Bootleg Universe Presents: Radio Silence's Paranormal Activity

Producer Adi Shankar's YouTube channel recently expanded from the Bootleg Universe - which creates short films of re-imagined popular movies - to also include the Bootleg Universe Pitch Show. This production has Hollywood talent sitting down with Shankar and pitching just how exactly they would reinvent well known franchises.

Following Tim Miller's episode, which covered his early pitch for Deadpoolis one half of the four-man directing team called Radio Silence (Devil’s Due). Chad Villella and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin discuss the movie franchise they most want to reboot - and their new twist on a popular supernatural horror franchise may surprise you.

In the video above Villella and Bettinelli-Olpin make a solid pitch for Paranormal Activity: Spring Break edition. This would take the terrifying action from someone's home and transition it into a hotel with active coeds partying hard.  Below the two filmmakers discuss the impact that this lightness would have on the drama that follows.

"One of the things we always love is starting as a comedy and basically lulling the audience into the idea that they can relax and enjoy something and then do an extreme flip right at the midpoint, where it goes from fun, personal drama into holy s**t terror. So this movie is going to be horror-comedy, but not comedy-horror."

When discussing found footage they both place heavy emphasis on the importance of spending time with the characters - before you try and murder them.

"One of the things we actually think found footage is great for is being able to be personal. We live on YouTube and Facebook and Instagram video. So to be able to use all of that to be personal and to really get into the characters. That's where we come from is doing short little funny little things that then flip, it allows you to feel like the characters are your friends and one of you in a way that didn't really exist before."

Paranormal Activity 4 promo image

As far as the set up goes, it begins like any typical escapist vacation film: old high school friends who are growing apart take go on a vacation together to reconnect, party, and hold on to their youth. The idea is to spin the home-invasion trope into a vacation-invasion in a setting that is reminiscent of Turistas. 

"This is what the Paranormal movies have done so f---ing well, creating basically a prison cell out of something that's normal - your home- and turning it into the most terrifying place in the world. Instead of being the couple in the house we have a whole bunch of young spring breakers in a horrifying hotel. So it's a little bit of The Raid, a little bit of Spring Breakers, and a lot of Paranormal Activity."

It's an interesting take on two well-worn themes - though it seems inaccurate to call this a Paranormal Activity crossover, since there is nothing paranormal about it. Throwing out the logic of how  the footage was found and transitioning into POV-storytelling may fix some of the narrative issues that were so problematic in Devil's Due, but still leaves room for many narrative issues.

We may never see Paranormal Activity: Spring Break in theaters, but this interview does offer a thought provoking glimpse into the evolving world of horror movies.

Source: The Bootleg Universe Pitch Show

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