As most of you probably already know the trailer for Paranormal Activity 3 was released this week. If you haven't seen it, find it here.
Now, I loved Paranormal Activity. The first one scared the bejesus out of me. And the second one, while less scary, still ultimately succeeded in interesting ways. I have a bit of a problem with the trailer for #3. The first and second films were leading up to what happens when (SPOILER) a posessed Katie gets out into the world. The second one gave some clues, but that's why I was getting excited for the third installment. The trailer for #3, however, shows the sisters as they were growing up when their family was initially possessed by unseen forces.
But can and should the producers be striving to make a prequel of a prequel? I don't know. It feels like they couldn't come up with anyway to maintain the established tropes of the films. When you expand the film beyond the controlled location of a house, how do you maintain a documentary-style feel? The only answer I can come up with is if the Kardashians got possessed and E! filmed it for a new reality spin-off.
The fear I have at this juncture is that Paranormal Activity is becoming the new Saw franchise. Every October whatever there will be a new one. Regardless of its merit. Which is a shame. For those that were scared by the first one, it was a nifty and inventive little film that caught them off guard. The second one didn't scare me because, well, me and everyone else in the theatre knew what was coming. But if you tamper with the formula, what happens? The studio doesn't make as much money? Bigger risks equals uncertain returns. As much as I would like to ignore the fact that films are designed to make money once they are in the studio system, I can't.
Let's take a look at the Rec series. The first two are AMAZING. Seriously. If you haven't seen them, see them now. The word on the new ones in development is they are breaking away from the POV shooting style (there will still be elements of it) and shooting it with a larger scope to show the outbreak as it spreads. It's incredibly risky, but ultimately will provide a potentially bigger pay-off to those involved and those who love the films.
Though I would like to see Kim Kardashian get possessed and eat Kourtney while Ryan Seacrest looks on.