'Paranormal Activity' Spin-Off To Bring Cheap, Found-Footage Horror to Latino Communities

April 9, 2012

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Recognizing that the Paranormal Activity series does not adequately represent America's diverse tapestry of cultures haunted by ghosts that knock chandeliers around, Paramount and producers Jason Blum and Oren Peli are developing a new "Latino-themed" addition to their family of cheap, hidden-camera horror.

As described by The Hollywood Reporter, this new chapter in the Paranormal Activity franchise is not the in-development sequel announced in January but a newly-proposed Latino counterpart, separate from the current familial plot thread. Sources close to the project are calling it a "cousin," because the belated addition of a Latino cousin definitely sounds like a clever twist, not at all like the desperate, late-season contrivance of a struggling sitcom.

Christopher Landon, writer of both Paranormal Activity sequels, will be scripting and directing. As for how he is to make this film "Latino-themed," sources have clarified that this means more than just the addition of mysteriously-swaying piñatas, flickering votive candles, and a spooky reggaeton soundtrack. Slightly more, at least: The film will feature a Latino cast, and will approach the haunting from a decidedly Catholic angle. Dialogue is said to be in English, but you can still probably bet on an "¡ay, dios mio!" when a sugar skull spookily jumps off a coffee table. Basically, "Latino-themed Paranormal Activity cousin" means "generic found-footage horror, but this time we didn't just automatically cast a group of white people." Which, sure, I guess is sort of "Latino-themed"--at least as much as the Spy Kids series is. But maybe we shouldn't declare it The Official Film of César Chávez Day just yet.

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