The ultra-low-budget horror film Paranormal Activity has been building acclaim over the past year since it screened at the Screamfast and Slamdance film festivals. I was able to see this film, in the dark, in an outdoor park, at the Telluride Film Festival, and I think Paramount has the next Blair Witch Project on their hands, if they market it right. Even if you aren’t creeped out, you’re sure to have a lot of fun if you see this in a packed auditorium. Teenage girls at my screening were screaming throughout. A door opens by itself, scream. Nothing happens, scream. The way this film builds tension, will have you on the edge of your seat, and your date squiring and gripping for your arm in the seat next to you.
Right now they’re doing a very small release, in a few select cities on September 25th, to get people talking. They have released a brand new movie trailer, which consists mostly of reactions to a test screening. Smart move. I must warn you, one of the shots in the trailer is from very late in the film, and could be considered a spoiler. Watch the new trailer embedded after the jump.
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A few new movie posters have popped up on the interwebs today, including a teaser poster for Pixar’s Toy Story 3, a one-sheet for the $11,000 supernatural thriller Paranormal Activity, and the Thomas Jane‘s mystery thriller Dark Country. Check out previews of all three posters after the jump.
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The ultra-low-budget horror film Paranormal Activity has been building praise for the past few years—after successful showings at the Screamfast and Slamdance film festivals, and most recently at Telluride. Anne Thompson is now reporting that the film is set for a September 25 release by Paramount. Given that the film was shot for $11,000 over a week, I don’t think the studio is worried too much about pushing it out there without a huge marketing campaign.
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It’s a couple of weeks over ten years now since The Blair Witch Project proved to be a strange freak of box office nature. Back at it’s release on July 30th 1999 the film was given a crazy leg-up by its accidentally wonderful online marketing and a public desperate to buy into something spiritual-mystical, however crazy. We also shouldn’t underestimate the voracious appetite of the dedicated horror audience, of which I would suppose I am a member, and our never-ending desire for something new, fresh or exciting.
The sequel, Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows, was an entirely different beast to the original, eschewing the Last Broadcast-style handicam aesthetic for something in the vein of classical narrative film stylings. Personally, I thought it was conceptually a far more exciting film than the first though somewhat hampered by its lackluster realization. I do still relish the irony, though, that this second film was directed by Joe Berlinger, typically a maker of documentaries.
So, which way would a third Blair Witch film go? Back to the faux-doc approach of part one? Or further into the potential of ‘traditional’ film language?
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Neil Marshall Stevens has spoken to Fangoria about his upcoming projects, two of which are the comic book series Demon Squad and Havoc Brigade (if you’re reading, Neil, I suggest Crazy Club for the hat trick) but one of which is a film, and therefore comes under my jurisdiction. Light on the roof and siren wailing, here I go…
Oh. A bit of a false alarm. All the interview tells us is that the film will be “the latest Amityville sequel, The Amityville Tapes” and nothing more.
Digging about, though, I’ve found in old news found a piece from last September that neither named the writer or the film, yet was clearly about the same project and it didn’t take much to put two and two together.
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One film that’s already being touted as the next Cloverfield even more so than Cloverfield 2 is the recent Slamdance Film Festival sensation Paranormal Activity: Evidence of a Haunting. The indie, handicam-style haunted house flick, shot in a week’s time by video game designer and upstart director Oren Peli in his own house, has been purchased along with all remake rights by Dreamworks for nearly seven figures. In a stipulation that sealed the deal, Peli will direct the new theatrical version. The studio will most likely release the original film stateside on DVD; IM Global has the international rights.
We’ve got the trailer after the jump. After watching it, I have to say I’m still not convinced, but numerous reviews so far tout that it’s “the scariest flick in years.” The film centers on a couple, played by newcomers Katie Featherstone and Micah Sloat, whose house is haunted by all the tell-tale supernatural bells and whistles, so they decide to film it themselves, sometimes with a tri-pod.
Obviously, another film its drawing comparisons to is The Blair Witch Project, and all of the screaming and camera work in the trailer definitely supports that. Poltergeist is another, but one of the better haunted house pictures I’ve ever seen that might be more apt is 1981’s The Entity, which was based on true events (look it up, veddy crazy). Peli’s definitely earned himself a nice success story that will play well in the press, so we’ll being hearing a lot more about this one, for sure.
[flv:http://media2.slashfilm.com/slashfilm/trailers/paranormalactivity.flv 470 264]
Sources: Variety / Vulture