May 28, 2017

“Paranormal Activity” sequel scares up teaser trailer

By Sean O’Connell I have six words for anyone who thinks a “Paranormal Activity” sequel is a great idea: “Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows.”

The original “Blair Witch” was a touchstone in modern, reality-based horror. It sneaked onto the scene, surprised (and terrified) audiences with its barebones’ tactics, and broke the bank. A sequel was inevitable, but ill-advised. With no organic story left to tell, “Book of Shadows” stripped away everything about “Blair Witch” that worked. It has 13% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Paranormal Activity” enjoyed a similar level of success. Oren Peli essentially filmed with handheld cameras and tapped into his audiences’ primal fears to relay the tale of a young woman who might be possessed by an angry spirit. Filmed for $15,000, the movie went on to gross more than $100 million, guaranteeing a sequel.

As I mentioned, I think it’s a bad idea UNLESS director Tod Williams and screenwriter Michael R. Perry have come up with a tremendous concept for a second go. The film’s IMDB page has precious few details. And a teaser trailer, released this morning, reveals even less.

I remain skeptical.

“Paranormal Activity 2” opens in theaters Oct. 22.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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