Paranormal Activity is quickly on its way to becoming one of the biggest film stories of the year.
It's an underdog tale that stretches from a first-time director making a tiny-budgeted spook pic in his house, through interaction from one of the world's most famous filmmakers, studio limbo and now, a word-of-mouth marketing campaign that is driving it to huge success.
But where did this little horror flick that could come from in the first place? And how does it fit in to the post-Blair Witch world?
To trace its history, we need to go back a few years…
1. Peli Gets Spooked
Given how many caps he wore making Paranormal Activity - writer, director, editor, VFX artist - Oren Peli (above right) never really had ambitions to become a filmmaker.
A software programmer by trade, the tech-savvy Peli got the initial inklings of what would become the film when he bought his first house after years of flat life.
"When I moved into my house, it was the first time I lived in a detached family home as opposed to an apartment, and it's in a very quiet, suburban neighborhood," Peli has told Cinematical.
"So you become very conscious of every little sound you hear because you don't have any neighbors above the walls, basically you're not supposed to hear anything.
"When you do hear little creaks and knocks and stuff like that, you wonder what's going on. I'm sure most of it was natural sounds of the house settling, but every once in a while you would hear things that would be weird and you couldn't figure out where they are."
"That's kind of what made me think how I would go about trying to figure out what's going on and being the techno-geek that I am, my initial inclination would be to get video cameras and set them up around the house to see what was going on.
"I didn't actually go ahead and do that, but that's what started making me think how freaky it would be if you had cameras running at home while you sleep and actually did catch something."
Despite his clear fascination for the topic of unexplained noises and spooky happenings, Peli also confesses that he's long been terrified of ghosts and spirits, to such a degree that he can barely watch Ghostbusters.
He channeled those terrors into the tale of a regular suburban couple who experience strange goings-on in their otherwise ordinary San Diego home…
Next: Shooting Scares