Ghostly Goons (also known as Paranormal Activity: The Black Dawn) is a 2014 supernatural horror film, written and directed by Jaxen Ross. It's loosely-based on the Paranormal Activity film series and stars Jaxen Ross, Ryan Boyer, Holden and Reese MacDonald, Toni Chambers, Ezmy Watson and many others.
The film takes place after the events of Paranormal Activity 4 and before the events of The Marked Ones, even though this movie doesn't involve with Katie and/or Hunter.
The film is presented in a found footage like-style and assembled using footage and home videos.
In Dec. 2011, Jacque and Ri-yen begin to experience weird poltergeist in their household, so they record all the events that begin happening. On the 12th, they find a box containing an Ouija board. Jacque sets up a camera on the counter to try and capture a ghost. Later in the early morning hours of Dec. 13th, a force starts making the box open & shut until it eventually levitates off the counter several times, before dropping to the ground.
Hours later, Ri-yen and Jacque awake to find the box and Ouija board on the ground; the two eventually throw out the box but somehow the Ouija board reappears later in the house. By the next couple of weeks, more strange activity commence; like Ri-yen staring at Jacque while he sleeps for a long period of time, getting dragged out and forced under the bed, etc. This eventually lead to the two moving away to another house, not only to realize that the presence is still following them.
More strange forces pursue Jacque and Ri-yen in their new home until the final night when Ri-yen gets out of bed, stares at Jacque while he sleeps before leaving the bedroom. He later comes back upstairs wielding a pair of scissors. Jacque later wakes up seeing Ri-yen approaching him and is killed when his throat is slashed with the scissors; his body falls to the ground as Ri-yen (possessed by the demon) leaves the bedroom, no doubt the cause of Jacque's demise. Texts say that police discovered Jacque's body two days later and that Ri-yen's whereabouts remain unknown.
A month later, a 15-year-old photographer/videographer named Thake begins to experience a presence in his town. Meanwhile, strange forces pursue him while his loved ones attempt to save him. The film eventually ends with a possessed Thakler killing his friends before committing suicide; some extra footage shows the early hours of June 12th, 2012 with Ri-yen going back to his house where he had previously murdered Jacque and slashes his throat - apparently committing suicide - collapsing to the floor, dead. A mysterious silhouette appears in the bedroom and shuts off the camera, that was still filming.
Texts imply the fates of the kids and the whereabouts of the entity, as it happens to be heading northwest from Thakler's town and into Oxnard, setting up the events for Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones.
- Jaxen Ross
- Ryan Boyer (archive footage)
- Holden MacDonald
- Toni Chambers
- Reese MacDonald
- Ezmy Watson
- and many others
This project originated when Jaxen found some old videos of him and Ryan Boyer making their own Paranormal Activity fanmade movies in 2011; that's when he decided to put up the videos onto YouTube under the names of "VHS Tapes". In November of 2013, Jaxen decided to make a feature-length movie, based on the Paranormal Activity movies; even assembling a twenty-minute prologue with most of the old footage of Ryan and him. As a result, the film serves as a soft reboot of the series - still keeping the continuity in line, while telling its own story with this franchise.
Principal photography for the rest of the film began in April 2014 and continued into 2015, filming all over Southern California and even the filmmaker's house. As a result, the project took two years to complete. A revised version of the film has been released onto Jaxen's current YouTube channel (Jaxen Ross is b-a-c-k!) throughout December 2017 to January 2018.
- Jax occasionally shot B-roll with his neighborhood friend actors without the knowledge that it was gonna be a part of this movie. Ad-libbing and improv were common as Jax just gave instructions on what the actors were supposed to do within the scene.
- Some of the actors - including Jax - shot their scenes by themselves.
- When Reese's character (Rayma) attempts the Bloody Mary ritual in the bathroom twirling herself and the camera around, an African-American girl can be seen in the reflection of the mirror. While this may be considered a crew mistake, Jax makes reference to this in the sequel as a ghost that the protagonist catches in the footage.
- VHS Tapes made up of scenes from the film were released onto YouTube in line with the movie.
- Ryan Boyer had moved away long ago, during the process of making the movie. He can only be seen in archive footage (that was all shot in 2011) as part of the prologue before his character disappears.
Jaxen announced that a Ghostly Goons franchise would be created. The sequel was released on December 24th, 2016 - taking place months after the events of both this movie and The Marked Ones; the plot relying on abandoned footage of the birth of Tobi and the Midwives back in the 1970s, while still recapping the previous events.
Two more sequels are currently in the works; one as more of a short film relying on the fates of Ali Rey and Alex Nelson (from Paranormal Activity 4) tying up some of the loose ends and the last one that could possibly focus on the demise of the now-human Toby demon - occurring exactly ten years after the events of the very first Paranormal Activity.
UPDATE (08/31/2020): Since the announcement of a seventh installment in the PA franchise slated for a 2022 release, the “dynamic duo” script and concept has been scrapped and that the fourth sequel will take place of the third -- now having the series established as a trilogy.