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Experimental Activity Not to be Confused with Paranormal Activity

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | November 4, 2009 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | November 4, 2009 |

I love this taste of splendid Hollywood retardation.

If you’ve seen Paranormal Activity, you know who Katie Featherston is. She was the lead female, and if you ask me, both kind of endearing (even in her late-movie whininess) and way, way too good for her character’s boyfriend, who was the epitome of a brah-tard and the most annoying actor in a fake documentary since Heather Donahue in The Blair Witch Project.

Anyway, my guess is that both Katie Featherston and the male lead, Micah Sloat, will probably go the way of most of the Blair Witch cast (save for the surprisingly cool Joshua Leonard), which is the same way the dodo, the pet rock, and the music of Trixter went: into complete obscurity.

However, Featherston does have another movie in the works. It looks fairly straight-to-DVD and I’m not even sure that Featherston is top billed. She’s one of many actors and actresses in a film that I’ve never heard of. The movie was called Walking Distance. This is the logline: As a group of individuals - each with their own ties and agendas with the town and each other - converges on the idyllic small town, strange things begin to happen. Very strange things. Strange enough to test — and then break — the very fabric of reality itself.

Ooooooooh. Sounds like something a very good trailer narrator would even have a hard time saying with a straight face. “Strange enough to test — and then break — the very fabric of reality itself.” Cue bombastic eerie music.

So, the story is this. Showcase Entertainment decided to buy Walking Distance, almost certainly because Featherston is in it. And then, get this: They changed the name to Experimental Activity. No reason, really. I mean: Why would they want to capitalize on the success of Paranormal Activity? As Showcase president David Jackson said, “Clearly having the fastest-rising star in the business is a feather in the cap, but we feel the film stands on its own as a cool psychological thriller.”

Yes, yes. The film “stands on its own,” and that, folks, is precisely why he’s changing the name to Experimental Activity, which has nothing to do with Paranormal Activity and in no way is this movie — which “stands on its own” — meant to be confused with that other movie starring Featherston, even though they have a similar name.

Unless, of course, you want it to be. But I’m 100 percent positive that the eventual trailers will never draw the connection. (Damnit, I forget to implement the sarcasm font).

Fortunately, American audiences are not stupid enough to fall for that trick. No sir. Uh huh. They’re too savvy, as the box-office receipts for Paul Blart: Mall Cop suggest.

And, for the curious-minded, here is the trailer (H/T janetfaust):

(Source: THR)

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.