Every decade (if we’re lucky) a very special movie comes along, one that could change everything. Oren Peli’s Paranormal Activity is teetering on the edge of exploding and becoming a cultural phenomenon. You’re all witnesses, and 4,500 of you loyal Bloody Disgusting readers showed up to attend the special Hollywood screening of Paramount Pictures’ haunt film that is now in limited theaters. Read more about the chaos beyond the break.
Flash back to September 1st. Paramount Pictures asks me to come to the studio lot and watch a little film by the name of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY. Now, I had seen an early cut of the film (on DVD) two years back before its World Premiere at the Screamfest Horror Film Festival in Hollywood, CA. I dug it, but wasn’t “wowed”. BD’s own BC caught the theatrical screening at the Mann Chinese Theaters and told me, “you have to see it in a theater.” I held on to his words for two long years.
So when Paramount asked me to come check it out with their top-notch stereo system, how could I refuse? The movie deserved as much.
It was night and day. In a theater, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY is an experience, and quite simply frightening. On my home all I could think about is how this beautiful little indie film got dealt a sh*tty hand. I mean, come on, it was sitting on the shelf for two years while they tried to remake the little guy. I guess maybe it’s time to believe in miracles because Paramount decided that what they had on their hand was better (and more authentic) than anything they could possible make. With a handful of journalists validating their suspicion, the studio got behind the movie like it was their summer blockbuster STAR TREK.
Two weeks pass… Paramount asks us to host a special midnight screening of the film at the Arclight Theater in Hollywood, CA. Without a shadow of a doubt Los Angeles screenings are the hardest to fill. A drop of sweat hit my brow and trickled down my cheek. If we host a screening, and nobody shows up, that’s pretty f*cking embarrassing. You feel me?
Literally 12 hours after making a post on BD, we had over 1,200 RSVPs. Was it our reviews, the one sheet, or maybe the kickass trailer? Whatever it was, there was something in the air. You could smell it, feel it, taste it…
Still, jumping the gun isn’t always a good idea. Typically people RSVP and then don’t show up. Sh*t, one screening (I forget which film) we had 500 RSVPs and 50 people showed.
Anyways, cut to tonight….
We were told to get to the theater around 10pm to start getting ready for the onslaught. Andrea and I park around 8:15pm to go walk to a local bar, grab a drink and some food. There’s already a line all the way around the front of the theater. By the time we returned around 10, the line was down the street!
It immediately washed over me that this was really happening.
Then there was midnight, don’t even get me started about midnight. Apparently, there were over 4,500 of you horror fiends in line. People who were in line three hours early were turned away. Some of you were in the lobby screaming, others freaking out. I got a kick out of the groups of people who showed up at 11:59 asking to “check in” like they were just going to waltz on in to the theater.
Paramount was pretty rad as instead of screening the film for one lucky group of individuals, they spooled up three prints and ran it in three separate theaters – all packed to the brim with screaming horror fans.
It was epic, and I have never seen anything like this… EVER.
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY is on the brink of becoming the next BLAIR WITCH; a film that will be talked about, dissected, emulated and worshipped for years to come. I can only pray that all of you dear BD readers enjoyed it as much as I did – and if you did, DEMAND IT and help spread the fear. You are all part of something very special. Embrace it and remember this day… it’s something us horror fans are lucky to experience as a film like PARANORMAL ACTIVYT only comes around once in a blue moon.