Posted on Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 by Jacob Hall
Although the first Paranormal Activity film didn’t open in wide release until 2009, it held its first festival screenings in 2007. The means one of the more divisive modern horror franchises is about to celebrate its tenth birthday. Aw. Happy birthday, Paranormal Activity.
Perhaps that’s why Oren Peli, the director of the first film and a producer on all of the sequels, has posted Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat‘s original auditions on YouTube. And in keeping with the film’s style, these auditions were completely improvised by the actors, giving us some insight into the film’s unusual production.
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Update: In our box office report below, we mentioned the lack of official sequel plans for Paranormal Activity. Well, Paramount has now released a statement from Chairman Brad Grey via LAT: “We have the rights on a worldwide basis to do Paranormal 2 and we’re looking to see if that makes some sense.” The word ‘some’ has possibly never been needed less in a sentence. Paranormal Activity‘s boffo, record-setting box office is discussed below. We’ll update on the sequel when and if more details come in. In the meantime, what direction should a sequel take?
It had to happen later than sooner: this weekend Lionsgate‘s Saw franchise took a significant tumble with Saw VI opening to a mere $14.8 million from 3,000 theaters, the lowest opening since 2004’s Saw ($18.2m). The prognosis for the grisly torture series might be gloomier if not for its showdown with Paranormal Activity, the year’s biggest movie phenomenon (no small feat), which haunted the top spot after months of escalating buzz with $22 million. That means it’s up two millie over last weekend, while still playing in less than 2,000 theaters. Not only are number-crunchers getting wet over the idea that this indie pick-up from Paramount, budgeted at $13,000 (yeah, thousand), might gross $100 million domestic, but it’s on track to become the most profitable release in the mountainous studio’s history. Word from the clown is: Executives are filming themselves asleep with permagrins, splayed out on beds covered in dollars gold bars.
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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