After the smash hit, franchise-spawning success of low-budget indie Paranormal Activity, you may have expected that director Oren Peli was going to become the new hottest name in horror. And yet, despite Peli producing a host of films including Insidious and The Lords of Salem, he’s only actually directed one other movie in the past ten years.
That film, Area 51, came and went with very little fanfare back in 2015.
Speaking with Mick Garris for today’s new episode of the podcast Post Mortem, Peli revealed why he hasn’t done much directing since Paranormal Activity.
“I kind of wanted to just kind of cash out and be done [after Paranormal Activity],” Peli explained. “I got sucked into [producing] the Paranormal Activity sequels, then I had lunch with Steven Spielberg and he said, ‘Let’s do a TV show together.’ And we did The River. I kind of kept having different opportunities to get me sucked back in. And then I thought, ‘Yeah, I could find something to direct.’ I got sent a lot of scripts. There was one I really loved called Eliza Graves. It ended up being a whole big legal mess and the project fell through.”
Peli explained to Garris that after several film projects fell apart and his girlfriend became pregnant, he made the decision to step away from filmmaking entirely – he even turned down the offer to direct The Conjuring, he revealed during the chat.
To this day, Peli seems to have very little interest in going back to the stressful, miserable nightmare, as he describes, that filmmaking can often end up being.
“At this point, I would have to be incredibly bored,” he added. “But I don’t see that happening anytime soon. I would have to love something so much that I’m gonna give up my peaceful life now, and go back to the crazy world of directing. I’m very happy not to have to deal with [that] these days.”