Well, kids, it's that time of year again: when the impending debauchery of candy and costume parties is best complimented by good, ol' fashioned, horribly scary movies. Good thing, then, that Slamdance Film Fest hit Paranormal Activity, opening wide next weekend, has repeatedly been called the scariest film of the last ten years - with many viewers (including premiere horror site Bloody Disgusting) declaring it one of the most terrifying movies they've ever seen. Sounds good to me!
The $11,000-budgeted, handheld DV-shot ghost story is well poised to capitalize on the hype that made similar "found footage" horror pics (Blair Witch, Open Water) breakout successes. Snatched up by Paramount at Slamdance, Paranormal has been aided by an ingenious marketing campaign that's proven extremely effective, thus far: for its first couple weeks of release, it played only in select cities, exclusively at midnight screenings. Over the weekend, the film expanded to showings throughout the day, but still employs a feature on its website which allows viewers in areas where the movie hasn't yet been released to request it in their city, via an online "Demand It!" function. The result? It grossed $7 million this weekend - on just 159 screens.
Needless to say, the review is forthcoming...if I can find someone to go with me (my wife refuses, and I'm not seeing this one alone).