Aside from waiting for an update on the status of its sequel and rooting for it to win an Independent Spirit Award on March 5th, we honestly haven’t been paying too much attention to Paranormal Activity‘s roll-out across the rest of the globe. But all that changed today with the report that despite being a box office hit in Italy, the film has “kicked up a storm among [Italian] politicians and associations on Monday because it is terrifying teenagers and children across the country.” Bravo, Oren!
Here’s the full story per AFP (translating a report by Italian news agency ANSA): Italy’s emergency response service reported dozens of calls, especially from southern Naples, where “several panic attacks lasting more than half an hour took place on Saturday,” an employee told ANSA. “The most serious case is that of a 14-year-old girl who was brought to the hospital in a state of paralysis,” he said.
“For the past two weeks a trailer has been shown obsessively on TV and is terrifying thousands of children. The movie is called ‘Paranormal Activity’,” Italian Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa said last Thursday. “It’s a terrible thing. I took notice because my seven-year-old son told me ‘Daddy, I’m scared’,” ANSA reported him saying during a visit to Istanbul.
Alessandra Mussolini, granddaughter of the Italian fascist dictator and head of a parliamentary committee on children, said “Paranormal Activity” had “highly distressing content” and was causing “panic attacks and psychological problems among youths.” “I don’t think we can ban ‘Paranormal Activity’ now, but surely we need to study how to warn parents of the risks their children are incurring,” Mussolini said.
The movie opened in Italian cinemas at the weekend, grossing more than 3.65 million euros, more per cinema than Hollywood blockbuster “Avatar” — the costliest movie of all time.
Codacons, a consumer advocacy group, said in a statement it was “considering legal action to protect underage viewers of ‘Paranormal Activity’.” The Italian parents’ association noted that admission to the movie is restricted in the United States, Britain, Germany, and The Netherlands and asked for an age limit of 18 in Italy.
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