Debuting in 2009, Paranormal Activity took the world by storm, becoming not only one of the most profitable movies of all time but also inspired a barrage of imitators who hoped to cash in on the "found footage" horror trend. Despite his hugely successful film, director Oren Peli recently shared with the Post Mortem podcast that he has no interest in directing another movie.
"I kind of wanted to just kind of cash out and be done [after Paranormal Activity]," Peli admitted. "I got sucked into [producing] the Paranormal Activity sequels, then I had lunch with Steven Spielberg and he said, 'Let's do a TV show together.' And we did The River."
Many would think that Spielberg being interested in your work would be proof that you had an eye for horror, but Peli's heart wasn't entirely in it.
"At this point, I would have to be incredibly bored," he pointed out. "But I don't see that happening anytime soon. I would have to love something so much that I'm gonna give up my peaceful life now, and go back to the crazy world of directing. I'm very happy not to have to deal with [that] these days."
Peli followed up Paranormal Activity with the found footage movie Area 51 about a group of investigators hoping to uncover the secrets of the military base rumored to house extraterrestrials. Unfortunately, the film underwent various rewrites and edits, only to be quietly released in a limited amount of theaters and on VOD.
"I kind of kept having different opportunities to get me sucked back in," Peli explained. "And then I thought, 'Yeah, I could find something to direct.' I got sent a lot of scripts. There was one I really loved called 'Eliza Graves.' It ended up being a whole big legal mess and the project fell through."
Interestingly, Peli revealed that he was, at one point, approached to direct The Conjuring before James Wan joined the project. It's tough to say if the film would be as successful if Peli helmed the picture, but considering the amount of sequels and spinoffs the film received, it would have made Peli quite the horror architect.