Cool Horror Videos: Oren Peli shares Paranormal Activity auditions

Last Updated on July 21, 2021

Eleven years ago, director Oren Peli was holding auditions for a film project that easily could have gone nowhere. He was putting together a found footage horror movie that was going to be shot in his own home on a budget of just $15,000. This project didn't even have a script, just an outline, and the dialogue would be improvised. It sounds like something that only friends and family would end up seeing, but instead Peli was unknowingly crafting the start of a hugely successful big studio franchise. The movie he was holding auditions for was PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, which ended up earning nearly $200 million at the global box office.

The original PARANORMAL ACTIVITY tells the following story:

After a young, middle class couple moves into a suburban 'starter' tract house, they become increasingly disturbed by a presence that may or may not be somehow demonic but is certainly most active in the middle of the night. Especially when they sleep. Or try to.

The improvisational aspect of the project surely made finding the right actors for the role even harder – these actors wouldn't be performing lines from the page, they would have to be trusted to come up with the right lines to say during the filming process.

Peli ended up casting Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat as his beleaguered couple. We've seen the results of this casting, and now Peli has shared clips from their improvised auditions to give some insight into how they landed the roles and to show the humble beginnings of a massive success.

Whether you're a fan of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY or not, this is an interesting peek behind the curtain.

Source: Oren Peli

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.