Late last week, I got what might be the strangest package I've ever received in the mail. Some of you may have heard that these packages started dropping in the mail boxes of certain geek-friendly, genre-centric editors, but at the time, I was baffled by the fairly large package that I received. After ripping off about a mile-and-half of tape from the outside box, I found two items inside: a VCR and a padded envelope containing a single videotape with a label on the spine that read "September 1988." When I saw this, I had a pretty good idea what this was, and I smiled a big-old Cheshire Cat smile.
I popped the tape in, hit Play, and witnessed THIS SHORT CLIP (keep a close eye on the slightly ajar door in the background).
A few other similar, somewhat violent clips have been posted on other sites in the last few days, and now this pops up, obviously all a clever promotional event for PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3, which played a couple times at Fantastic Fest, and is set to premiere in 20 cities beginning October 18. I may land in the minority here, but I find these films scary as hell the first time I watch them. I'm not sure they hold up to repeat viewings (only the best horror movies do), but I'll be damned if the first two didn't have me in full-on terror mode. And clearly audiences feel the same way (although I'm sure horror sophisticates likes yourself aren't even a little bit scared), because these movies have made a killing at the box office year after year.
I also like the idea that the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY movies keep going back. We have lived in video-documenting age since the early 1980s, so why not acknowledge that? It was established in the first film that sisters Katie and Kristi have been taunted by these nasty forces since they were little girls, and I love the idea that we're going to get to see exactly what happened to them.
And so you may ask, which 20 cities will PA3 premiere in? Well, that's kind of up to you. Similar to the Demand It campaign from PA2, Paramount has set up www.ParanormalMovie.com where fans can go, find their city (from the "Who's Winning" drop-down menu on the right), and click Tweet. The 20 cities with the most tweeting fans get the premieres on October 18. I'm happy to see Chicago in the Top 10, but I'd like to see some of my fellow Windy City residents push us at least into the Top 5; I'd hate to see us lose to Jakarta. Do it because our new mayor demands it…at least that's what I heard.
Is this an elaborate stunt to get people talking and tweeting about PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3? You bet. But I love that this kind of "event" push is for a scare film that might actually be scary. The contest ends at 11:59pm PDT on Thursday, October 13, with the winning cities announced the following day, so start voting, y'all.