Paranormal Activity is a movie made by Oren Peli, “an Israeli-born videogame designer with no formal film training.” He shot the entire movie in one week for $11,000.
The thriller that made its rounds at film festivals has gained a very positive buzz on the Internet, especially on social networks like Twitter and Facebook. With obvious comparisons to the 1999 horror flick The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity is also shot documentary style and is based on real-time happenings. The premise is as follows: “The film follows a young couple (Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat) who, convinced they’re being haunted by spirits, set up a video camera to monitor their bedroom over the course of 20 nights.”
There are many reasons why there is so much buzz and positive critical feedback for the movie. First, it has been reported that movie-goers have literally up and left their seats during initial screenings of the movie–it’s thatterrifying. Paramount president of production Adam Goldman witnessed 35 people walk out of an early test screening. Exit interviews were performed and they revealed that people left because they simply were not enjoying the movie; it was tooscary. Second, according to EW, “once the film was brought to the attention of DreamWorks, Steven Spielberg took a copy of the DVD to his Pacific Palisades estate, watched it there, and then found his bathroom door inexplicably locked from the inside. He thought the movie was haunted!” Whether this legend is true or not, it surely sets up a great viral marketing campaign, doesn’t it?
With all of this insane amount of buzz, Paramount has decided to create even more of it with a brilliant marketing campaign: “putting the power of movie distribution in your hands.” It is up to us to go online and “demand” that Paranormal Activityopen in theatres nationwide. Up to this point the movie has had a limited release. The studio promises that once there have been one million demands the movie will officially hit all theatres, making it widely available to be seen by all. As of this writing, the movie website’s counter has reached 914,434 “demands.” So no need to worry, it’s coming. Still, do your part and contribute by demanding the movie now right here and discuss the hype with others on Twitter (“Paranormal Activity” has been a trending topic for days now).
And I will leave you with this. Moviefone’s Kevin Poloway warns: ”‘Paranormal Activity’ beats out ‘Blair Witch’ in one vital field: It’s scarier. While ‘Blair Witch’ may have scared people away from the woods for a few years (like ‘Jaws’ did the water two decades earlier), who’s going to stay away from their own bedroom?” Freak out and watch the trailer below and get ready for what people are calling “the scariest movie of the decade.”