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Paranormal Activity 3

A movie directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman

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The Haunted House Scares Are Back....

  • Oct 22, 2011
Rating:
+4
The original “Paranormal Activity” was honestly one of the best execution of POV style cinematography I’ve seen. I admit that it had its rough spots, but for a measly $ 15,000, you have to acknowledge the genius of the filmmakers for coming up with such a creation that generated a $ 85 million box-office take. The second movie, while I liked it, abandoned the raw and rough atmosphere of looking like ‘actual footage’. It  felt more like a polished movie with camera footages supposed taken from home security cameras and handycams. It answered several questions as to why and what as to what haunted Katie in the first movie and now with this third movie, the viewer is taken deeper into the horrific story of Katie and Kristie when they were kids.

If you’ve seen the trailers, forget about it. Either some of those scenes were alternate scenes or they were there to merely misdirect the viewer. Many of the scenes seen in the trailer were not in the movie, and the movie does totally abandon the fears of the viewer that “all the best scenes were seen in the trailer” because most of the scenes in the trailer weren't even in the movie. I believe director Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost made the right approach in going a different way; the viewer is much more taken by surprise and it gives the movie a level of unpredictability. This third movie is more of a prequel to the events of the original and the second film.

                   A scene from ``Paranormal Activity 3.''

                  A scene from ``Paranormal Activity 3.''

The movie begins when a leftover footage of Katie and Kristie (Katie Featherston and Sprague Gayden) were being played, a year after Kristie’s house had been burglarized and the tapes were stolen. Then the action shifts to 1988, when Katie (Chloe Csengery) and Kristie were just mere kids, and their mother Julie (Lauren Bittner) and her boyfriend Dennis (Christopher Nicholas) were living under the same roof. Much of the footages are all about happy times, until Dennis notices a strange image after an earthquake. From then on, using a bunch of VHS tapes that works for 6-8 hours, Dennis begins to document the strange and odd happenings around the house, as Kristie (Jessica Tyler Brown) seemed to have an ‘imaginary friend’ called Toby….

Fans of this horror movie franchise would be familiar with the overall set up of the story. I have to admit to a certain degree, that movies about children and how they are susceptible to spiritual haunting feel cliché, and truly while the film is more or less, about protecting Katie and Kristie from demonic forces, the hand-held camera style do aid in the film’s enjoyment and it does feel fairly convincing. The second film gave hints of a certain kind of spell, and this third movie gives the groundwork established some much more needed sense of credibility. The supposed footage certainly looked like something shot on standard 35 mm, though some scenes looked sharper than others most especially the close ups and major scare scenes’. I liked the ‘moving fan’ explanation so that the cameras could cover much more space. The direction wanted to show more with little doubts as to how Dennis pulled it off. (It also makes sense in the 80’s that he works with videos of special events). The clothes, the hair styles, the furniture and televisions all reflect the time in the 80's, so I had no issues buying into it. 

              A scene from ``Paranormal Activity 3.''

 

If you are looking for scares and creepy atmosphere, this film does have several ways to give you goosebumps. I have to say, the “Paranormal Activity” series seemed to know how to pull off haunted house scare factor. They are simple and yet they are easily related to; in many ways, I feel that the tone and mood of the film matched the “supernatural docos” we’ve seen on TV, and the script by Christopher Landon channels factors seemingly inspired by both those established concepts and even some minor influence from Japanese horror films. Furniture moving, ordinary household things appearing out of nowhere, broken stuff, and even doors insanely shaking are what you are into in this film. It does handle some original “Poltergeist” effects that I really liked and I was made to wonder, at what point would you have left the house?

This time around, as an opposite to the other movies, Julie is the skeptic while Dennis reviewing the tapes, becomes the believer. I know it is all about cliché but trust me (actually more 80's movie cliche), supernatural occurrences really do provoke some character stereotype in real life. There are some issues with the acting, as I felt at times that they weren’t convincing enough in the performances. There were some things in the script that I questioned, but I suppose it is possible. Of the two, Katie seems to be the character that is better written. Not to say that she took the spotlight, but she is in many ways the victim and so it does make a weird kind of sense. The two kids perform admirably with what they have with their roles.

“Paranormal Activity 3” may not be the most perfect horror film you’ll find these days, but it is a good chapter in the saga and may even be slightly better than the first sequel. I feel that the movie cements the fact that you may have to see all the films to really enjoy it, and like some films, the existing trilogy should be judged as one. There is a hint for a “Paranormal Activity 4” since this chapter doesn’t answer all the groundwork set by the filmmakers and if there is one, I believe I will be in for it. I just wonder whatever happened to the release of the Foreign-produced sequel called “Paranormal Activity: Tokyo Nights”? But hey, it’ll get to America when it gets here….

Recommended! [4- Out of 5 Stars]

Poster art for "Paranormal Activity 3." Poster art for "Paranormal Activity 3."
 
 
 

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December 12, 2011
I like the details about the paranormal. In addition, the pictures are great !
 
November 06, 2011
Very in-depth helpful review! Just wondering...what is the language like in this film compared to the other two films; does it have cursing every other word or just sprinkled in at certain times? Or better yet, none at all?
November 06, 2011
Thanks! I would have to say that there is very light profanity in some areas, (the friend) but certainly not at all offensive.
 
November 01, 2011
I hated the ending because it left me there like....that's IT? THAT'S THE END? I'm sure they did it for the Paranormal 4. I was hoping that some of the trailer scenes would be in the film- I'm a big fan of mirrors as gateways for spirits, so that would've been cool to have in there. But, the sheet and babysitter scene was my favorite of the whole movie.
November 02, 2011
I know...that sheet scene and especially that kitchen scene was pretty creative!
November 02, 2011
Definitely....where did all the furniture go?!? Oh, there it is!
 
November 01, 2011
Quite a few of my friends have shunned this franchise... but I'm still tempted to see it!
November 02, 2011
you should give it a shot. I have to say, you have to be a real film fan to appreciate its style, especially the first movie.
 
October 26, 2011
I'm surprised that there are already three of these out. Seems like the second one was just in theatres. Maybe I'm getting old and time is flying by. LOL!
Out of curiosity, what did you think of all the scenes that weren't in the movie but were shown in the trailers?
October 26, 2011
Yeah, I know. Seems like this will be the new SAW for the yearly Halloween celebration. As for the scenes in trailers that weren't in the movie, I liked it. It made the movie unpredictable. But one scene I was waiting on involving the mom could be on the director's cut.
October 26, 2011
I liked the "Bloody Mary" bit and was considering seeing it just for that, until I found out it wasn't in there. That itself could be a great film. "Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary!"
October 26, 2011
actually that scene was there, with a whole different frightening twist!
 
October 24, 2011
I am completely and utterly surprised!! I watched the first or the second one (I can't remember) and turned it off after a little while because I was so bored, so I didn't get to find out the whole story and when I saw the third had been made I thought "Well how stupid is this, they made another boring movie!" - but after reading your review, now I think I may have been missing something!! I can't seem to get into a movie if there's not more thrills than boring parts so I just never bothered getting into them, not to mention I don't care too much for a film that feels like a home movie. Now me-thinks I must see the first and second so I can then see the third!! You have truly shocked me with this one Will!!
October 26, 2011
one thing you have to remember, it is intended to have those gaps since it is supposed to be 'real footage' and so character stupidity MAY BE part of the narrative LOL!
October 26, 2011
Yeah, I know, and I don't like it...I didn't really see any character stupidity, just characters being boring LOL! Maybe one day if I'm really bored out of my mind I will re-rent the first 2 just for the heck of it. I think this may be the first time EVER you and I have disagreed on a particular type of movie----oh no say it isn't so!! LOL
 
October 23, 2011
I was thinking of going to see this and now I must, "If you are looking for scares and creepy atmosphere, this film does have several ways to give you goosebumps.", that is what I am looking for WP. Great review. Also that is crazy about the trailer showing scenes not in the flick.
October 23, 2011
I have to admit, the story was pretty simple but I liked the execution of the poltergeist effects. Some were rather original.
October 23, 2011
Sounds good man
 
1
More Paranormal Activity 3 (2011 fi... reviews
review by . March 21, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
** out of ****    Oren Peli's majorly successful "Paranormal Activity" was a found-footage horror movie about a young LA couple - Mica and Katie - who set up cameras all over their house in an attempt to capture what the lady suspects might be ghostly activity. They learned that there was indeed a spirit (and they learned that the hard way), although it wasn't specific to the house; it seemed to follow Katie wherever she went, and we're told that she started having these experiences …
review by . October 22, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         The first movie scared the living hell out of me. The second movie, not so much. We’ve now reached the third movie, and while I maintain that horror movies should be judged by their ability to frighten and not by their status as franchise pushers, I have to admit that some of my faith has been restored. Although Paranormal Activity 3 is in many ways as clichéd as its predecessor, and although a few of the much publicized explanations …
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Genre: Horror, Mystery
Release Date: 21 October 2011 (USA)
Screen Writer: Oren Peli, Michael R. Perry
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