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Friday, October 21, 2016

HubrisWeen 4, Day 16: Paranormal Activity (2007)

HubrisWeen is a 26-day blogging marathon where a seasonally-appropriate movie gets reviewed every day from October 6 to the 31st in alphabetical order. Click on the banner above this message to go to the central site and see what Checkpoint Telstar and the other participants are covering today.

Written and directed by Oren Peli

Katie Featherston:  Katie
Micah Sloat:  Micah

Time to catch up with another phenomenon that everyone else in the world saw before I did. I'll tell you right now before I watch this one that I'm expecting Jump Scare:  The Motion Picture. If this turns out to be anything but loud noises out of nowhere and stuff popping up at the camera I'll be pleasantly surprised.

About a decade ago this movie came out of nowhere to make a gigantic pile of cash at the box office, and that means that the horror fans weren't the only ones to go see it. Just as superheroes (in movies and on TV, at least) aren't just for reedy-voiced Pointdexters any more, from time to time there will be a big big success on horror cinema that the straights like just as much--if not more so--than the fans. And there's nothing wrong with that. I know my own limits (which is why I've seen Cannibal Holocaust but not A Serbian Film), and expecting everyone in the world to agree with my sense of aesthetics is a fool's errand (you will note that Telstar:  The Joe Meek Story did not make a billion dollars in its theatrical release). 

But you can't expect someone who digs Vincent Price, Peter Cushing and Donald Pleasence to go see the new big thing that people are talking about. I've been a horror movie nerd since I was about six years old, and I know quite well what I like by now. If this movie turns out to be something I enjoy, then I'm the goof for not seeing it earlier. If it turns out to be tepid and weak (horror-flavored entertainment rather than a real deal horror movie) then I was right all along.

And yeah, this does make me the kind of hipster asshole who won't see something that other people like. In my defense, people often have terrible taste in movies. That's why Michael Bay keeps making Transformers sequels. I saw the first one for nothing on a student movie day at Eastern Michigan University when a class got canceled, and I wanted my money back.

I will say that if the movie's full of jump scares, they're probably really good ones--this film was made for under $15,000 (and shot in the writer / director's house) and earned $193,000,000 in theaters. Paramount released it and made all that money; Dreamworks was planning to buy the rights to remake the movie and add the version I'm looking at as an extra on a hypothetical DVD release of their spiffy, expensive, prettier movie.

The film starts with Paramount thanking the next of kin of the two main characters, Micah Sloat and Katie Featherston, as well as the San Diego Police Department. Nice and ominous there; it's white Courier text in the middle of a black screen, and it tells the audience from before the first frame of narrative not to expect a happy ending.

Next up are some choppy clips that establish Micah is fooling around with a camera--it's going to be one of those found footage movies, where the narrative events will be presented as having actually happened. The amateurish camera movements and little blips of things that hadn't quite been erased off the tape add to this impression. The first sustained shot of the film is from Micah's point of view as he takes the camera outside his house to greet his girlfriend Katie, pulling up in a convertible and asking him what happened to the little camcorder he used to have. Katie refuses to kiss the camera and we hear Micah mumble something about wanting to catch some kind of paranormal phenomena that he and Katie have noticed with the brand new, impressive, and undoubtedly expensive camera. 

The gimmick is going to be simple:  They'll leave the camera running as often as possible and hope that something's gonna occur in front of it; then they can rewind the tape and see what the heck was going on. There's no subtitles on the version of the film that I'm watching, and I miss them dearly even though I'm only about two minutes in. Oh, and that sure is a big kitchen knife Micah's waving around as he explains that he'll be able to "take care of" whatever entities are screwing around with his life (regardless of whether the events are being caused by window-peeping neighbors or ectoplasmic Things From Elsewhere).

The creepy neighbor kid is the official first red herring to get dropped in the screenplay, but probably won't be the last. Past that it's a little more story setup (Micah says he's going to leave the camera running all night while he and Katie sleep, which could be the setup for a completely different kind of movie) and more shots of the two main characters having dinner and then testing the microphone sensitivity from several distances. While we learn that Micah's much more into this "use the camera to figure out the weirdness" scheme than Katie is, we also get to see their house and just sorta put the various chess pieces on the board so that when things start happening later on nothing comes as a surprise to the viewer. LOUD NOISES! out of nowhere are a jump scare while paying off something that was set up earlier is--or at least can be--suspenseful. It's probably important that Katie says weird things have been happening around her since her age was in single digits--that's likely to pay off later, yeah.

The reason that the house looks so lived-in is that, as stated earlier, Oren Peli shot the movie in his own home in a rough-on-everybody-involved seven-day shooting schedule. He gets some great mileage out of the way that his house looks like real people live there. Since the viewer has to buy the characters as real people in a real situation that really happened, sticking them in one of those New York City lofts the size of a pool hall wouldn't work. And soundstages, no matter how skillfully constructed and dressed, will never have four walls for a given room, and might also possibly be missing a ceiling. For the same reason, casting two unknowns as Micah and Katie was a great idea--it's hard to buy into the secret lost footage of two people doomed by their contact with the unknown if you've seen them in half a dozen other movies or TV series.

Katie says she isn't going to cause any strange crap to happen on purpose; she's had enough weirdness in her life without trying to deliberately cause any of it. If something winds up on tape, hooray, but she's got no desire to bring anything about through actual intent. There's a false positive where the ice maker turns out to be making noise that the couple hadn't noticed until they started paying attention to every sound in the house, a brief "comic" bit where Micah asks Katie to strip on camera and then the pair gets ready for bed; Micah sets the camera up on a tripod so it points down the hallway outside the bedroom, turns out a distant light so they can see the whatever it is that's been making noise and we're off to the found-footage races.

There's a little clock superimposed in the lower-right corner of the screen to show when footage was taken (the date gets superimposed along with titles like "Night #1", furthering the illusion that this is something that really was caught on film and then released as a feature). And the blocking of the bedroom scene is interesting--there's an open door with a twenty foot long hallway outside it, and then the king-size bed next to it. So if there is anything making weird noises in the hallway we'll be able to see it and the two main characters in the same shot. And if it approaches the camera, it's also approaching Micah and Katie, which will be good and tense for the audience because they can watch sleeping people in horrible danger that they don't perceive. It's quite nicely set up for a horror film. And when Micah turns off the light it's revealed that the camera's got a night vision mode.

That first night, nothing happens until 2:10 or so in the morning, and it's just light thumping noises. You don't show the audience everything you've got on your first sequence, of course, and most viewers will generate at least a little bit of tension on their own just watching to see if something is going to happen (a dark shadowy hallway works nicely for this, of course).

In the morning, there's more domesticity going on while Micah goofs around with the camera; downstairs, Katie finds her house keys on the floor when she put them on a counter; Micah says that's obvious proof of ghostly intercession, but he's smirking when he says it (you can tell even though he's not on camera). Then there's a bit of "Micah swims in the backyard pool and is also an immature goof" going on. Katie's more than slightly fed up with Micah at this point but he's a day trader who can afford a house with a pool in it in San Diego and she's a college student who moved in with him, so there's some power imbalances going on in that relationship.

The next story point that reveals itself is Katie talking to the camera and explaining that she contacted a psychic that's going to stop by and see if he can't figure out what's going on with the weird noises and strange things (like her keys getting tossed to the ground) of late. Micah's found some public domain scary music to play for the psychic and makes references to using the man's gifts with respect to his stock trades or possibly cleaning up at horse-racing tracks (I did like his complaint "You would think a psychic would be on time," though, to be fair). The psychic turns out to be a middle-aged white dude in a pair of slacks, a T-shirt and blazer and he doesn't really walk around intoning things about doom and gloom right from the start. Instead he asks how Micah and Katie's relationship is going and gets slightly different responses from each person.

The psychic also gains pretty major points with me by saying that lots of things that people ask him about can be explained by squeaky wooden floors and old pipes or ducts in houses. He's not saying everything ever is only explainable as psychic phenomena. But he gets Katie talking pretty quickly and she says that she'd seen a shadowy figure at the foot of her bed since she was eight years old (!). Her sister also saw that figure, but it always seemed to be fixated on Katie. It's probably not a good sign that her family's house burned down (causing no fatalities, but destroying all their property) and that there was no official determination of the cause of the blaze. The shadow creature followed Katie to other places that she lived; the psychic says that it's apparently attached to or following her through her life. 

Katie gives the psychic a tour of the house and a laundry list of all the weird shit that she's experienced (light bulbs flickering; faucets turning themselves on; whispering voices at the edge of her perception calling her name) while he listens attentively. Micah says he's heard odd noises but nothing he understood as a voice and then shows his camera and microphone setup to his guest. The psychic says that if there is indeed a haunting or other supernatural occurrence going on, paying attention to it (via the cameras and mikes or just from Micah and Katie's stress levels) will make it stronger. The psychic says he's a ghost communicator, defining "ghost" as the spiritual presence of a dead human being. The thing that's been attached to Katie, he says, is a demon--something that is not now and never was human. He says that there is some kind of presence in the house that he can feel, and that it's something that will get closer and closer to Katie as time goes on. He also provides a referral to Dr. Johann, a demonologist colleague of his that could probably help more than he can (the psychic equivalent of getting a referral from your general practitioner to a nephrologist once it's determined that you're suffering from kidney stones). Micah wants to know why he shouldn't just bust out a Ouija board and talk to the thing so that they can give it whatever it wants to go away.

"What it probably wants is Katie."

Well! Scratch that plan, then. The psychic also says that trying to communicate with the entity will be seen as an invitation to enter their lives, since it opens a metaphysical door between Micah's house and whatever plane of existence the demon inhabits. Micah says he won't try that, but the psychic (and the viewers) undoubtedly don't believe him. Katie thanks the man with a great deal of sincerity and also wants to know why her boyfriend of three years had to be a dismissive asshole to him. Micah also doesn't want Katie to call that demonologist, and they compromise on not contacting him unless the random weirdness in the house gets worse. Micah then takes the opportunity to do a motion picture selfie in the mirror and make fun of what he assumes Dr. Johann's accent is going to be.

Which leads to the second night's video recording, where Micah tries to say that the record light is actually the "standby" one; Katie isn't buying it and the screen cuts to black and then back to the two lovers giggling over whatever it was they did during that time skip. And then the camera goes back into its spot for "Night #3"; there's sped-up footage of the two moving around a little bit as they sleep and just before 2:10 in the morning the playback goes back to normal, which means something's gonna happen. At first it's just strange noises but then the bedroom door starts moving on its own--closing a little bit and then opening wider. Nothing else happens that night and the alarm goes off at 6:15 for the pair to start another day. Before they even take a shower, Micah and Katie view the footage, both reacting to it (Katie's frightened; Micah thinks it's "awesome").

Some time later Katie screams in fear; Micah grabs the camera and runs to where his girlfriend has seen a spider crawling on their bathroom floor. Which, hey, any room where I'm going to be pantsless for any amount of time, I don't want spiders to share. Micah scoops the arachnid up on a paper towel and releases it into the wild outside (I tend to go for chemical warfare in such circumstances).

Another time skip--Micah's reading up on witchcraft and ghosts, discussing the difference between ghosts and demons with Katie. This works as a nice delivery of exposition and Monster Rules for the audience, because Micah's the one who knows something's going on but is also a snide jerk. It's somehow easier to take the exposition from someone who isn't buying into its value at all. Demons, according to the trade paperback he's reading, only want to cause pain and suffering, can demonstrate human-level or greater intelligence, and latch on to victims for years or decades at a time. He's excited to catch the demon on film; Katie is less than thrilled to be dealing with something that's been scaring her for more than half her life and wants her objections and fears on record. Micah, like a total asshole, says that since she didn't warn him about demonic presences before they moved in together, Katie doesn't get an automatic majority vote on how to proceed.

That night Micah locks all the windows and doors and sets the house alarm so that whatever shows up will be noticed; at five to three that morning Katie wakes up from a nightmare but there's nothing going on with the windows or doors. Then there's a thump from downstairs; Micah wants to see what's up and Katie doesn't want him to leave the bedroom. She gets pressed into service as camera operator (for about the first time in the film, I think) but there's no corporeal entities in the house and the pair goes back to bed. Later on Katie's got a friend over to do some crafting ("Bead Time") and Micah interrupts to say he's got a voice recording off his laptop and it's some kind of language that he can't recognize. His idea to get a Ouija board and talk to the thing is shut down by Katie and her friend instantly and Micah grudgingly promises not to try and talk to the being.

Night #13 takes place after Micah gripes about how the demon hasn't shown itself or anything; he gripes that it's worthless and sets the camera up. Incidentally, leaving the door open with a dark shadowy hallway behind it is a really effective scare tactic. Every time I see that shot I expect something to come towards the camera. The mere fact that it hasn't happened yet just raises the anticipation, because it's going to happen by the end of the film. Katie wakes up after a thumping noise about a quarter after three this time around, eventually wakes up Micah and they both experience apprehension until there's a roaring noise and a loud thump that scares the heck out of both of them. A check downstairs fails to show anything out of the ordinary other than a swinging light fixture, which is eerie but not horrifying. After not finding anything the pair decides to go back to bed for what is sure to be a completely unsatisfying night's sleep.

In the morning, Katie registers her protests again and the movie looks like it's establishing a routine:  some characterization, time-lapse footage at night, and the two main characters approaching the previous night's weirdness from their two different perspectives. Micah takes time out from his busy schedule of day trading to ask questions of the thin air and finding a response noise of some kind on the recording. The movie drops night #15 on us after a very brief interlude, which means it's probably going to be one of the bigger set pieces. Katie wakes up a bit past 1:30 in the morning and stands next to the bed for two hours, motionlessly watching Micah sleep before walking out of the room. It's a nice changeup because the audience was expecting another big noise from elsewhere and got something brand new instead. When Micah wakes up he goes looking for Katie, camera still in hand. She's nowhere to be found in the house, so he goes into the back yard and finds her rocking on the back porch spring. She doesn't want to go back inside, and frankly I don't blame her. Micah goes back inside for some blankets so nobody gets hypothermia and there's another loud banging noise from upstairs when he does. Also, the TV in the bedroom is on and showing static when he gets there; the only two people in the house that could have turned it on were nowhere near it and Katie doesn't remember going downstairs to the swing when she returns to the bedroom in a well-executed jump scare (the camera's perspective means that the viewer and Micah are blindsided at the same time).

Katie's terrified to see that she was standing by the bed for hours on the replay video and then wandered downstairs--she's got no memory of any of that happening. Micah says that if Katie's experiencing memory loss that events like whatever the heck happened last night could have been going on for years without her realizing it. That's got to be among the least comforting realizations Katie could have right around now. On the positive side, Micah says he'll stand by Katie, whatever happens--but he says calling in an exorcist could make things worse and neither of them wants that.

So of course the next scene is Micah holding a Ouija board up to the camera; it's decorated in what I can only call a "heavy metal trying too hard" design with a pentagram and an ornate Germanic tattoo font. He sets the board down on his coffee table and Katie (offscreen) throws a fit at how little her boyfriend cares about her stated preferences re:  fucking around with the occult presence that has been in her life for decades. Micah's assholish claim that he only borrowed the board and didn't buy one is the Platonic ideal of obeying the letter of the law and pissing all over its spirit. Katie leaves for the thing she and Micah were supposed to be going to, telling her guy that he can either leave with her or not but he's got about five seconds to make up his mind.

The planchette, left alone on the board in view of the still-running camera, starts to move after some thumping noises from somewhere (and remember, both people who live in this house have gone out). It's another great suspenseful scene because everyone watching the movie knows exactly what is going to happen, but the anticipation is shiver-inducing. After the planchette moves around a bit the board catches on Goddamned fire (unfortunately before the entity can finish spelling out SEE YOU IN THE CHARTS). Why yes, that is two days in a row that I made the same reference. If there's a Ouija board in Quatermass and the Pit I'm gonna go for a hat trick. When Katie and Micah come home from the shindig, it's time for another argument about whether or not Micah's going to burn the entire place down while screwing around with mystic forces that he doesn't believe in or comprehend.

Katie says the camera and the Ouija board are not solving or addressing her problems and she has less than zero interest in communicating with it. When Micah goes upstairs (toting the camera and board) Katie throws him out of the bedroom for an evening of couch surfing and regret. The regret doesn't take, because Micah is a self-centered moron, but at least he turns the camera off for a while. When the picture comes back Micah recites his sincere desire to obey Katie's rules re:  camera use and occult experimentation and he comes across with just as much sincerity as a North Korean political prisoner. The second try actually works and the pair goes to bed at about 1:30 in the damned morning (the audience apparently missed out on quite the argument).

Micah, being an idiot, goes over the footage of the planchette moving around on its own to try and see what it was spelling out (I really like the detail that Micah the tech guy calls it the "cursor"). There's a lot of things that it could have been spelling out, but it's pretty unlikely that the creature's true name is "Nadine". Katie flat-out says to throw the Ouija board away. She's been stalked by the whatever it is for years and doesn't give a shit what its name is or what it might have been spelling out. When talking with her crafting friend, Katie declines an offer to move in with her, saying that the entity will just follow her and make someone else miserable.

Katie lays down the compromise everyone saw coming:  Micah can try his plan out, whatever it is, and then after that doesn't work it's time to call the demonologist and get the entity banished for good. I would have made that call about nine seconds after I saw the tape of the Ouija board bursting into flames on its own, but I'm not Micah (thank goodness). His big plan involves shaking talcum powder in the hallway to get a footprint from the entity (which is going to prove something or other, I guess). His belief is that somehow or other the footprint will let him know what to do next, but it's the first real misstep I've seen in the screenplay. Whatever it is Micah thinks it's going to do, it'd be great if he shared it with the audience. As it is all we know is that he shook a bunch of talcum powder on a wood floor.

At quarter after three that night (what is it with that demon and middle of the night manifestations?), there's the usual thumping noises and then Micah and Katie wake up to see talcum powder footsteps that go into the bedroom but not going out of it. Katie discovers that the attic access panel has been dislodged in a hall closet and Micah decides to take a quick look up there over his girlfriend's protests because he is a total moron. He goes up to the attic space camera first and barefoot, which is just asking for trouble. He hands the camera down after saying that he sees something odd up there and after a suspenseful moment or two where the audience can't see or her him he comes back down with a scorched photograph that turns out to be of Katie when her age was in single digits. It was supposed to have been destroyed along with all of her family's other belongings when their house burned down. And yes, that means the movie is using one of my favorite elements of horror films, the impossible event that is happening anyway. Woo!

In the morning, Micah takes a look at the footage from the past night and goofs with the brightness settings until he sees the footsteps being laid down on the floor in real time. That doesn't solve anything, of course, and Katie says that it is long past time they called the demonologist to make a house call. Everything that Micah has done either had no effect or made things worse; his "scatter powder on the floor" plan didn't do anything to repel the demon and the Ouija board could have destroyed the entire house when it went up in flames. He hasn't had any success interpreting whatever the creature spelled out with the planchette and his jackassed insistence that his plans are going to work sound stupider and less convincing every time he says them. Time to call the demonologist (and, in a plot point I was not expecting at all, the guy is out of town doing something else and won't be able to check out Micah and Katie's place).

So the psychic from earlier in the movie comes back. I think that makes four people that have been seen on-camera; Micah and Katie (with Katie on camera almost all of the time), Katie's friend a couple of times and the psychic guy. It's got to be easy on the scheduling if you know you're only worried about four people, max, on any day's call sheet.

The demon waits all the way till four in the morning the next time before turning the light on outside in the hall, stomping around and then slamming the door. Micah goes out to confront the invisible creature out of some masculine confidence in his ability to affect the situation; when he and Katie are out in the hallway the bedroom door gets slammed again and there's more thumping about. Katie's sensible enough not to go into the bedroom after that, and Micah eventually relents when she begs him to stay downstairs for the night. This is really the time to say "The hell with the payments, it's time to charge a hotel room" more than anything but instead around four AM the couple goes back to bed with the lights on.

After what has to be the worst night's sleep either of them has ever endured, there's a noise from upstairs while they're having breakfast and Katie discovers that the glass on a picture of the pair of them has been cracked (the impact looks like it was over Micah's face, which can't be a good omen for him). Micah is irritated that he's the one with the scratched face in the photo now. And Katie can feel the demon breathing down her neck, literally, so it's time to put on her boogie shoes and get out of the house. As Micah notices, that's the first time they've had a manifestation in the daytime.

When the psychic gets there, he lasts about fifty-five seconds before he leaves--he's not particularly equipped to deal with the demon, his presence is irritating it, and it's gotten much stronger since the last time he was in the house. He also says leaving the house won't do any good at that point, which is super reassuring. Then he takes off. I honestly wasn't expecting that--having the character return so briefly isn't the kind of thing I've seen in other horror movies and it's an intriguing change of pace to have him essentially walk through the front door, declare the futility of his staying or the two main characters' leaving, and then get out while he can. I wonder if there's a post-millennial reason that the older, wiser, supernaturally gifted character was so conspicuously useless. There's probably a dissertation in that somewhere or at least a section of a paper on benign characters with occult powers in horror cinema (all the psychics hung around Hell House for the entire film or until they kicked the oxygen habit, after all).

Night #19 is the windup to the big finish. There's the now-expected light being turned on in the hallway for a moment at three in the morning (maybe the demon had to find the bathroom) and a light assortment of knocking and thumping noises. That lulls the audience into a false sense of familiarity before the next night; during the day Micah and Katie say they've got to figure something out, but what exactly that's going to be, well...your guess is probably better than mine. Micah winds up checking some web page on occult happenings and finds a case study of a girl named Diane, who also had ghostly presences in the night, a house fire, and various other manifestations remarkably like the ones plaguing Katie. An exorcism was attempted, and Diane wound up dead. According to the web page, exorcisms can enrage the demon and cause massive harm to the person that the creature is attached to (and possibly the film of the exorcism that goes wrong on the web page is a hint to the audience that Micah's camera and microphone are boosting the demon's power through paying attention to it). 

The inevitable "stop filming me and following me around with the camera" argument goes off here, and when Katie's sobbing on the floor perhaps this would be a good time for Micah not to get this on tape. But, as has been thoroughly established by now, he's an asshole. Plus if he didn't keep the camera rolling we wouldn't have a film. And so the penultimate night's recording begins. It's 4:30 in the morning when the demon show up and yanks Katie out of the bed before dragging her out into the hallway, screaming. That's the first thing in the movie that couldn't have been done with fishing line or some other kind of simple practical effect, so it's startling and effective. And since it's already been established that the bedroom camera is on a tripod pointing at the bed and hallway, the audience's point of view is that of a terrified and helpless bystander as Katie screams for help and Micah charges out to try and rescue her. After a moment they get back to the bedroom, clinging to each other on the floor.

In the light of day, Katie says it's just time to go, and or once Micah decides to do something sensible (especially after seeing what looks like bite marks on Katie's back). And later on in the morning Micah finds Katie sleeping or catatonic on the floor, leaning against a wall and gripping a wooden crucifix so hard that it's cut into her palms. Micah's response is to burn the cross and the old photo of Katie in his fireplace and when he goes to wake Katie up to go stay in a hotel somewhere she says she doesn't want to leave (and that it'll be okay now, which seems...unconvincing). And so on the final night, all of the supernatural events culminate in Katie walking out of the bed again at half past one and doing the creepy "stand by the bed for hours watching Micah sleep" thing a second time. Then the most overtly supernatural and horrific thing happens, which results in Micah's body getting chucked at the camera, knocking it over (as all such cameras must fall at the end of found footage horror movies). And the ending caption says Micah's body was discovered later and Katie's whereabouts are currently unknown. Roll credits.

Man, I was expecting this one to suck hard enough to have its own event horizon, but instead it was a great example of how you don't need a giant pile of cash to make a great scary movie (I tend to have a distrust of anything that mass audiences like, because I'm just as much a hipster asshole as anyone else when it comes to scary movies). But there's a real sense that the man behind the camera knows what he's doing and there are some excellent choices made to maximize the suspense. Anyone can do a loud noise out of nowhere to make an audience jump, but how many first-time directors realize that you need to let the viewers know a loud noise is coming and then let them fidget for a while before you hit 'em with it?

You can trace the lineage of this one back to The Blair Witch Project, and from there to The Evil Dead, Halloween,  Night of the Living Dead and Carnival of Souls--movies made by nobodies from nowhere. But those nobodies understood how to make an audience squirm and how to stretch a scene out so that the knowledge of what will inevitably be happening gets the viewer frightened in anticipation before releasing the tension with a well-executed scare. This one isn't quite an all-time classic like the five movies I listed up there but it does indeed deserve to be mentioned in the same company as those flicks. 

Oren Peli has only made one other movie since this one took over the world, but he's kept his hand in producing the sequels to Paranormal Activity and a couple other found footage and horror movies (last HubrisWeen's The Bay was one of the movies he oversaw, for example). Considering that Hollywood will let you do anything you want to do when your debut film returns 13,000% on its investment, I'm willing to bet he's right where he wants to be doing just what he wants to do. Good. At some point we're going to need a 21st century Roger Corman setting people up to make genre films and Peli certainly knows his way around an effective low budget. I look forward to seeing the other stuff he's had a hand in when I get a chance.

"Remember to put some pants on or something before going up against a demonically-controlled girlfriend or boyfriend. And shoes if it turns out you need to run like hell. Actually, that's probably why the demon kept attacking at three in the morning. Who's ready to take on a supernatural entity at three in the morning?"

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