Archive for Paranormal Activity

EXCLUSIVE: PRODUCER JASON BLUM TALKS DARK SKIES (PART ONE)

Posted in Aliens, Interviews, Movies, Sci-Fi, Thriller with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2013 by darklordbunnykins

Keri Russell in Dark Skies

The DLB recently spoke to Dark Skies producer Jason Blum about the alien abduction thriller about to hit theatres tomorrow. Blum is the name behind Blumhouse Productions, the production company behind low-budget horror successes like the first Paranormal Activity, Insidious, and Sinister. Amongst our topics: making scary movies on small budgets, working with director Scott Stewart (Priest, Legion), the next Paranormal Activity and Insidious films, as well as working with Rob Zombie on The Lords of Salem. Part 2 of our chat will be posted tomorrow.

How excited are you about the way Dark Skies turned out?

I’m really happy with it. It’s exactly the movie that Scott…Scott brought me the movie a year ago, pitched it at me, well not exactly but very close to what you saw. and I really like an emotional story, you know, character, emotional work and the family drama that is depicted in the movie and to have a family upset by this dark force and I’m really proud of the movie and I am really pleased at how it turned out. I wouldn’t be doing these calls if I felt differently, obviously.

 

And why did you want to make it?

I always look for the same things in the movies that we decide to do, which is, is there a great drama and is there a great story. I think unlike a lot of the other companies that make horror movies I really look at the story first and the scares second, and I actually think that makes the movies scarier. I think a lot of places say, well tell me the scares and then we’ll work the story out later, and I think that’s not super effective, and so that’s a long answer to your question, but Scott checked all the boxes with this movie. It’s exactly the kind of movie we’re looking for and I would continue to make. Obviously I don’t want to repeat ourselves, we want to excel. And I think the movie is very different than Sinister and Insidious but certainly just as scary.

 

Speaking of Scott, what is he really good at and why did you want to work with him?

I never met him before we started the movie so I could only look at his movies, and what I got from his movies relates to what I just said, is that I thought he was really good at directing actors, he’s gotten really good performances, and that’s what I was drawn to, and I think that he continued to get that. Both Josh [Hamilton] and Keri [Russell] have seen the finished film, they love it, they want to work again with Scott, and I don’t have to tell you this but that doesn’t happen too often. So that’s what I thought he was good at, and I’m not always right, but I was right about that and I was happy about it.

Dark_Skies_5

Speaking of Keri and Josh, why did you want to cast them, especially given that they don’t have backgrounds in horror films? Or is that an advantage?

To me that’s an advantage. I did theatre in New York but I was just starting out in my career. I had a company called Malaparte and Ethan Hart and Calista Flockheart and Steve Zahn and Robert Sean Leonard and Josh Hamilton, among a bunch of other people who were in the company and Ethan did Sinister and Ethan did a second film with me called The Purge and the casting of all of our movies, ultimately the directors have the final say, but I’ve encouraged them to cast actors who aren’t necessarily associated with horror. You can say that of Ethan, and you can certainly say that of Josh Hamilton and Keri, for that matter.

 

There are a lot of alien invasion films, a lot of alien abduction films, but to what extent do you think is Dark Skies scarier because it’s told on an intimate scale – it’s one family, as opposed to a more global invasion big-budget films like Battlefield Earth or Independence Day?

I don’t see this as an alien invasion movie at all. I know that may sound surprising after you saw it but an alien invasion movie implies exactly what you said, being a spectacle close-encounter, I see it as a family disrupted by a menacing force and to me, in Paranormal Activity you never see what the force is; in Sinister and Insidious you see it a bit more, but to me what the actual evil is, is much less interesting to me than what the evil causes. And that’s what I like about this movie, I don’t look at it like an alien invasion movie at all.

Josh Hamilton in Dark Skies

On that note though, how much discussion went into how much you would show the aliens and what they would look like, given that they are secondary as opposed to the effect upon the family itself?

Very little. I think less is more when you are showing evil forces, and again, I think the conversations were about who should be in the movie, who should play it, what problems they were facing and in all the films that our company works on, we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the…we give a personality to the evil by not showing the evil. We can’t compete with the bigger movies on showing evil forces, we just…so I feel we get a lot more mileage out of not showing them and letting people imagine. Whatever you can imagine is way worse than whatever we have the ability to show, so I encourage filmmakers to let audiences imagine what’s bad as opposed to see it.

 

Dark Skies opens Feb. 22.

 

 

 

WRETCHED REVIEWS: PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4

Posted in Devils, Ghosts, Halloween, Monsters, Movies, Reviews, Rue Morgue, Sequels, Supernatural, Witches with tags , , , , , , , on October 19, 2012 by darklordbunnykins

 

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4

Starring Kathryn Newton, Matt Shively and Katie Featherston

Directed by Ariel Schulman & Henry Joost

Written by Christopher Landon

Paramount

 

Rue Morgue Magazine received a lot of incredulous feedback when they published my review of the first Paranormal Activity film. I had written that it was the scariest filmgoing experience I had ever had; that was misinterpreted as “Paranormal Activity is the scariest movie ever made.”

It is true: the Paranormal Activity films are best experienced in a movie theatre, which is why Paramount uses night vision footage of screaming preview audiences to hype each new film.

So it will be interesting to see how audiences react to PA4. The guy to my left at last night’s screening was talking, checking his email and texting throughout, and said, “Thank God that’s over” at the end, while the four teen guys to my right were vocal about their enthusiasm for each set piece. (“Bitch got owned!” greeted the death of one character.)

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EXCL: OREN PELI TALKS “CHERNOBYL DIARIES”

Posted in Gore, Interviews, Monsters, Movies, Violence with tags , , , , , , , on May 24, 2012 by darklordbunnykins

The DLB recently sat down with Oren Peli, the director of the first Paranormal Activity movie and producer of the upcoming horror film Chernobyl Diaries about a group of tourists visiting the site of the 1986 Ukrainian nuclear disaster. Here Peli talks about his memories of Chernobyl, working with first-time director Brad Parker, and scary Serbian secret forces dogs.

 

What memories, if any, did you have about the Chernobyl Disaster when you were coming up with the story idea?

I was 16 when it happened, and the main thing was there was so much confusion and misinformation about what happened. I remember that the Soviet government didn’t actually admit that anything was going on. I think it was either a Norwegian or Swedish scientist who noticed this big radiation cloud over Europe, and wondered what the hell was going on. And finally they did admit it, I think, two or three days after the fact. ‘Well, it was the weekend. We didn’t want to bother anyone during the weekend.’ All these weird excuses.

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EXCL: OREN PELI ON “THE RIVER”: PART 2

Posted in Devils, Ghosts, Interviews, Monsters, Supernatural, TV with tags , , , , , , , on February 14, 2012 by darklordbunnykins

The DLB recently sat down with Paranormal Activity director Oren Peli to discuss his TV show The River, amongst other things. This is part two of our discussion:

 

Have you had any problems with censors yet?

You always deal with the standards & practices, and you have to negotiate with them, how many times can you use a bleeped version of seven word, but it important for us to create a sense of realism so we wanted the characters to be able to curse as they naturally would just the way the intended so we would bleep it out.

And we never really meant to go for too much gore anyways, so that was never our intention so we didn’t experience too many problems with that.

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EXCL: OREN PELI TALKS “THE RIVER”: PART ONE

Posted in Devils, Fantasy, Ghosts, Interviews, Thriller, TV with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2012 by darklordbunnykins

The Oren Peli-produced TV show The River, about a team of camera-equipped adventurers documenting their attempted rescue of a beloved nature show TV host (Bruce Greenwood), debuts tonight, and The DLB recently had the chance to talk to Peli (best known as the director of Paranoral Activity) about it:

What is your background as a horror fan?

I’m not specifically a horror fan. I like any good movie or TV show, so I do like some of the horror movies that are more like the slow burn ones, stuff like Rosemary’s Baby and The Others, Sixth Sense. Not so much the slasher horror movies. So that’s the kind of stuff I’m usually drawn to.

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WRETCHED REVIEWS: THE DEVIL INSIDE

Posted in Devils, Gore, Movies, Reviews, Violence with tags , , , , on January 6, 2012 by darklordbunnykins

THE DEVIL INSIDE

Starring Fernanda Andrade, Suzan Crowley and Simon Quarterman

Directed by William Brent Bell

Written by William Brent Bell & Matthew Peterman

Paramount

 

It’s not that The Devil Inside could not have been an entertaining film. The idea of a young woman (Andrade) traveling to Rome to find out the truth about why her mother was committed to a mental hospital in Rome after killing three people twenty years earlier in what appears to be an exorcism gone wrong holds promise. But coming as it does thirteen years after The Blair Witch Project, two years after Paranormal Activity, and one year after The Rite, the idea of a found footage exorcism movie seems about as fresh as the pea green puke Reagan projectile vomited onto Father Karras in The Exorcist back in 1973.

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“INSIDIOUS” WEEK CONCLUDES: JAMES WAN & LEIGH WHANNELL DISCUSS THE FILM’S SCARY SCORE AND OREN PELI

Posted in Devils, Ghosts, Interviews, Movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2011 by darklordbunnykins

Insidious is out in theatres now so go support it or never complain again about the lack of original horror films. Got it? Good. Anyway…

Here is the final part of the DLB’s interview with filmmakers James Wan and Leigh Whannell. Here we discuss the film’s scary score, courtesy of Joseph Bishara (Repo! The Genetic Opera) and the involvement of their producers, including Paranormal Activity director Oren Peli.

How important is sound design and Joseph Bishara’s music to making Insidious as scary as it is?

James: Because Insidious is all about me hearkening back to my love of classic haunted house movies, very old school horror, old school ghost story here, and the best way to represent that is not just through the visuals, not just through the camera work and production design but the score is such an important part.

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