On Friday, after the directors of “Paranormal Activity 3” helped us reveal 10 secrets about their horror sequel , we promised that on Monday, once fans had actually been able to check out the movie, we’d deliver a slew of answers to burning questions.
And check it out, fans most certainly did. “PA 3” reeled in $54 million at the box office over its first weekend. That’s a lot of money for a lot of screams and, likely, a lot of sore throats today. So you guys deserve it: Read on for directors Henry Joost’s and Ariel Schulman’s answers to many of the eye-popping moments in the flick (needless to say, major spoilers exist below).
How did they make everything fall in the kitchen?
Henry Joost: “All summer, people were like, ’How do we top the cabinets blowing open [from the previous film]?’ ”
Ariel Schulman: ” ’The cabinet scare! The cabinet scare!’ ”
Joost: “It was just so regular. We all have cabinets, but they’ve never done that before. It’s the last thing you expect to happen. So we were brainstorming and brainstorming. I wanted Randy’s dead body to drop from the ceiling. And [screenwriter] Chris Laden was like, ’What about all the stuff in the kitchen?’ That was massive rigging for special-effects crew. It was so beautiful. It was like an art installation. It was all practical.”
Schulman: “We did one take. We rigged everything to a hinge and had one button. You say go and it just launches.”
Joost: “The release is staggered. The stuff gets closer to the camera, which is something you don’t even register, but it is 100 times better than everything falling at once.”
Wait, you were going to kill Randy?
Schulman: “We never killed Randy. We talked about it. The character who knows something is wrong and leaves and then meets his death somewhere else because the demon has followed him. But we never killed him.”
Where did the idea for Bloody Mary come from?
Schulman: “Chris Laden had been wanting to bring back Bloody Mary, which was a great idea. And we’d been wanting to do a scene in total darkness.”
Joost: “We shot that scene three different ways. We shot the version that’s in the trailer, where it’s just the girls. And then we shot it with Dennis, Randy and Katie. The first two times were good, but we felt like we could take it to the next level. On set, we came up with the rattling door. We were like, ’Can you make something in the room fly out of the room?’ ”
Schulman: “Not only is the acting improvised, but a lot of the writing is. That scene starts off with Randy and Katie playing Bloody Mary and Randy gets scratched. End of scene. But it felt like it could get scarier. So we huddled and said, ’What if the demon is right outside the door and just slamming on it?’ And we just went from there.”
Where is Julie’s husband? Will we ever see him?
Schulman: “Maybe. Gotta leave some questions kind of unanswered!”
What exactly happened at the end?
Schulman: “The grandmother is the leader of a coven that is calling forth a demon. That demon is requesting a male host, a child. Someone has made a deal with the devil in return for a boy somewhere along this family lineage. That hasn’t happened yet. It happens in ’Paranormal 2.’ In ’Paranormal 2,’ the grandma is forcing the issue. Once that boy is had, she will be there with her coven and the demon in order to deliver the baby.”
Joost: “Dennis is in the way, and ultimately Julie is too.”
So at the end, the creepy women are going to have a séance?
Schulman: “Well, not exactly. It’s not in the movie. I think a lot of this movie is left up to your imagination. So much had been done within the genre. People know a lot more about demonology than they realize. You actually don’t need to show it. You just insinuate it and people are like, ’Oh yeah, that’s going to be a séance later. I know how those work.’ ”
Joost: “It’s a huge thing in this movie that now, not only are you afraid of a demon, you’re also afraid of a bunch of people in cahoots with the demon.”
Schulman: “The women in the coven are very sweet. But if you look at their IMDb credits, they each have played ’creepy lady’ many times. Talk about being pigeonholed.”
Will you guys return for “Paranormal Activity 4”?
Schulman: “I had a blast. I’d do it again.”
Joost [laughing]: “We have some ideas. It’s going to be just drawings. Calligraphy and watercolors. And set in the 1800s.”
Schulman: “Found watercolors!”
Check out everything we’ve got on “Paranormal Activity 3.”
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