After the micro-budgeted Paranormal Activity scared up over $150 million at the box office, a sequel was inevitable, but how do you catch lightning in a bottle twice? The original flick, which was made for just $15,000 seemed like the anecdote for what has ailed the horror genre in recent years. The success of the Saw series, as well as the Hostel films led to an onslaught of "torture porn" flicks - which basically consist of people screaming for their lives while they get murdered slowly, usually in an overly complicated and grisly way. Paranormal Activity arrived and did away with all of that nonsense, and instead opted for a scary story and a no frills approach.
Paramount - the studio behind the original Friday the 13th series - has never shied away from milking a property, so they quickly announced Paranormal Activity 2 was on it's way shortly after the original started to fill theatres. Now comes word they've settled on a director; and it's an odd choice at best. Oren Peli, the one-time amateur filmmaker who helmed the original has already moved on to his next project, Area 51, so the studio needed to find someone new and they've gone with Kevin Greutert. Greutert made his directorial debut last year helming Saw VI. Saw VI was the first entry in the series to see a significant drop off in box office receipts signaling that perhaps audiences had at last tired of the torture porn sub-genre. That's just speculative, but what is certain is that the film under performed because it got slaughtered by another horror film that opened the same weekend. That film, of course, was Paranormal Activity. So why would Paramount go out and lock up the director of the film they demolished? Why would they get someone who's only feature is the polar opposite of the kind of movie the original Paranormal Activity was? All signs point to Paranormal 2 being lousy - much like the Blair Witch Project; which spawned a truly awful sequel - there really is no reason to make a sequel except to try and wring some more cash out of the success of the first entry. Greutert's sequel hits theatres on October 22nd, and, ironically he will go up against Saw VII (which will be in 3-D.) Here's a prediction: he'll lose this box office battle again.