Is there anyone out there who hates Paranormal Activity, Oren Peli's incredibly effective dive into "found footage" filmmaking? Judging by the fact that it sold out every single one of its midnight showings in 33 different cities last weekend, I think it's safe to say that people are loving the idea of being terrified Blair Witch style without having to commit to the false idea that what they're seeing is reportedly real footage. Sure, Peli's film made for roughly $15,000 is a genuinely frightening breath of fresh air, but what I admire most about is its refusal, from a marketing and narrative standpoint, to try and sucker viewers into thinking it is anything but a damn good haunted house simulation.

So how does one follow up faux found footage from a haunted house? With faux found footage from Area 51, of course. Variety is reporting that two groups of investors have locked down $5,000,000 for Oren Peli to make a film that tells, "the story of three teens whose curiosity leads them to the notorious "Area 51" part of Nellis Air Force Base in the Nevada desert."

Though the details are vague beyond that, Variety does quote Peli as saying "I'd rather not say anything about 'Area 51' except that I am very pleased to be working with the same team who stood by me for the two or three years it took 'Paranormal Activity' to get into theaters". So, considering that Peli is going to be retaining the same crew but will have an over 300% increase in budget, I think it's safe to say that the visual dial is going to be turned to 11 on this one. Sure, staging an Air Force base is going to cost some coin, but I'd like to assume that a good chunk of that purse is going to be squirreled away for some creature effects.

Which is both great news and terrible news. I'm thrilled that Peli will be returning to a formula that he's proven perfect for with only one film, and I'm thrilled that he's not merely calling it Paranormal Activity 2 and setting up infrared cameras in another home, but I'm absolutely terrified at the prospect of aliens being brought into the fold. I've had a crippling fear of visitors from space since I was a child, mainly because between the age of 6 to 9 I had a recurring nightmare that a bulbous headed creature was hovering outside my window watching me sleep.

Seeing that put to film is probably going to put me back into the fetal position for another three years. Damn you, Oren Peli and your alluring "found footage". I can dismiss something like the upcoming Milla Jovovich alien abduction flick The Fourth Kind because, despite its claims that it's all real, it reeks of Hollywood. But when you remove that protective barrier, even if you're not claiming what we're seeing is truth, the images just dive right under my skin. The more you tell me it isn't real, the more I'm into it. Funny how that works.
categories Movies, Sci-Fi