Before today I was not fully aware that the directors behind the very unique little documentary Catfish had been hired to take on the latest Parnormal Activity movie. I saw that film before they started marketing it as a horror film for whatever reason, but there’s no doubt they know how to tell a story using mixed media and low-quality cameras. That said, the new trailer suggests that they may have gone overboard with their budget and pulled a few too many people jerked through the air stunts…

While I’ve never gone through one of the films all the way, I understand the appeal and the horror that can come from fixed cameras and the tension of search for what’s going to change in a static frame. Paranormal Activity 3 though, looks like it takes all of the techniques used in the previous films and pushes them hard and often. Or perhaps the trailer is just yanking out all the action bits and shoving them out front, no way to tell.

In any event, this film is sure to make a ton of money off the fanbase it has built over the past couple of years. Apollo 18 suggests there might be some fatigue with this genre, but if they kept this as cheap as I would suspect, it’s a sure bet that someone will make some money. In the past though, some of the phenomenon of the franchise has spawned from the grassroots campaigning and shrewd PR exploitation of social media. Marketing ploys that had fans “demand” the film in their town built huge buzz that translated into wider success. Even though this film will inevitably be a full wide release the studios have come up with a clever way of replicating that by applying the same model to a set of 20 preview screenings in different cities. This time around fans will be able to demand that they get to see the movie first. Nice way of having your wide release cake and eating it with your grassroots buzz fork too.

To vote, fans can go to and select their city from a global map, which will also serve as the point of entry to create a tweet with a special set of hash tags that link directly to twitter. Once a tweet posts, it counts as a vote. A leader board will show the top 20 global markets in real-time.

The “Tweet To See It First” competition is available to audiences worldwide and ends at 11:59 p.m. PDT on Thursday, October 13th. The top 20 cities will be announced on Friday, October 14th.

So if you’re interested in seeing the film a few days early, bang out a tweet and let them know…

(via /Film)