Paranormal Activity 3 Reviews
Young Kristi: He's my friend.
Julie: I don't see him.
Young Kristi: He's standing right next to you.
"It Runs In The Family"
Paranormal Activity 3 is a prequel to the previous two films, both of which I have liked. This is a franchise that is going to run as long as it possibly can, and through three films, I'm still enjoying it. Everyone of the three films have been very much alike, but they also have qualities that are very much their own. How long can that continue? Probably not much longer, seeing as each film does use a lot of the same techniques.
Honestly, I like this one more than the second and probably just as much as the first. I liked the briskness of it and how quick it got into the haunting. I also enjoyed a few of the scenes that this one had to offer more than any of the previous movies. The sheet scene with the baby sitter was cool, as was the Bloody Mary scene. But what makes this movie is the ending, which I enjoyed more than the previous two. I really liked the unexpected use of the grandma and for the first time in the series, I was genuinely creeped out by more than just a jump scare. The last 10 minutes was really well done in my opinion.
This prequel follows the events of Kristi and Katie as children. They live with their mother and her boyfriend. When weird sounds occur throughout the house cameras are set up to document the occurrences. We learn that Kristi has been talking to an imaginary friend named Toby. From there it's the standard plot progression that we've seen in the previous two.
The moment when this series grows dull is going to vary based on the individual. For some it was dull the moment it started. Others were lost when the second when came out and I'm sure this one lost some more. For me as long as the filmmakers keep trying to make the films fresh and at least some what inventive, I'll keep watching. I'm sure I'll grow tired of it soon, but through three I couldn't be happier. I really hope that when they run out of ideas they will just stop, but sadly, I highly doubt that.
Set around twenty years before the first two movies, PA3 focuses on the first appearances of supernatural activity in the lives of young Katie and Kristi. Once again positioned as a "found footage" film, the events are mostly captured by cameras positioned around their home by their mother's boyfriend.
A lot of back-story and the origin of the ghostly presence are revealed as the movie goes along. It's good to get some of the mythology of the Paranormal Activity world, but as the mystery disappears, so does the creepy, "this could happen to anyone" feel that was one of the strong points of the movies. You're still likely to jump and be spooked from time to time, but familiarity has definitely set in by this entry. Fans know what to expect, now.
If you liked Paranormal Activity 1 & 2, 3 is likely to be worth your time, as well. I actually prefer it to the second movie, and would put it slightly behind the first. It's more of the same, but it hasn't reached the point where the movies are wearing out their welcome quite yet. One the same note, if you weren't a fan before, PA3 isn't likely to convert you.
However, in the end these movies are a series of parlor tricks and this film brings it's fair share. From the oscillating fan to the bathroom scene, there are some impressive and sometimes even terrifying moments. In the future, even though I would advise them from making further installments, please do away with trying to tie all the films together. Service the scares before you consider servicing the story, because that is all people want out of these films anyway. Some good old fashioned scares.