Even more impressive is the difficult road that Paranormal Activity has navigated to get to where it is today. I remember seeing trailers for it way back in late 2007 when Paranormal Activity was grouped in with a slew of other handheld horror films like Cloverfield, Diarrhea of the Dead, [REC], and the still yet to be released, The Poughkeepsie Tapes. I was excited for all of these films, and two out of the three that were released really delivered for me...but still, Paranormal Activity, the one I wanted to see the most, was nowhere to be found.
This homemade horror film was almost an unfortunate remake victim partially due to Steven Spielberg loving it after he had gotten his hands on a copy through DreamWorks (Spielberg also thought the film was haunted...dork.). After a strong showing at a screening the original film was set to be released in 2008, but issues with DreamWorks and Paramount yet again halted the release of the film. And finally, about a month ago, the movie was released in a very limited amount of theaters with the whole Demand It! marketing strategy that eventually got the film released in more and more theaters. The more theaters it got in, the better Paranormal Activity performed at the box office, the better it performed, the more theaters it got into. Until now, where the film is released wide and beating fucking Saw VI on its opening weekend, on its own turf nonetheless.
I may come off as bashing Saw, and I kind of am, but I'm just so tired of so many formidable movies getting left on the back burner, while another Saw film comes out and is successful. Successful because of the lack of head to head competition the Saw films have had by other horror movies the past five Halloweens. I'm completely over the annoying, and ridiculously terrible commercials stating "If it's Halloween, it must be Saw!" That's not the Halloween I celebrate, Mr. Man! It's almost poetic that Paranormal Activity would travel the long and difficult path it has to make it to where it is now, being the number one film in the country just before Halloween. Until a few days ago, the nearest theater that was playing Paranormal Activity was an hour and a half away - now with its strong box office showing, it is playing at a theater much closer, still 45 minutes from home, but I'll take it.