of deleted scenes from “Paranormal Activity 4.”
* 7 deleted scenes from “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones.”
* Alternate ending for the unrated version of “Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension” along with 9 deleted scenes.
* 7 deleted/extended scenes for “Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin.”


October 11, 2022 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , , ,

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