PARANORMAL ACTIVITY Director Oren Peli – Inside Horror

The name Oren Peli may not be household yet – unless you are a horror fan already (and if you aren’t, hey – thanks for being here! Welcome!) – who’s now working with Stephen Spielberg on the upcoming thriller TV series THE RIVER, will undoubtedly become a producer on par with megastars JJ Abrams and Shawn Ryan. He came into studio to talk with Elric and me about not only the new show, but the phenomena of the film franchise he began with PARANORMAL ACTIVITY.

First up, Jenna had our Dreadlines, going over a few newsy tidbits and some trivia – for example, did you know that three movies currently in the box office tops feature wolflike creatures? (THE GREY, UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING, and BEAUTY & THE BEAST) Also, one of the stories we aired last week, about Lily Collins taking over the “Ash role” in the upcoming remake of THE EVIL DEAD, has taken off in another direction now that the actress has dropped out due to so-called “scheduling conflicts”. We speculated on who else might be a good fit for the iconic character. And speaking of plum roles, we also discussed Tom Savini’s campaign to play the Governor on WALKING DEAD (though John Hawkes is already a shoo-in for the show).

We showed a trailer from THE RIVER – I really like this idea! It’s like THE SEARCHERS meets Steve Irwin meets LOST – and welcomed Oren. Oren had some interesting stories to tell about his first meeting with Spielberg, how his concept and cast came together, and what it’s been like to adjust from a cinematic pacing sensibility to one which is more regimented for timeframes and commercial breaks. Oren assured us the show is scary (and told us why), and he talked about where he’s coming from as not only a horror fan (he loves THE EXORCIST – go figure!) but as the producer of big box office hits like INSIDIOUS and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 (both are now on DVD). He gave us a little intel on how it’s been working with Rob Zombie on THE LORDS OF SALEM, and basically nothing on his long-stalled Area 51 movie (but it’s always a blast to hear the inflection in “no comment”, right?).

So there you have a little overview, but really… there’s so much more to this episode. I learned a lot, and so should you. Enjoy!

Next week, we will have Alexandre Aja in to talk about his upcoming projects (I want to ask him why the remake of MANIAC bears his name as a writer, only – after all, that bathroom scene he directed in 2003’s HIGH TENSION is such a natural springboard into that crazy-blood world!) as well as some fan faves like THE HILLS HAVE EYES and PIRANHA 3D (will he comment on John Gulager’s upcoming PIRANHA 3-DD? Hmmmm… we shall see!).

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  1. […] Oren Peli talks The River and Paranormal Activity (The Stream). […]

  2. Michael on February 18, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Oren Peli’s interview is both educational and fantastic. “Thank you!” so much for such a wonderful in-depth look into the world of a writing/directing visionary.

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