'Catfish' Directors Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman To Helm 'Paranormal Activity 3'

by Gabe Toro
May 5, 2011 2:02 AM
9 Comments
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After cravenly exploiting the misery and loneliness of someone who needed therapy in private and not on 500 screens nationwide, Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost established themselves not as filmmakers but as crass, dishonest provocateurs. So is it a surprise that the "Catfish" directors would make a lateral move into a nakedly opportunistic film series that prides itself on being fast and cheap? Bloody Disgusting has learned that the two of them are jumping into production as co-directors on "Paranormal Activity 3," which is already slated for a Halloween release this year.

The second "Paranormal Activity" wasn't as successful as the first, but on a $3 million budget, the picture still grossed $177 million worldwide. That film was written by Christopher B. Landon, who will return to script the next film, though it's unclear as to whether the film will be a sequel or a prequel. Though it would be pretty great if it were a standalone picture about a couple of assholes who found out someone lied about their identity and was actually a ghost.

Even if this weren't the third part in a horror series for saps, even if this weren't one of about eighty more found-footage horror films coming in the next couple of years, even if this weren't made by a couple of schmucks who showed themselves to be skilled at self-promotion more than actual filmmaking, four words would still give us pause: Executive producer Akiva Goldsman. "Paranormal Activity 3" hits screens October 21st.

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9 Comments

  • jbird | September 3, 2011 9:36 AMReply

    I know one person involved with "Catfish" and I can assure you, it was not a hoax. What does surprise me is how childish all this criticism and name calling has become. These critics seem very angry about something else, or are they just jealous?

  • Christopher Bell | May 5, 2011 9:51 AMReply

    Hm, I would say that the two made a really decent thriller, but I really do wonder if the end product would've been at all intense if the marketing campaign didn't pretend like the twist was going to be something creepy/dangerous.

  • hank | May 5, 2011 9:02 AMReply

    I've criticized Gabe's posts in the past, but I'm going to have to agree with him on this one. Whether it was real or not, the last scenes of CATFISH dealt with topics that were clearly well beyond those two gentlemen's maturity levels.

    I think A.O. Scott nailed it in his New York Times review: "These filmmakers never transcend their own amateurism. They turn what could have been a brilliant exploration of the hidden corners of contemporary reality into an opportunity for gawking and condescension. Look at these crazy folks out there in the sticks! Let’s go back to New York and edit the footage so our friends can see just how crazy they are!"

    Paranormal Activity 3 seems like an appropriate next step for these two.

  • scribe | May 5, 2011 7:46 AMReply

    movie was ok at best but i agree with Gabe in full in that first sentence- these guys are not artists, they are douchbag pranksters- look at that stupid picture where they are trying so hard to be NEW YORK INTELLECTUAL EDGY. Stick to docs. that nobody cares about

  • suspicious | May 5, 2011 6:52 AMReply

    Why is it that every time I read a Playlist story that irks me, I always find it to be written by Gabe? Is it a strategy of the masthead to use the thoroughly unlikeable douche Gabe to deflect frustrations that could be aimed at other writers?

  • butthole pleasures | May 5, 2011 3:37 AMReply

    redcup, you're is your opinion, but truly it is a shitty opinion.

  • Catch-22 | May 5, 2011 2:36 AMReply

    redcup = friend/family member/collaborator/friend or family member of a collaborator of these two douches.

    Don't worry Gabe, douche is a very unreliable fuel source, and peters out people's careers a lot quicker than talent and a strong personality. So we'll see what's up with these two, in time...

  • Zelda Martino | May 5, 2011 2:30 AMReply

    Um....Catfish sucked for one reason alone. I had no idea it was a hoax until JUST now, and, it still was not even remotely believable. It was all bad acting and overly maudlin...something a 'expose documentary' is not supposed to be. It was absolute garbage.

  • redcup | May 5, 2011 2:23 AMReply

    Actually, it was superficial pseudo-reviewers like you that focused more on the marketing gimmick that propelled Catfish and missed the fully-realized storytelling skills on display. Be mad that it was a hoax masquerading as a documentary and that the filmmakers winked and nudged their way through subsequent interviews with petty blogger types, but Catfish was and still is a great film--whether it was "real" or not. And aside from making the best Facebook movie of 2010, Joost also had a hand in the best ballet-centered movie of last year: Opus Jazz. But seeing / acknowledging that film might actually require you to do more than just drool your kneejerk takes on cinema all over the internet, Gabe (IW, HE, etc.).

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