Now that the Saw series has finally run its course (at least for now), it looks like Paramount's Paranormal Activity franchise is prepared to take over as October's annual horror film staple. With the first two films in the series taking in a combined gross of over $370 million, it came as no surprise when the studio announced last year that Paranormal Activity 3 was already in development.
Since then we've heard little to nothing about the production and many fans are curious which direction the filmmakers will choose to steer this next installment in. The found-footage genre has experienced a significant resurgence in the last few years (thanks in no small part to the success of the original Paranormal Activity) and even the higher-ups at Paramount have admitted that they might need to utilize a new bag of tricks when it comes to Paranormal Activity 3.
Our own Kofi Outlaw previously offered his thoughts on how the franchise might continue, but he also acknowledged the creative limitations of the series' established aesthetic. Paranormal Activity 2 scribe Christopher B. Landon is tackling the script for the third film and although there isn't currently any information regarding its plot, we may have a fairly substantial clue regarding the film's format.
Bloody Disgusting has learned that Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman have been hired to direct Paranormal Activity 3. If you don't immediately recognize their names, you've probably at least heard of their controversial documentary Catfish (which actually inspired a rare dual review here at Screen Rant).
The debate over Catfish's authenticity rages on, but no matter which side of the fence you fall on in that debate - we can probably all agree that you don't hire documentary (or mockumentary) filmmakers unless you're aiming to ape that style to some degree.
At this point, it seems unlikely that Paramount would risk deviating from the franchise's proven business model. Paranormal Activity 2's $3 million budget may have been a huge step up from the original's $15,000, but it was still paltry by Hollywood standards. So bringing a pair of up-and-coming (i.e. cheap) directors on board and taking a similarly low-tech approach to Paranormal Activity 3 shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Low budgets and high grosses are what this series is all about, after all.
Joost & Schulman certainly have their work cut out for them, though - Paranormal Activity 3 is set to be released a mere six months from now. The first sequel did an admirable job of expanding the mythology and took a pretty innovative approach with its timeline of events. Will the third film be able to find an equally satisfying way to play with the audience's expectations?
We'll find out when Paranormal Activity 3 hits theaters on October 21.
Source: Bloody Disgusting