Goin' to the Movies

Informin' You About Movies

Hittin’ Theaters: ‘Paranormal Activity’

'Paranormal Activity' has given audiences sleepless nights

Ten years ago, “The Blair Witch Project” scored big with critics and audiences. The film holds an impressive 85% fresh rating with over 120 reviews while going on to gross nearly $250 million worldwide in the box office alone. Considering Blair Witch used a minuscule budget, reportedly $60 thousand dollars, the box office gross alone made for one the most profitable films in history.

Flash forward to the present, and we have had a flurry of “found footage” films with the similar shaky-cam experience. Some films use a larger budget while others remain simple and inexpensive but seemingly more effective. “Paranormal Activity” is the latter, filmed for $15,000 over a week span, which has spooked test audiences and the festival circuit since 2007. In particular, the film gained recognition when it affected Steven Spielberg, who reportedly gave the test DVD back to Universal in a garbage bag.

Paranormal has a 90% fresh rating, but only has 10 reviews at this time. Tonight, at midnight, in 13 different college towns across the U.S., the film will screen and will continue playing in those same college towns for the next days. Click here to see if it is playing near you.  Additionally, the film is finally getting an expanded release some time next month and Paramount has decided to roll out a new campaign for potential audiences to “Demand It!” in their locale of choice.

By visiting the eventful site here and “demanding” the film in your area, Paramount will work with local theaters to get the film played in high demand locales. Using this method will help Paranormal roll out in areas where a large audience exists that is clamoring for the film. Pretty unique concept for a film and there is great potential for smaller films to use this method to better gauge target audiences.

I will refrain from hyping the film too much, but let it be said that everyone I follow at various movie news and horror sites have given reviews that range from positive to gushing. That alone is enough for me to give the film a shot and see how I feel.

There are two trailers, but I won’t link them because I question their ability to sell the film. If you need a briefing on what the film is about, here:

A woman (Katie) feels that a spirit haunts her in her sleep because she hears noises and whispers late at night. So, her boyfriend (Micah) sets up audio recording equipment as well as a stand for a hand-held camera  in the house in the attempt to uncover if anything is in fact haunting her. What unfolds for the audience is the footage of the increasingly twisted sleepless nights the couple has.

Is it a gimmick film? Perhaps. However, if the means to the ends actually works well enough to effectively frighten you, who cares?

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September 24, 2009 - Posted by | Hittin' Theaters | , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] Activity’ Adds 20 Screens “Paranormal Activity”, which I had previously covered, has used a feature where you can demand the film in certain locales using their Eventful website. […]

    Pingback by Breakin’ News: ‘Paranormal Activity’ Adds 20 Screens « Goin' to the Movies | September 29, 2009 | Reply


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