Paranormal Activity 3 set for next October
You knew it was coming and sure enough, Paramount has officially given the greenlight to PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3, which is already set for an October 21, 2011 release. No details on the film were given but the original creative team of director Oren Peli and producer Jason Blum are expected to be involved in some capacity (likely a simple executive producer credit).
So what can we expect from PARANORMAL 3? Well we'll probably see the return of Katie Featherston, the most unlikely horror villain since...well, ever. I'm fine with seeing "Katie" back for the third film, I do think they need to try something different for the third film and at the risk of running the well dry too quickly, they need to abandon the "found footage" format. [Some spoilers about the franchise below...]
Peli's home video conceit worked very well for the first and the writers and producers actually found a clever construct to make it work again in the sequel (by having the events in PART 1 and PART 2 taking place concurrently). But that obviously can't be done again for a third film. The temptation may be to leap-forward in the mythology and have the post-PARANORMAL 1 Katie terrorizing some new family. And that would probably work for PARANORMAL 4 but before you flash-forward, you need to establish the mythology first.
PARANORMAL 3 should drop the "found footage" and be a traditionally shot movie. But how would that work, you ask? Before you flash-forward, you need to flashback.
If PARANORMAL 2 is to be believed and the demon/being that haunted Katie and her sister has been around since they were kids, flashback to when they were kids in the 80s. Give us some backstory on the original haunting. How did it find Katie and her sister? What does it want with them? Why does it follow them? By using a flashback, you can shoot this as a traditional thriller/horror film. And I know "found footage" is their bread and butter so you can even edit in some occasional home video stuff into the film to make people feel at home.
This sets up the mythology of who/what is possessing Katie and makes her a more credible and spooky villain for PARANORMAL 4, which can then flash-forward and revert back to the "found footage" if necessary.
OK, this may not necessarily be the best idea ever, but honestly, how many more "found footage" sequels can we put up with before we're sick of the whole deal and the schtick doesn't have the same impact. Take measures now to mix it up and keep people interested in the characters and the PARANORMAL mythology, otherwise you're just another one-trick pony. Par has greenlit a third 'Paranormal Activity' movie after the first two inexpensive films combined to make more than $300 million worldwide.