Five Favorite Films with Director-Producer Oren Peli

The man behind Paranormal Activity and this week's Chernobyl Diaries lists his all-time favorite movies.

Filmmaker Oren Peli caused something of a box-office sensation with his no-budget, found footage spook show Paranormal Activity in 2009 -- the 2007-shot horror frightened more than $100 million out of American audiences' pockets, which is not bad considering the production budget was around $15,000 (or the cost of one of Michael Bay's home video insert shots.) Peli found further success as the producer of the movie's two profitable sequels, along with working on last year's Insidious and TV's The River. This week he serves as the producer on Bradley Parker's Chernobyl Diaries, a horror about a bunch of tourists who decide it's a good idea to take a holiday in the former Soviet Union's most notorious nuclear waste zone -- where they discover they're not alone. ("In Russia, tour takes you," etc. Thanks; we're here all week.) While promoting the film, Peli took a moment to send in his Five Favorite Films via email -- and here they are.


Stand By Me (Rob Reiner, 1986; 91% Tomatometer)

Amazing Stephen King story, great cast and direction by Rob Reiner. Love the sense of nostalgia and friendship of the boys.




The Shawshank Redemption (Frank Darabont, 1994; 90% Tomatometer)

Another amazing Stephen King story. This movie is just about perfect. Love the sense of hope, revenge, and triumph.




Trainspotting (Danny Boyle, 1996; 89% Tomatometer)

Beautifully directed by Danny Boyle, I can watch this movie over and over again and never get tired of it.




City of God (Fernando Meirelles, 2002; 90% Tomatometer)

Truly a masterpiece.




The Blair Witch Project (Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez, 1999; 85% Tomatometer)

One of the scariest movies I've seen, and a direct inspiration to make Paranormal Activity.




Chernobyl Diaries is in theaters this week.

Comments

Cole Halley

Cole Halley

Finally, an honest list. Trainspotting and Blair Witch were cool choices.

May 24 - 12:47 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I honestly am wishing you fiasco.

May 26 - 06:44 AM

Epic Barney Funk

Barney Funk

A very good selection. None are really big in my book, but definitely movies that deserve some praise.

May 24 - 01:17 PM

Joshua Wilburn

Joshua Wilburn

who didn't see Blair Witch coming from a mile away. I'm glad he actually said it :)

May 24 - 01:22 PM

justjoustin

Joshua G

I like his choices. Too bad I don't like the films he makes! I guess I will live in hope that he'll make a City of God meets Blair Witch movie.

May 24 - 01:32 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Great idea! I'd love to see an actual film about witches in Brazil. Obviously The River doesn't count. Awful awful awful. Some of the worst acting I've ever seen on TV.

May 24 - 02:06 PM

Sneaks Jacobsen

Sneaks Jacobsen

cannibal holocaust

May 25 - 10:46 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I was thinking more along the lines of something in the barrios like "City of God", like some ghetto voodoo thing. And probably not found footage if we can help it. (Sorry Oren)

May 25 - 02:37 PM

Scott Otto

Scott Otto

'the river' was canceled after one season. is that what qualifies as a success these days?

May 24 - 01:38 PM

Kevin Hullett

Kevin Hullett

A lot of much better directors have had TV Series get canceled after one season. Joss Whedon and J.J. Abrams come to mind.....

May 24 - 02:34 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Great idea! I'd love to see an actual film about witches in Brazil. Obviously The River doesn't count. Awful awful awful. Some of the worst acting I've ever seen on TV.

May 24 - 02:06 PM

Sneaks Jacobsen

Sneaks Jacobsen

cannibal holocaust

May 25 - 10:46 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I was thinking more along the lines of something in the barrios like "City of God", like some ghetto voodoo thing. And probably not found footage if we can help it. (Sorry Oren)

May 25 - 02:37 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

What deep insightful observations, O. It's a pretty good selection, but shallow as pond scum.

May 24 - 02:08 PM

Cole Jaeger

Cole Jaeger

What the fuck are you doing? Why are you just trying to trash every comment on this page? You sound like a dick.

May 25 - 06:22 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I wouldn't know, I've never had a dick in my ear. I won't speculate on what's in your eye, but by my count, there's only a couple of comments I've taken issue with. I always pick on people who talk about 'honest' lists, because it implies that people who pick movies they don't like or have never heard of MUST be lying. My comment on justjoustin is actually complimentary, dumbass. And Mohd Sayafiq B made the oddly erroneous claim that a book and film made in the 1970s were somehow based on a disaster that occured in 1986. So that's two comments I "trashed" (making this #3) out of 24. How that translates into "every" is your own private sheep-shagging mystery. (Nice avatar, bleet-breath)

May 25 - 06:55 AM

Kevin Hullett

Kevin Hullett

A lot of much better directors have had TV Series get canceled after one season. Joss Whedon and J.J. Abrams come to mind.....

May 24 - 02:34 PM

Matthew Robinson

Matthew Robinson

You know I never could get into "Trainspotting" it's a well made film but it just never really stuck with me.

May 24 - 02:40 PM

Bye bye

Steven Bailey

I turned it off within the first 10 minutes.

May 27 - 01:26 AM

Eric Steffe

Eric Steffe

I like this list a lot especially City of God which is in my top 10. I don't care for the Blair Witch Project but can see how it made his list since it did inspire Paranormal Activity....which I am not a big fan of either.

May 24 - 04:45 PM

Andrew Milito

Andrew Milito

What detailed descriptions...

May 24 - 05:40 PM

TJ S.

TJ Seher

Good picks, you can tell some of these have influenced his work. Chernobyl Diaries still looks DUMB though :/

May 24 - 06:06 PM

Shiva the God of Death

Noah F

I literally clicked on the link saying: he has Blair Witch on it. I know it.

May 24 - 07:14 PM

Michael Leeman

Michael Leeman

SHAME ON YOU OREN PELI!!! This movie is completely reprehensible for so many reasons. Radiation from the Chernobyl incident continues to cause terrible health issues to the residents of Belarus including childhood cancer and early death even to this day. The government will not allow its citizens to leave the infected area and severely punishes those who do. This stupid "found footage film" makes a buck and makes mockery of this modern day travesty.

May 24 - 07:26 PM

Mohd Syafiq Bin Jabaruddin

Mohd Syafiq Bin Jabaruddin

It's kinda useless to make this complain decades after Hogan's Heroes made a comedy out of a WW2 German PoW camp.

May 24 - 10:45 PM

Mohd Syafiq Bin Jabaruddin

Mohd Syafiq Bin Jabaruddin

And have you heard of the novel Roadside Picnic, the film Stalker and the computer game of the same name (both inspired by the book)? These are media based on Chernobyl and are quite well-known.

May 24 - 10:46 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Don't be a fool. Tarkovsky's "Stalker" was released in 1979, 7 years BEFORE the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Weak excuse - "Well, other tragedies have been exploited before." Doesn't really change the expoitativeness of this particular film. Plus, if you've noticed, there's a news item this week "10 Movie Horror Locations You Can Actually Vist" including...Chernobyl, as if it's a tourist destination now. That article is a clear promotional tie-in to this movie and makes the exploitation explicit.

May 25 - 02:50 AM

Sneaks Jacobsen

Sneaks Jacobsen

you're a good dude janson j, knowledge is power, fuck these ignants.

May 25 - 10:51 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

It's back-breaking work. It's not like there's some kind of information resource available to everyone's fingertips where they can find instant data by subject query or anything.

May 25 - 02:44 PM

Splitter

Matthew Burge

Amazing list, terrible justification.

May 24 - 07:37 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Good list. Shawshank is the best film ever made. But eh, Blair Witch? Nah.

May 24 - 08:23 PM

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