In a time when everyone is constantly bombarded by advertisements for upcoming movies, the independent horror film Paranormal Activity is building hype the old fashion way: Through word of mouth.
Shot in a week for a miniscule $10,000, the film is about a couple so convinced their house is haunted that they start running cameras while they are asleep to capture the disturbances on video. The faux documentary is the debut feature by director Oren Peli who shot the movie in his own house with store-bought equipment.
“The idea for Paranormal Activity came from hearing creepy sounds at night in my house and wondering what they might be,” Peli told Metro. “I hoped to tap into people’s fears at their most vulnerable: when they’re asleep.”
The movie proved to be incredibly effective from the first time Peli showed it to an audience. But the best reaction came from Steven Spielberg, who was terrified after viewing it, according to producer Jason Blum.
“The best reaction to the movie so far was probably (Spielberg’s). He returned the DVD in a plastic bag because he was so haunted by it that he didn’t even want to touch it,” said Blum.