Paranormal Activity, the low-budget frightener that had a brief run at film festivals before disappearing down a black hole, finally sees the light of day again Sept. 24 at Austin’s Fantastic Fest at the Alamo Drafthouse. (Also check out this trailer — much more effective than what was circulating before.)
Around the same time (it’s not clear if it will be the same night), it will show at theaters around the country including:
- Los Angeles (ArcLight Hollywood)
- New York (Landmark Sunshine Theater)
- San Francisco (The Castro)
- Chicago (The Music Box)
- Boston (The Coolidge)
- Atlanta (The Plaza)
- Seattle (Neptune)
After that, it looks like it’s going the roadshow route with sneak previews starting Sept. 25 in the following cities:
- Seattle (Neptune)
- Ann Arbor, Mich. (State)
- Durham, NC (Southpoint 16)
- Baton Rouge (RAVE Mall of Louisiana 15)
- Boulder, Colo. (Cinemark 16)
- Columbus, Ohio (Studio 35)
- Orlando, Fla. (AMC Universal Cineplex)
- Madison, Wis. (Marcus Eastgate 16)
- Santa Cruz, Calif. (Del Mar 3)
- State College, Pa. (Premiere College 9)
- Tucson (El Con)
- Lincoln, Neb. (Ross Media Center)
Finally, if you want Paranormal Activity to show in your neck of the woods, you can “demand” it at the official Web site.
OK…so what’s the big deal about this movie?
Other than a lot of word-of-mouth buzz from people who know horror movies, just this. In a year when the most interesting horror movie releases have been straight to DVD, and the cinemas are choked with by-the-numbers nonsense, it’s nice — scratch that, it’s vital to the genre — to have a small movie that hasn’t been workshopped into another banal vehicle for the startlet of the week.
Sure, there’s a few bucks behind the distribution of Paranormal Activity, but all appearances suggest that it’s the filmmakers themselves who are working to get the word out, which suggests there just might be a shred of integrity to this picture. (Kudos to Paramount if this is actually a well-calculated marketing tactic.)
After some pretty lean years for theatrical-release horror, there’s something heartening about looking forward to the Little Horror Movie That Could, rather than the Big Horror Movies That Shouldn’t.