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Paranormal Activity 3 Review

Paranormal Activity 3 title card


  Paranormal Activity 3 is the prequel to Paranormal Activity 2, which in itself was a prequel to Paranormal Activity 1.


Katie back to the future

Quick Katie, we need to get back to the future!


  All kidding aside Paranormal Activity 3 expands upon the franchises mythology, delving into the events that both Katie and Kristi experienced as children and yes they even found a convincing way to have more "found footage" show up.


  We begin the film with Kristi (Sprague Grayden) and her husband Daniel (Brian Boland) decorating the baby's room before he is born (this is Hunter's room as seen in Paranormal Activity 2). Kristi's sister Katie (Katie Featherston) drops by asking if she can store a few boxes in their basement because she is moving in with her boyfriend Micah.


  A majority of the boxes have VHS tapes in them that Katie had gotten after the death of her grandmother. We find out later that after the Rey's house was ransacked (this happened in Paranormal Activity 2 and was the event that caused them to get the security system installed in the first place), the only thing missing were the boxes of tapes.


  So what were on all those tapes that Katie was storing in Kristi's basement you ask? Well that is what we get to see throughout the rest of the film.


  The year is 1988 and both Kristi (Jessica Tyler Brown) and Katie (Chloe Csengery) are very young little girls, living with their single mother Julie (Lauren Bittner) and her live in boyfriend Dennis (Christopher Nicholas Smith).


Katie and Kristi 1988

Shall we play a game?


  Dennis is a professional wedding videographer who loves filming everything. We start in the past with Dennis filming one of the girl's birthday parties.


  Later on he convinces Julie to have an intimate encounter in front of the camera when the earth moves. No really the earth moves because of an earthquake, what were you thinking?


  Dennis is excited that he got the earthquake on film, but upon reviewing the tape he is startled to see that he captured something else on the tape. He convinces Julie that something very strange is going on in the house and Julie lets Dennis set up cameras in three of the rooms in the house.


Creepy Children Demotivational Poster

I can think of at least one other reason to keep the door locked.


  As the days pass the activity in the house becomes more and more tangible, with even outsiders experiencing strange phenomenon in the house and just how imaginary is Kristi's imaginary friend Tobey?


  The Paranormal Activity movies are all about atmosphere and the escalation of fear and terror and Paranormal Activity 3 does well on all of these accounts. The problem here is that we need ever bigger scares to top what has come before in the series. Sometimes this can make some of the scenes seem a little silly.


  The scares are still here, just not at the level that they were in the previous movies, although I think that Paranormal Activity 3 definitely ranks up there on the creepy factor scale for the franchise.


Not seen in the film

Sir Not Appearing In This Film.


  So what worked and what did not in Paranormal Activity 3? The film expands on the mythology behind the paranormal activity in a way that I found to be intriguing. There is room for at least two more films to be made from what was revealed (one more in the past, and one set in the future). I can even see them using more found footage (but that would be stretching it).


  The pacing throughout the film was done very nicely and you can feel the characters genuine and growing sense of terror throughout the film.


  On the other hand some of the scenes where a bit over the top, with at least one scene being unintentionally funny (involving the babysitter) and another being a bit too gruesome (this one is at the very end of the movie).


  There is a serious case of deja vu throughout the film, echoing back not only to the earlier movies in the series, but also to other movies in the horror genre. Dennis reminded me a little bit too much of Micah and the whole subplot of the imaginary friend Tobey just screamed Amityville Horror to me.


  Like any good mystery many things are revealed by the end of the film, but it also raises even more questions leaving you wanting to know more. Overall the three films hold up very well together and I look forward to watching Paranormal Activity 4, to see where the film makers take us next.


  Final verdict for Paranormal Activity 3 7.5/10 The franchise is still good and they keep expanding upon the mythology in interesting ways, there is definitely steam left in this franchise. So go see this one in the theaters.






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