Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

Posts tagged “Paranormal Activity

The Purge: Anarchy – Trailer

The Purge: Anarchy takes the same basic premise as The Purge but goes in a bolder, more extreme direction. Once again, the story is set in a dystopian America where, in a ghastly effort to weed out the weak and let the strong blow off steam, all crime has been legalized for one twelve-hour period per year.

But this time, the action spills out onto the streets as Frank Grillo plays a man who heads out in search of revenge. Unfortunately for him (and the others with him), it’s not long before the tables are turned on them.

The whole idea of a Purge is horrifying enough, but the trailer gets really disturbing once the rich people show up. Then it starts to feel like an even more awful version of The Hunger Games, right down to the garishly decorated emcee. From here, it looks like The Purge: Anarchy deserves kudos for taking fuller advantage of this sickening premise.

Official Press Release: The New Founders of America invite you to celebrate your annual right to Purge. THE PURGE: ANARCHY, the sequel to summer 2013’s sleeper hit that opened to No. 1 at the box-office, sees the return of writer/director/producer James DeMonaco to craft the next terrifying chapter of dutiful citizens preparing for their country¹s yearly 12 hours of anarchy. Returning alongside DeMonaco to produce the sequel to 2013’s sleeper hit are Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity and Insidious series), alongside Sébastien K. Lemercier (Assault on Precinct 13) and Platinum Dunes partners Michael Bay (Transformers franchise), Brad Fuller (The Amityville Horror, A Nightmare on Elm Street) and Andrew Form (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th).

Vicarious Entertainment

Get ready for a new genre label in Vicarious Entertainment. A project by 1821 Media’s Paris Kasidokostas-Latsis and Terry Dougas, who wrapped the Natalie Portman-starrer Jane Got A Gun and are currently developing The Odyssey. The new label will develop, produce and finance four to six thriller and horror feature films. They’ve already got four in post-production.

Vicarious teamed with Insidious producer and Paranormal Activity exec producer Steven Schneider for the Adam Levins-directed dark psychological thriller Estranged, currently in post-production. The heroine has a near-fatal accident that leaves her in a wheelchair unable to remember much. When she returns home six years later, she tries to reacquaint with her family, but she can’t remember who she was or why she left home in the first place. She soon discovers that the family is not what they seem, as shocking and deadly secrets emerge.

For horror fans, controversially, Vicarious has teamed with Campbell Grobman Films to develop Day of the Dead, a remake of George Romero’s zombie extravaganza that is set at Millenium Films. “Our goal is for Vicarious to be a premiere destination that excites creators from all over the world,” said Dougas. “We are giving them creative freedom and allowing them to showcase their strong vision and voice. There are great filmmakers out there and appetite for the genre so it’s a great time for us to be launching.”

Good luck to them… although we’ve seen Romero remakes before and they’ve not been worth the effort.

Stephen King’s ‘Cell’ filming in September

Stephen King_CellBenaroya Pictures and Miscellaneous Entertainment’s newly formed international sales company, International Film Trust (IFT), has added a new title to their slate – the Stephen King adaptation CELL, starring John Cusack – it was announced at Cannes by IFT President Ariel Veneziano.

IFT has acquired the remaining international territories for CELL, based on the novel by Stephen King, with Benaroya Pictures now on board to finance and co-produce. CELL stars Golden Globe nominee John Cusack (2012) and will be directed by Tod “Kip” Williams (PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2, THE DOOR IN THE FLOOR).

Richard Saperstein (THE TOXIC AVENGER, HANCOCK, SE7EN) and Michael Benaroya (LAWLESS, MARGIN CALL) are producing along with The Genre Company’s Brian Witten and Shara Kay. Marina Grasic and Jan Korbelin of Cargo Entertainment will executive produce. The film is currently in pre-production with principal photography set to begin in September.

When a powerful signal is broadcast across mobile networks worldwide, cell phone users’ minds are instantly and dangerously re-programmed. Heading north through New England in search of his wife and son, Clay Riddell (Cusack) is joined by a group of survivors hoping to fend off the bloodthirsty and hyper-connected “phoners.”

Leigh Whannell

Leigh Whannell_movie bannerLeigh Whannell (born 17 January 1977) is an Australian screenwriter, producer, and actor, best known for his work on the Saw franchise.

Leigh Whannell_Dying BreedWhannell was born in Melbourne, Australia, and believes that he inherited his love of storytelling from his mother and his fondness of filmmaking from his father (Whannell’s father was a cameraman in the television industry). A writer since childhood, Whannell worked as a reporter and film critic for several Australian television shows, including ABC’s Recovery, a Saturday morning youth-oriented program. Whannell has described the show in a 2011 blog post:

The result was that instead of following the usual MTV ideal of what teenagers want in a TV show—“Hey kids, coming up next we’ve got some seriously WICKED windsurfing moves!!”—Recovery managed to tap into the so-called “alternative” movement that was in full swing at the time by giving teenagers what they actually want: genuine, unpolished anarchy.

Whannell had originally auditioned for the host role, but was later employed as a reporter; Whannell’s first interview was with Jackie Chan and he has stated that “Recovery is the best job I’ve ever had …”

James Wan_Leigh WhannellIn 2003, Whannell appeared in a minor role in The Matrix Reloaded. While in film school, Whannell met James Wan, who would eventually go on to direct the horror film Saw (co-written by Wan and Whannell) in 2004. After making a short film to showcase the intensity of the script, the feature film was made and became a low-budget sleeper hit in late 2004. Whannell played Adam Stanheight in the film, one of the main characters. The popularity of Saw led to a sequel, Saw II, which was directed and co-written by another young horror filmmaker, Darren Lynn Bousman, and on which Whannell co-wrote and revised Bousman’s original script, titled The Desperate. Whannell also served as an executive producer.

Insidious Leigh Whannell and Lin ShayeAround the same time, Whannell returned to collaborate with Wan and they wrote a film called Dead Silence, which Wan directed. It was slated for a 2006 release, but small problems with the title pushed the release date back to March 2007. In 2006, the duo composed the story for Saw III, with Whannell writing the screenplay for the third time. It was again directed by Bousman and was released on 27 October 2006. Whannell has a featured cameo, reprising his role as Adam. Saw III was a huge financial success and raked in $33,610,391 on its opening weekend, making around $129,927,001 worldwide (after 38 days in cinemas) and is currently the most successful Saw film to date.

Whannell’s writing partner, Wan, was chosen to direct the film Death Sentence, the first feature film with their participation that they did not write themselves. Whannell has a small role as Spink in Death Sentence.

Insidious_posterIn 2008, Whannell took off his “writing hat” to perform alongside Nathan Phillips in Dying Breed, a low-budget Australian horror film about a team of zoologists exploring the Tasmanian wilderness to locate a creature thought extinct, the thylacine, aka Tasmanian tiger. Instead, they wander into the domain of cannibals who retain their infamous ancestor Alexander Pearce’s taste for human flesh, and become prey.

Before and during the production of Saw, Whannell sought medical treatment. “I was going through a bit of a tough time healthwise and suffering anxiety,” says Whannell. “The anxiety manifested itself in physical ways. I was suffering headaches everyday for nearly a year. It was serious stuff and really started affecting my life.” Spending time in a hospital inspired him to endow the lead antagonist of the Saw series, Jigsaw/John Kramer, with cancer. “It was weird to be 25 and sitting in a neurological ward and I’m surrounded by people who actually had brain tumors. It was very scary and it was my first proper look at mortality. I really wanted to get my health back and it really hammered home how important good health is. If you’ve got that, you’ve got everything.”

Insidious_demon_wallpaperWhannell wrote the script for and acted in the 2011 paranormal thriller film, Insidiouswhich was directed by Wan and produced by Oren Peli of the Paranormal Activity franchise. A sequel, Insidious, Chapter 2 is due out in late 2013.

In relation to the Saw franchise, Whannell stated, also in 2011: It’s hard to say definitively, because we don’t own the copyright for it. The producers could make 10 more if they wanted to. But, if we’re to take them at face value, they told us that they were definitely done with it. They’re pretty exhausted. They’ve been making one a year every year for the past seven years, so I think they need some time off.


Insidious – Poster Art

Insidious Chapter 2

Insidious, released in April 2011, was one of the most profitable films of last year, grossing $97 million worldwide on a budget of $1.5 million. It was therefore inevitable that a sequel would be on the way… The cast, writer Leigh Whannell and director James Wan are returning for Insidious Chapter 2,  which Film District will release August 30, 2013. Jason Blum, who produced Insidious, is producing through his Blumhouse Productions. Brian Kavanaugh Jones, Oren Peli, Steven Schneider, and Charles Layton are executive producing the film, which is set to begin production January 15 in Los Angeles. Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne will reprise their roles in the sequel, about a couple and their son, confronting the demons that still possess their young boy.

The River

From the director of Paranormal Activity, Oren Peli, and executive producer, Steven Spielberg, comes a suspenseful drama series about an explorer who goes missing and the attempt made by his wife, son and others to track him down. The River will premiere this February 7th 2012 on ABC.

Paranormal Activity 4

After the recent news that Paranormal Activity 4 will be released on October 19, it has now been revealed Joost and Schulman will return as directors, this time with several more months to prepare. Bloody Disgusting exclusively broke the news of the film’s returning directors. They don’t have any additional information on what the film will focus on, but, we can speculate in one of two directions based on the third film.

The first Paranormal Activity set the stage by showing a haunting in the house of a girl named Katie. The second film showed how that haunting came to be, originating in the house of her sister Kristi, and where a possessed Katie went after the end of the first movie. It was sort of a prequel tagged with sequel elements. Paranormal Activity 3 added a few seconds to the story of the second before jumping back to the 1980s when Katie and Kristi were pre-teens. There it showed them being haunted and revealed that it was because of the ritual beliefs of their grandmother. Either it can go back in the past and show why Katie and Kristi’s grandmother got all wacky or it can jump ahead (something the third film was lacking) and explain what is going on with the now possessed Katie and her nephew, who she’s kidnapped from her dead sister… stay tuned.

Biggest Horror Opening EVER..!

Hollywood’s scary 3 months of slumping North American box office is officially over — appropriately enough at the start of Halloweek. In fact Paranormal Activity 3 (which cost only $5M) recorded the biggest horror opening of all time and the biggest October debut this weekend not adjusted for inflation or ticket pricing, according to Paramount. Its worldwide cume is now $80M. For decades, studios have had to spend more and more to keep their big franchises aloft. Not the Paranormal Activity series, and in this economic climate that’s become a very attractive model for the studios.

Paranormal Activity 3 – $50m+ Opening

Paramount’s Paranormal Activity 3 as predicted is setting a franchise best with $45M for the weekend after opening to $26M today in 3,321 theaters so kudos to Oren Peli and Jason Blum who returned to produce the highly secret feature. Report from Nikki Finke.

Strong late shows Friday night surged grosses despite audiences giving it only a ‘C+’ CinemaScore. Then again how many horror films are well-reviewed? It’s 80% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with raves from Time Magazine and Entertainment Weekly. Rival studios say the weekend take is approaching $52M even if Paramount is sticking by $50M. (there’ll be a huge drop from Friday to Saturday). Paranormal Activity 3‘s strong tracking for weeks showed wannasee not just with young males but also with older moviegoers. So no surprise this bloodless thriller is breaking Hollywood’s 3-month-long box office slump this weekend. PA3 cost only $5M, making the low-budget high-grossing franchise “the gift that keeps on giving,” as a studio exec tells

The marketing strategy for the first Paranormal Activity was midnight screenings in a few college towns, build word of mouth over several weeks, then slowly open it across the country. Now the 3rd in the franchise gets a wide release from the get-go. “We always market this franchise in a very specific way- we try to stay true to the fanbase,” A Paramount exec tells Finke. “We don’t betray the conceit that the footage is real, and we rely on core fans to spread the word by doing playful stunts and allowing them to see it first.” Paramount highlighted its Thursday midnight opening in all its media. The TV campaign consisted of lots of cable and very little network as well as the highest percentage of online of any movie Paramount has ever handled. ”We spend half of what most other wide releases spend in P&A and continue to let fan buzz propel release,” a Paramount exec boasted.

Then again, you have to laugh at what Ariel Schulman, who directed with Henry Joost, said about how they got the PA3 gig: ”Catfish had a lot to do with it. Paramount were big fans and we had been on their radar. When we first interviewed with the president of Paramount, he actually said, “If you tell me right now that Catfish is fake, you’ve got the job.” And we just went real silent. And then I said, “I’m sorry, I can’t tell you that.” Because it was real. I think he figured that if we could create that authenticity dramatically, then we could do it again for this. Ultimately, we convinced them of exactly that. Catfish is completely real, but I think we have a knack for identifying the authentic moments in home video, and it plays like a narrative.”

Internationally, Paranormal Activity 3 opened in France Wednesday and saw $521K opening gross which was +45% higher than PA2, Australia Thursday which saw $516K  or +14% ahead of PA2, and almost every foreign territory today besides North America. Russia’s $550K opening gross was 45% higher than PA2. To pump up global grosses, Paramount indulged in a global stunt: the first-ever worldwide tweet-to-see-it-first contest. There were 20 round-the-world fan premieres in 8 countries after a contest based on the most Twitter activity. Out of 250 cities, the winners included Melbourne, Tel Aviv, London, Sao Paulo, New York, and Hollywood’s Arclight, where thousands of fans turned out for gourmet food trucks and franchise star Katie Featherston.

Paranormal Activity 3 – Tweet To See It First

Paramount Pictures has announced a “Tweet To See It First” campaign which will allow twitter users to determine which 20 cities will get to see Paranormal three days before the film’s global release. The third film in the series is a prequel which takes us back to 1988, where we get to “Discover How The Activity Began.” Paramount press release:

Tweet to Decide Who in the World Sees “PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3″ First!

Paramount Pictures Launches First Ever Global “Tweet To See It First” to Kick Off the Eagerly Awaited 3rd Installment of the Thriller Franchise

Movie Will Premiere in 20 Cities Worldwide on October 18th

In an unprecedented move, Paramount Pictures will debut PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 exclusively in cities where the most fans “Tweet To See It First”. This first ever of its kind campaign launched today at 8:00 a.m. PDT and is open to fans worldwide. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 will premiere on October 18th in the top 20 cities with the most tweets, 3 days before the film’s global release.

“The support of this franchise from the online community is phenomenal. We again look to reward them for that support by offering them the chance to see it first, this time expanding our reach globally,” said Rob Moore, Vice Chairman of Paramount Pictures.

To vote, fans can go to ParanormalMovie and select their city from a global map, which will also serve as the point of entry to create a tweet with a special set of hash tags that link directly to twitter. Once a tweet posts, it counts as a vote. A leader board will show the top 20 global markets in real-time.

The “Tweet To See It First” competition is available to audiences worldwide and ends at 11:59 p.m. PDT on Thursday, October 13th. The top 20 cities will be announced on Friday, October 14th.