To celebrate Women in Horror Month, I will be highlighting some of my favorite undersung female characters in horror films each day this month. These posts will contain some spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the movies mentioned do yourself a solid and check them out before reading all the way through.
Today I’m celebrating Katie from the Paranormal Activity franchise. In a franchise full of male demons obsessed with inhabiting male bodies, Katie sneaks around as one of the first recurring female franchise villains throughout the series.
When we first meet Katie, she is one of the protagonists of the first film. Her and her boyfriend Micah have just moved in together, and notice some weird noises at night. Micah decides to set up cameras and start recording whatever is going on.
It soon becomes apparent that the weird phenomenon has something to do with Katie specifically. She confesses that when she was a child, it seemed like there was something following her and her sister. But then her house burned down and it was okay and whatever.
Katie is interesting because in the first film she is really the one you feel bad for. She keeps telling Micah to take whatever is happening seriously and not piss it off. She tells him not to buy a Ouija board and he “borrows” one instead. She begs a psychic to help them, but one step into the house and the psychic says…well the last thing you want a psychic to say in this situation.
But then Katie gets bitten by whatever it is that is in the house, and she begins to become increasingly unnerving and calm about the dire situation. It is incredibly unnerving, especially after watching someone so exceedingly normal gradually be enveloped by this evil demonic energy.
The movie ends with her disappearing after she is possessed by a demon and kills Micah.
The second film serves as a prequel to the first, with Katie’s sister Kristi also experiencing the titualar paranormal activity. Because it isn’t apparent right from the jump that this is a prequel, all it takes is Katie stepping out a car to have you nearly jump after seeing what she ended up doing in the first film.
Katie eventually does her thing in this film as well when the timeline intersects with the end of the first one.
The third film is a prequel to both films, and elaborates a lot more on what exactly happened when Katie and Kristi were children.
Although the fourth isn’t as widely appreciated as the first three, I think Katie is the scariest in this movie. Unlike the other two films, this is the first time we know throughout the entire movie that Katie is bad news. The question is will her unsuspecting neighbors realize she is bad news and that something is seriously wrong with her and her creepy son?
At this point Katie has a whole squad of creepy looking women, and has really perfect her demon run.
I also love the fourth one because it really cements her as a franchise villain. Yes Toby is the demon at the heart of the initial activity, but every good demon has a possessed midwife by their side. And because Toby is invisible, Katie is really the face of the evil in the franchise. All while being an unassuming English major turned full-time work from home demon consultant.
Hats off to Katie for being one of the first and most successful recurring female villains in a franchise. At least till Annabelle puts out another couple of movies.