Five Favorite Films

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.

by | May 24, 2012 | Comments

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.

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