Director: Oren Peli
Stars: Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat, Mark Fredrichs
Plot: 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 actors weren't given scripts but were given guidelines on how to behave or what to discuss in their scenes.
The entire movie was filmed in Oren Peli's own home.
Dreamworks wanted to remake the movie with a bigger budget and better known actors rather than release the film as it was and use the original as a DVD extra.
Filming was completed in 10 days.
Steven Spielberg had to stop watching the film halfway through on a home screener as he was genuinely spooked by the experience. He completed it in daylight hours the next day and loved it.
During the first test screenings, people started leaving the theater. Originally the crew thought this was because the film wasn't going over very well with its audience, only to discover that people left the auditorium because they couldn't handle the intensity of the piece.
Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat were reportedly paid just US$500 each for their performances.
Paramount acquired the US rights for $350,000. The film went on to make $193 million worldwide, making this the second most profitable film ever made based on a return of investment. (First most profitable is The Blair Witch Project (1999) which cost $22,000 and made $240.5 Million)
Oren Peli shot the entire film with a home digital camera.
Oren Peli got the idea for the movie from a personal experience. Late at night he was sleeping and a box of detergent fell off the shelf. The box was pushed too far back for it to just tilt and fall.
Shot in 2006, not put into general release until 2009.
Oren Peli bought the Ouija board in his local Costco.
The knife Micah is wielding when talking to Katie during the making dinner scene at the beginning of the movie is the same knife he is killed with in the alternate ending.
A third ending was planned where the possessed Katie corners Micah and bludgeons him to death with his precious camera, while viewers would watch from the camera's POV. In fact, this version of the ending was so complicated - not to mention brutal - that Peli never actually shot it.
The carpet in the upstairs hallway had to be removed to accommodate two scenes: the powder scene, and the dragging scene.