Posted on Friday, October 19th, 2012 by Angie Han
All of the disappointments of Paranormal Activity 4 boil down to one thing: This is a franchise that’s forgotten what made it so special in the first place. The original Paranormal Activity was terrifying not because it had expensive special effects or excessive amounts of gore, but because director Oren Peli expertly stretched the tension to the point where the softest creak of a door hinge could make us jump. 2 and 3 dialed the scares up a notch and expanded on the mythology, but that delicious suspense at the core remained the same.
In contrast, I don’t think I’ve ever been as relaxed during a horror movie as I was during Paranormal Activity 4. The scares are theoretically bigger and badder this time around, but sloppy storytelling from directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman undermines any impact they might’ve had. After three great installments, the little low-budget horror series that could has finally lost its way.
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There are several major take aways from the latest trailer for Paranormal Activity 4. One is that Katie and the boy she kidnapped, Hunter, are definitely back. Another is that the evil spirits from the first three films still really, really love to drag people down hallways. A third is that your XBox Kinect is the devil. It all adds up to a very intriguing bit of marketing.
Paranormal Activity 4 opens October 19 from directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, who did Catfish and Paranormal Activity 3. This time around, the story is back in the present, following the neighbors of a mysterious new family whose son may, or may not, be the aforementioned Hunter.
After the jump, you can not only check out the revealing new trailer, but read a bunch of early buzz from a work print screening at Fantastic Fest 2012. Either way, you’ll never look at XBox Kinect the same way again. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, August 1st, 2012 by Angie Han
If Monday’s 13-second teaser for the Paranormal Activity 4 trailer whetted your appetite for more found-footage scares, you’ll be happy to see that the first full-length trailer has now hit the web. Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, who directed Paranormal Activity 3, are once again at the helm. Watch the video after the jump.
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My favorite thing this week, without question, is this short documentary about the artist John Baldessari, directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, the guys who made Catfish and Paranormal Activity 3.
A Brief History of John Baldessari is a wonderfully lively little doc that successfully straddles the line between providing info on the subject and establishing itself as a distinct work. The choice of music doesn’t hurt, but really it is the narration from Tom Waits — his presence demanded by Baldessari, says the film – that gives life to this short. Waits pronounces words in the same way that small animals burrow into the earth, and listening to him read this script is just a joy. Read More »
Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, who made the Sundance 2010 hit/talking point Catfish, and went on to direct Paranormal Activity 3, are now set to write and direct The Monkey Wrench Gang. The film is an adaptation of a 1975 novel by Edward Abbey that has been in development for over a decade. It’s a weird book, following a quartet of misfits who attempt to stymie industrial development in the southwest US by employing some unusual sabotage. Read More »
Once Paranormal Activity 3 had a gangbuster opening this past October, a fourth film was inevitable. Soon after the release, directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman reportedly agreed to make Paranormal Activity 4 and an October 19, 2012 release date was set. That’s almost exactly seven months to the day from right now.
Which means the film is going to be plenty rushed as Paramount has just signed up Zack Estrin to write the script. Estrin is a producer on the current ABC show The River, which is produced by Paranormal Activity creator and current executive producer Oren Peli. He’s also written on Prison Break, No Ordinary Family but Paranormal Activity 4 marks his feature film debut. Read More »
When Paramount announced they’d hired Catfish directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman to direct Paranormal Activity 3, the world of film collectively rolled their eyes. Then the film came out and the duo gouged those eyes out. Joost and Schulman knocked the film out of the park (read my review here), turned a major profit and left a ton of places for the fourth film to go. Now they’ll be the ones to take it there.
After the recent news that Paranormal Activity 4 will be released on October 19, it has now been revealed Joost and Schulman will return as directors, this time with several more months to prepare. Where will the movie go? We speculate and more after the jump. Read More »
NOTE: This review was originally published on September 29th 2011 from a secret screening that took place at Fantastic Fest, and is being republished for the wide release.
The second half of Paranormal Activity 3 is the most consistently intense and frightening segment so far in the popular found footage series. Directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (the guys behind Catfish) take their sweet time getting to it but once the scares begin, they don’t let up. That’s the good news. The bad news is for a third film in a series, it adds almost nothing to the overall Paranormal Activity mythology. (Not to mention well over half the footage in the new trailer is NOT in the movie.) Fans might also be disappointed that Katie Featherstone, the star of the first two films, only makes a brief cameo to give a bit of context to the rest of the film which is primarily about her character and her sister as little girls. And they did not have a pleasant childhood.
The world premiere of Paranormal Activity 3 was the second Secret Screening at Fantastic Fest 2011 and you can read more about it after the jump. Read More »
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