Halloween is upon us, and the third installment in the Paranormal Activity horror film saga has been released. Much like movie no. 2, this one is a prequel, set 18 years before the events of the first 2 films.
In Paranormal Activity 3 we find out more of what happened to Kristi Rey and Katie, the sisters whom the series has focused on thus far, and how the demon we’ve seen in all the films was haunting them even as they were little girls. The story is an interesting one, but this chapter is not of perfection. Entertaining, perhaps, but not perfect.
The movie opens with a scene set in 2005, where it is revealed that among the things that were stolen from Kristi (Spague Grayden) and Daniel Rey (Brian Boland) during the burglary that happened in Paranormal Activity 2 were also a bunch of videotapes that Kristi receives from her sister Katie (Katie Featherston) in the film’s opening. Strangely these tapes were not mentioned in the second movie.
We then see the footage from a camera that is a bit older. The year is 1988 and we see young Kristi (Jessica Tyler Brown) and Katie (Chloe Csengery) living with their mother Julie (Lauren Bittner) and their step-father Dennis (Christopher Nicholas Smith). Dennis is the camera man, and he films as weird, presumably paranormal things occur in their home, prompting Dennis to set up cameras and get more pictures of whatever it is. Stupid as he is, he does not show Julie these pictures right away.
I wonder why these movies portray men as either jerks or fools? Micah was an idiotic jerk in the first film, Daniel Rey had a rather bad attitude in the second one and now here’s foolish ol’ Dennis. Why is that? Maybe the scripts were all written by an angry feminist or something.
The footage also shows that Kristi apparently used to speak with the demon at times, referring to it as Toby. To make things more fun, I will simply refer to the demon as Toby by the time I review Paranormal Activity 4. The particularly strange ending proves that the story is far from over.
It may sound like I am only complaining here. While I think this film is a step below the second one, which was more well-acted and intriguing, I did in fact enjoy Paranormal Activity 3. Some of those Gotcha!-moments and jump scares get a bit tiresome, but the real scary moments work fine. At one point, Dennis constructs, with the help of a fan, a camera that pans automatically from the living room to the kitchen; this makes for some cleverly suspenseful and fairly frightening shots.
My brother has made the joke “If these films get any more bereft of any supernatural things happening, they’ll be called A Pair of Normal Activities“. Indeed, the film maybe suffers from slow moments, as well as dumb decisions made by characters, but the slow moments become suspenseful if you watch them the right way – alone at home with the lights off, instead of in a crowded theater – and stupid characters are simply traditional when it comes to horror films.
I wont see the film a second time, but I will see the next one. I’m really liking the story that they’re telling here and I am interested in seeing where it will go next. These films wont become favourites of mine; as soon as the story is over, I’m done with the series. I want to follow it, but I only need to do so once.
Below is, as per always, a trailer for the film in question, although this is a bizarre case of no clips from the trailer being in the actual film. No joke! If you only wish to see deleted scenes, I guess, then watch the trailer. Weird.