This Year's Blair Witch Project?
The thriller Paranormal Activity was another one of the big noisemakers at Telluride '09 -- not just because it "scared the bejeezus" out of a crowd at a rainy outdoor screening, or because director Oren Peli shot the whole haunted-house story on one stationary camera with two actors for $11,000. Both factors helped, though, especially when it came to Paramount acquiring the micro-indie for US distribution. Is it the studio turning over a new, inexpensive leaf, or is it a cynical attempt at catching some of The Blair Witch Project's lo-fi lightning in a bottle? Audiences -- and not just a little marketing -- will decide when the film opens Sept. 25. [TOH]