Ever since watching 'Seidowaizu' - which is pretty much the same movie as Alexander Payne's 'Sideways,' except everyone is Japanese - I've maintained a strict policy of avoiding all new American films in favor of their eventual Japanese remakes (I can't wait for Japanaese 'Machete'). That's why I've always planned to avoid this fall's 'Paranormal Activity 2' (not really), and now it appears as if my forward thinking is already beginning to pay off, as Screendaily is reporting that the first film to be produced by Japanese distributor Presidio Corporation will be a 'Paranormal Activity' sequel called 'Paranormal Activity: Tokyo Night.'
In all seriousness, it's somewhat nice to see the re-make dynamic reversed given that Hollywood has borrowed so many major Japanese horror properties ('Ringu,' 'Ju-On,' etc...) in the last ten years - I almost feel a twinge of patriotism at the thought of Japan importing one of our own scary movies. The film is being described as a direct sequel of Oren Peli and Jason Blum's franchise kick-starter, and will chronicle the terrors that unfold once a Japanese exchange student returns home from San Diego - the location of the original film - with a wee bit of demonic baggage in tow (good job, TSA).
Instead of a husband to help combat the ghoul, the young woman will be challenged to purge the spirit with the help of her entire family. The film will be directed by Toshikazu Nagae ('Awe Dance') from his own script, and Presidio's CEO Yasutaka Hanada bullishly commented that they "Feel confident that our own Japanese continuation of the franchise can find an enthusiastic genre audience both here and overseas."
I'm of the mind that the 'Paranormal Activity' franchise will make a fine fit for a Japanese re-imagination ('Seidowaizu only felt so bizarre because it still took place in California despite the complete racial overhaul. Also, um, because it was a hilariously faithful remake of 'Sideways'). From 'Kwaidan' and 'Onibaba' through 'Suicide Circle' and beyond, Japanese cinema has consistently produced some of the most penetrating occult cinema the world has to offer, and I'm excited to see how Nagae might infuse his 'Paranormal Activity' with some uniquely Japanese elements. The film is scheduled to terrify eigakan from Okinawa to Hokkaido this December, and should be for sale at your local Jas Mart before long.