October 21, 2010
"Paranormal Activity" is demonic possession caught on tape; a YouTube "Poltergeist" with time stamps, recording the evil that comes out when we're sleeping. The poster used a screen grab from the "real" video footage - a couple, staring in terror at a disembodied shadow on their open bedroom door. Pretty scary stuff. So how do they amp it up for the sequel? How about using a dog and a baby? Yup. That'll do it. The shadow is gone, replaced by a half-open door to a well-lit bathroom.
October 23, 2010
Directed by Tod Williams. Brian Boland, Sprague Grayden, Molly Ephraim, Katie Featherston. Distributed by Paramount Pictures. Running time: 1 hour, 28 mins. Parent's guide: R (some language, brief violent material). Playing at: area theaters.
October 29, 2009 |
THREE WEEKS have elapsed since "Paranormal Activity" crept into local theaters on little Internet feet. It's now the No. 1 movie in America, so it is no longer ethically possible for me to ignore it. In my defense, the first week's showings were at midnight, way past my bedtime. Also, the studio did not have a freebie screening for us critics, so I had to pay $10 to see "Paranormal Activity," and about a million commercials for crappy shows on the CW. Why do you people put up with this?
September 3, 2011 |
A thin but fairly diverting entry in the low-fi fakeumentary horror genre, Apollo 18 explains what's really on the moon and why the U.S. space program decided against further study. Why? Because a Blair Witch Project filmmaking seminar set up camp there first, that's why! Spanish director Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego's exercise in "found" footage scares was produced by Timur Bekmambetov, who directed the popular assassins melee Wanted , which I hated. I didn't hate this one at all. Like Blair Witch and the Paranormal Activity pictures, Apollo 18 offers zero characterization and very little narrative.
July 17, 2010 |
The searchers were in a nearly pitch-dark, third-floor room in the abandoned Lazaretto quarantine station and hospital when the flashlight on the floor flickered on, then off. No one had touched it. The black-clad group sitting on the dusty floor clocked the time: 10:15 p.m. "We're here to learn about you. We're here to learn from you," said Mark Davis of the Pennsylvania Anomalous Society Team (PAST), a group that researches the history and paranormal activity of area buildings.
October 22, 2010 |
LOS ANGELES - Throughout the making of Paramount Pictures' "Paranormal Activity 2," an unsettling specter floated over the production. The apparition had nothing to do with the earlier haunted house blockbuster, a micro-budget thriller that exploded into a pop-culture sensation and grossed more than $107 million in domestic theaters a year ago, becoming one of the most profitable releases in show business history. Instead, the sequel/prequel was haunted by memories of Hollywood's last effort to clone a similar scary story: Artisan's "Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2," which took in less than 20 percent of the preceding film's revenues and was so decisively despised by critics and audiences that it tainted 1999's original "Blair Witch Project" by association.
October 24, 2011 |
LOS ANGELES - "Paranormal Activity 3" didn't just go bump in the night. It made a ton of noise at the box office with a record-setting, $54 million opening. The third film in Paramount Pictures' low-budget fright franchise, which was No. 1 at the box office, had the biggest debut ever for a horror movie, according to yesterday's studio estimates. It broke the previous record that part two set a year ago with $40.7 million. It's also the biggest opening ever for an October release, topping the $50.35 million Paramount's "Jackass 3D" made last year.
October 24, 2011 |
Paranormal Activity 3 , the latest installment in Paramount's low-cost, high-profit thriller franchise, chilled the competition with a $54 million debut weekend to take the top spot in the box-office sweeps. P.A. 3 outperformed its forerunner, Paranormal Activity 2 , which also claimed the top spot on its debut weekend a year ago, but took in only $40.7 mil. The original Paranormal Activity , produced for a reported $15,000 - yes, you read that right, 15 thou - entered Hollywood lore after word of mouth made it the progenitor of a lucrative line.
October 24, 2012
Weeks Per Rank/Title/Studio Last Week Total Out Location 1. Paranormal Activity 4 (Para.) $29.0 mil. $29.0 mil. 1 $8,501 2. Argo (Warner Bros.) 16.4 mil. 43.0 mil. 2 5,065 3. Taken 2 (Fox) 13.3 mil. 105.8 mil. 3 3,801 4. Hotel Transylvania (Sony) 13.0 mil. 118.5 mil. 4 3,842 5. Alex Cross (Summit) 11.4 mil. 11.4 mil. 1 4,489 6. Sinister (Summit)
October 19, 2012 |
MOCKUMENTARY filmmakers Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman ("Catfish") know a thing or two about misdirecting an audience, as they proved again with 2011's "Paranormal Activity 3. " Together with returning screenwriter Christopher Landon, this time around they seem short on new ideas, however, relying more on the series' reputation for low-budget thrills to attract audiences. Regardless, by now Paramount's franchise is a brand unto itself, and it's unlikely that anything will stop the first few waves of fans boosting "Paranormal Activity 4" up the chart through Halloween at least.