"Paranormal Activity" isn't really a presence right now, as we swing into awards season. Still, it's hard to forget the stunning performance of a sub-$15,000 budgeted film that earned in excess of $100 million during its theatrical run. Awards-worthy or not, director Oren Peli accomplished something special with his found footage haunted house flick.
As a result of that, I'm leery of any sequel talk. Let's not forget "The Blair Witch Project," which had a similarly successful grassroots promotional campaign and budget-to-box office performance ratio. A sequel for that one dropped, "Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2," and it completely abandoned the spirit of the original. I won't discount a "Paranormal Activity" sequel out of hand... but I'm uncertain. Especially with "Saw VI" director Kevin Greutert hired to direct it.
In addition to Greutert, Paramount has also hired Michael R. Perry to script the sequel, The Hollywood Reporter reveals. Perry has written primarily for TV, with credits on series' as diverse as "House," "The Dead Zone," "Law & Order: SVU" and "The Practice." The good news is that Peli and his "Paranormal" partner Jason Blum will produce.
Peli had this to say of the hires: "These guys get it, and the fans won’t be disappointed." I wish I could believe that. I've met and interviewed Peli; he really seems to care about preserving the story, so the hope is that he's on the level with that statement. That said, "Saw VI" -- any "Saw" movie -- is about as far from the understated, cerebral horror of "Paranormal Activity" as you can get. I won't dismiss this sequel out of hand, but it's going to take some convincing before I believe that it's a worthwhile idea.
Peli is currently working on (probably wrapping up, by now) his next film, "Area 51." A few more details about the story have slipped out than the directly would likely prefer, but the basic idea is to deliver another found footage tale, this one built around a group of friends and the mysterious Nevada military facility referenced in the title.
Are you interested in seeing a "Paranormal Activity" sequel? Where would you like to see the story go from here? Do you think Greutert's involvement means we're in for a very different, perhaps bloodier, experience in the sequel?