Steven Schneider defends “found footage” movies, tells TheWrap there is “absolutely the potential” for more “Devil Inside”
Given this weekend's big success of "The Devil Inside," a sequel is only natural, right?
"It's a little premature," Steven Schneider, one of the movie's executive producers, told TheWrap Sunday. "Everybody is processing what happened — the remarkable weekend we had — and feeling really good about that."
"Certainly the filmmakers and Lorenzo (di Bonaventura) and I would all love to explore that with the studio and I think we believe that there is absolutely the potential to carry forward our storylines from the original. It would be a rather organic and fun process — and one that would lead to great results."
He said he expects there will be some conversations in the near future.
Di Bonaventura, the producer behind the "Transformers" franchise and "Salt," executive produced "Devil." Matthew Peterman wrote the movie with director Brent Bell. Peterman and Morris Paulson produced the film, which Paramount Insurge acquired for $1 million. It grossed $34.5 million in its opening weekend.
In a wide-ranging interview, Schneider told TheWrap that while he won't provide specifics about future "Paranormal" films, "we're obviously excited and I don't think anybody feels we've come close to exhausting it," that the found footage genre is in its infancy and that he's not worried about "Devil's" horrible reviews.
"A lot of the reviews talk about found footage as a genre that's tired," he said. "The irony is, the movie opened to such remarkable numbers. … I think it's still in its infancy in terms of its aesthetic and stylistic development."
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Schneider said found footage films democratize the moviemaking process.
"The genre tends to be driven by concept — fresh concepts and really great execution. And this format allows for more people who are not necessarily more traditional mainstream Hollywood moviemakers to … have a forum, because they can afford to make the movie."
And Schneider, who holds masters degrees in philosophy from the University of London, said he's not worried about "Devil's" poor reviews.
"It leads to healthy conversations," he said. "Although the vitriol on some of the blogging sites and stuff can sort of get in the way of a more rational analysis. That's why we need a little bit of time to process."
Ultimately, he said, the movie is about the viewer.
"It's all sort of par for the course with the horror genre in particular," he said. "If the movie wasn't doing so well, nobody would pay attention to the fact that there's a lot of resentment or negative critical opinion."
Schneider, the author of several books, including "The Horror Film and Psychoanalysis: Freud's Worst Nightmares," remains — as a philosopher should be — philosophical.
But he remains — as a producer should be — practical.
He said he understands some viewers are upset with the ending.
"Generating controversy as a way to stimulate more interest is a technique that's not like we're the ones inventing it when it comes to the horror genre," he said. "Bold choices, in terms of the narrative and the film itself … was a choice I think we felt was the right one — and it's just been born out by the numbers."