7. Paranormal Activity
Paranormal Activity's success mirrored the earlier success that The Blair Witch had once attained. The Found Footage genre had experienced a slight boom, and the stakes were being raised with each new shakycam laden spooktacular. Paranormal Activity took a simple approach to putting itself out there, and all it took was some hidden camera footage and the power of the Internet. Advertisements for the film would focus more on actual audience reaction to the film's scares, as opposed to actual footage from the film itself. After all, what sells a film better than audience endorsement? When those commercials hit the airwaves, you actually saw a film's effect on an audience, not just a bunch of quotes from the standard press critics. But in a clever twist, Paramount launched a campaign through Eventful.com where people anxious to see the film could "Demand" it make an appearance in a theater near them. Now audiences were not only energized by seeing how people reacted to the film, but they were now given a degree of input as to whether they'd see the film or not. It became a competition to see that ghost movie those people in the commercial were so freaked out about. Wave by wave, the film would expand according to the polling numbers on Eventful, creating a rolling cascade of buzz that catapulted an unknown film into a franchisable picture.