‘Paranormal Activity’ screenings this weekend in Tempe

Movies

paranormalYou demanded it. But are you ready for Paranormal Activity?

The film, billed as one of the scariest in the last decade, is not opening in wide release; instead there will be three preview showings at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Harkins’ Tempe Marketplace 16 theaters. Valley residents brought the film to Tempe by going to the Demand it! site and showing their support in an online popularity contest with other U.S. locations. Now they’ll get what they asked for — if they can handle it.

The work of an Israeli video game designer, Paranormal Activity is about a young couple who move into what seems like a typical suburban “starter” tract house, then become increasingly disturbed by a demonic presence in the middle of the night. It premiered in 2007 at the Screamfest Film Festival and was screened last year at the Slamdance Film Festival.

DreamWorks acquired the rights to the film and originally planned a big-budget remake, with the original simply included on the DVD release — but the studio reportedly had a change of heart and went with the original after test audiences found it sufficiently terrifying.

So, is all the buzz surrounding Paranormal Activity just PR hype or is it rooted in genuine terror? You’ll have to catch a show to find out for yourself, because there are no local press screenings planned. While that often signals horror of a different kind, the movie is getting good reviews at Rotten Tomatoes from those who have seen it elsewhere. So it has a ghost of a chance …

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