Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on February 2010
Director Oren Peli, 39, confidently claims that he doesn’t believe in ghosts. Perhaps that’s why he seemed so unfazed by the idea of shooting a documentary-style horror film in his own bedroom. Paranormal Activity begins when an ordinary couple decides to capture on film the nightly haunting that has been occurring in their bedroom. “The movie works so well when you have no idea what you’re getting yourself into,” said producer Steven Schneider, 39, during a recent appearance in Tokyo. When asked about the naturalistic performance of the actors, Peli explained that it was ad-libbed. “The entire film was improvised—no script or dialogue for our main actors. In some cases, the actions were carefully choreographed, but otherwise, the actors didn’t know what was going on. They’d go to sleep at night, we’d say goodnight and they would have no idea what would happen.” This guerrilla technique may explain why the movie quickly became an international phenomenon, with reports of more than a few audience members leaving theaters shaken and believing the film as authentic.
Paranormal Activity is currently playing.