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Friday, March 26, 2010
Oren Peli posted the following message on the Paranormal Activity website earlier today:

Posted by Geoff at 12:38 PM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink | Share This Post

Friday, March 26, 2010 - 3:25 PM CDT

Name: "Randy Aitken"

R.  Aitken offers an opinion on De Palma declining to direct the Paranormal follow-up

Although I haven’t seen the first Paranormal Activity film, and I do want to see it sometime, I am glad that Brian De Palma is not on board to direct the follow-up.  In my opinion he can take risks with the best of the risk-taking directors alive today. Operating in a smaller cinematic sandbox is not a problem for De Palma.

Historically when he has had to suffer through his latest film being tagged as a box office disappointment, despite having to wait out the stagnant time periods of inactivity, he has always been able to keep his head above water and return to smaller films like Raising Cain or Redacted. Both of those films were not hits, but to my eyes they were fine examples of his unique expression of content and artistry. I believe that I read an interview where BDP explained that although it was written off at the time of release, Raising Cain continued to provide a nice stream of income for him after all these years. How many directors would try to do what he did in Redacted? Brian De Palma is a risk taker and the Paranormal project would ultimately gain from his masterful touch.

With his experience as a filmmaker, and in his use of scenarios where low-budget filmmaking is central to the story like Blow Out and Body Double, we know he could make the limitations work for him. In Home Movies he worked with students so that all who were involved could learn from the process.

It is better that he stay focused on making Boston Stranglers which should provide BDP a fine opportunity to take the real-life drama and horror of Albert De Salvo along with the mystery stranglers, the original Richard Fleischer film and filter it all through his creative abilities with glee. As De Palma fans, through his next exploration, once again we will ride on his coattails to soar even higher.

If the Boston Stranglers film is a success, and I am clearly anticipating that it will be nothing less than a massive commercial and critical hit, the fan faithful will smile and say “now do you see what I’m talking about?” and for the critics and audience members who traditionally stand out in the cold, the new film might be considered as a “return-to-form”  which leads them away from abandonment into the land of good and plenty, milk duds, and popcorn and thrills and chills and camera moves, oh my!

 If the Stranglers film should tank, I predict that Brian De Palma will rise again. He’s done it before and he will do it again.

I had hoped that Toyer would be produced. I had read the book and the idea of casting Juliette Binoche and Colin Firth I found to be very appealing. Timing is everything and my gut feeling tells me that Toyer, which would have been a great vehicle for De Palma will forever be lost in the shuffle.  Stranglers and Toyer to me are examples of what an ideal De Palma project can be,  one fundamental difference between them is that Stranglers  should provide a bigger, better ride for a larger audience than the intimacy of Toyer could.  I hope I’m wrong- if Toyer is ultimately made by De Palma, I’ll be there on the first day of release.

 I love great filmmaking and as a film fan I want to see as many new De Palma films as possible. Whatever De Palma films eventually do come out, regardless of how they receive mass acceptance or rejection, I will be there to watch them more than once, and I will love them and learn from the art being presented.  

De Palma doesn’t need any creative input from me because his cup is overflowing with ideas, technique and style, but I would laugh and revel in the experience if he decided to explore using 3D for the set pieces of Boston Stranglers. Wouldn’t that be a gas? Let’s go take a ride with BDP!  Bring it on.

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