Paranormal Activity 2In the unofficial battle of the horror sequels, the "home invasion by ghosts" follow-up has edged ahead of the "moralizing torture porn by traps" franchise.

'Saw 3D' appeared to be in the lead, what with its three dimensions and flying saws -- as depicted in the trailer, which promises bloody mayhem and "the final cut," complete with dozens of traps coming alive and attacking the viewing audience. Secure in the knowledge that the latest installment was filmed with actual 3-D cameras, 'Saw 3D' was the apparent leader in capturing the attention of horror fans this fall.

But the momentum may be shifting. Many horror fans have grown tired of Jigsaw and his acolytes, and warmly welcomed 'Paranormal Activity' last year. In a clever bit of marketing, Paramount Pictures encouraged folks to demand viewings in their city and vote for the film to receive a wide release. It worked; people got creeped out and the studio made millions.
The sequel, cleverly titled 'Paranormal Activity 2,' initially seemed completely unnecessary, but the teaser piqued interest, and the recently released trailer really jacked things up with the inclusion of creepy hidden images.

Paramount has returned to the marketing ideas that worked last year, giving fans an opportunity to demand to see the movie before anyone else. In a campaign that launches at midnight tonight, the 20 cities with the greatest number of votes will host a free screening on Wednesday, Oct. 20 at 11:59PM, ahead of the film's nationwide release. All that's needed is to visit the official site and cast your vote. Everyone loves a free screening, even if it is at midnight on a work and school night (grumble grumble).

There's still time for Lionsgate, the studio releasing 'Saw 3D,' to counter punch in the marketing battle, but time is running out. 'Paranormal Activity 2' hits theaters on Oct. 22, with 'Saw 3D' following a week later on Oct. 29.

Have you marked your calendar to see one or both of these horror flicks?
CATEGORIES Horror, Cinematical