It’s not a direct sequel, but if you’re hungering for one of those, the Paranormal Activity series has six already. What Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin does have are folk horror vibes, a terribly unfriendly looking hole in the ground, that signature shaky-cam, and the pleasing one-two punch of being an exclusive Paramount+ streaming release (because leaving the house continues to be scary in its own way lately) that’s arriving right before Halloween.
The 2007 original reminded Hollywood — much like its spiritual predecessor, The Blair Witch Project — that found-footage horror movies with tiny budgets are fully capable of terrifying audiences and raking in huge profits. So it’s no surprise that all that talk back in 2015 about how the Paranormal Activity series was going to put its camcorder back on the shelf and not “grind this horror franchise into the ground” (as producer Jason Blum said then) after The Ghost Dimension was just talk.
Paranormal Activity is a highly lucrative series and you had to assume it’d be back eventually; in July, Blum walked back his earlier comments when discussing this new film, saying “I really encouraged all the creative people involved to think of something new… I thought if you were going to re-do it, you better really re-do it, not try and expand what we did all those years ago.”
So here we are with the first trailer. It looks like Next of Kin is adding some kind of cult element — at first it looks like the story might be set in the past, but then you remember this is a found-footage movie, so unless there’s a time-travel element the story has to take place in a time when portable cameras are easily accessible. Also the protagonist (Emily Bader) shows up right away, and she appears to be a contemporary character paying a visit to her old-fashioned relatives, whose ways look to perhaps travel down a Wicker Man/Midsommar/human sacrifice/”don’t feed us after dark” sort of path.
Next of Kin also stars Roland Buck III, Dan Lippert, and Henry Ayers-Brown; it’s directed by William Eubank (The Signal, Underwater) and written by Paranormal Activity series veteran Christopher Landon, who also co-wrote and directed the recent serial killer body-swap movie Freaky.
Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin premieres exclusively on Paramount+ October 29 in the U.S.
Stay tuned for more news on its local Australian release.