Paranormal Activity 3 - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Paranormal Activity 3 Reviews

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Super Reviewer
October 19, 2011
A dull and obvious prequel with a predictable paper-thin plot that reuses the same old unscary sheet tricks of the first movie and even has a guy - stubborn to the point of stupidity - carrying a camera for much longer after good sense would have made him drop it.
Nikhil N.
Super Reviewer
October 30, 2011
Going even deeper into its mythology, the third movie is certainly sacrificing the things which made the second so scary to develop a more interesting story. By the end of this movie my teeth were clenched together so hard that my jaw was hurting. Pure terror and dread up until a spine chilling climax make this movie the most effective, although not the scariest.
Super Reviewer
January 6, 2014
It would have been a better film had it not been made as "Found Footage," because there is real ingenuity in the way this prequel scares its audience and expands on the mythology, but the drawbacks to this style, such as long drawn out periods of nothing happening and limited perspectives, are now at their most evident.
Super Reviewer
½ November 2, 2013
The same, tired tricks are used, but these do not take away from the film's ability to engage. It is in fact more involved than its predecessors, and delivers just as many, if not more, scares. The acting, in typical Paranormal Activity fashion, is raw and believable. The found-footage genre may be overused at this point, but it works well in this film, and helps create the required suspense. The plot twist was completely unexpected and brilliantly developed. This film is a heart-pounding, entertaining chapter with more thrills and chills than most horror films in recent memory.
Super Reviewer
½ September 24, 2011
The "Paranormal Activity" series began with an incredibly original premise, followed by a jolting sequel that met all expectations. This time, we go even further back in time to see how how the "activity" all began when the lead actresses of the first two films were little girls. The first half of the film seems to begin just like the others, in terms of subtle jokes, but we are lead to believe that none of the people have been exposed to any of this "activity" before. This is a great change of pace and when the first night of "activity" begins, you are much more engaged than you were for the first sequel. The fact that the scariest part of the second film took place in the babies crib, is insane, because we are now given an entire story based on little girls. The horror is fantastic, providing much needed suspense that the second one lost a bit of, while throwing in jump scares that are surprisingly not laughable for once. I have come to realize that these films try to traumatize you into going to bed at night, and for what I feel when I walked out of the cinema, it definitely does it's job; However, I have been through the first two films, so I know what to expect. "Paranormal Activity 3" has clever camera angles, much appreciated comic relief, and a back story that will have any fan on the edge of their seat. This film lives up to all it's hype, surpassing the second, but not quite reaching the greatness of the original. Still, I love watching the progression of these films into the franchise it one day will become. This is a great instalment!
Super Reviewer
July 21, 2011
17/03/2013 (Online)
Super Reviewer
½ November 4, 2011
"Yes, I saw another one. I don't have much choice in seeing these films. I blame my ten year old niece. She loves them and I promised to watch them with her. But I wasn't as annoyed with this one as I have been with the previous movies. I think it's because their was more happening in this one. I didn't get as bored. Plus they raised the creepy factor with the kids. I still don't care for these films, but I thought this one was watchable."
Super Reviewer
October 26, 2011
I rewatched this the other night, and this is the review I wrote last October, still feel the same way for the most part. But I will say this movie holds up very good for a second viewing. While not my favorite horror movie series, the "Paranormal Activity"movies have been pretty decent. Number 3 is basically the same as the first two, with a couple little twists and turns, and a different type of ending. There are lots of door shutting on there own, things going bump in the night, and good jolting scares. Who knew that a fan that blows side to side could be so scary? But what sets this apart from the first to, is the was the suspense builds. I'd credit that with the directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman. They created a movie called "Catfish" that came out last year. That movie really doesn't go anywhere and is a different type of movie, but it's suspenseful as hell. These guys really know how to build tension with a movie, especially with no budget. The final 10/15 minutes of the movie are very good and well done. I miss having a new "Saw" movie this Halloween, but you can do a lot worse than "Paranormal Activity 3". I'm sure this time next year I'll be reviewing number 4.
Super Reviewer
½ June 7, 2011
This was decent. I think that maybe I have had enough of this series now, however. Not much is scaring me...
Super Reviewer
½ October 24, 2011
No surprises here. This movie sucked. It's just the same old drivel. You get to watch people sleep or sit around doing nothing. Sooner or later a door will slam really loudly, then it'll wake me up for a few minutes before the next loud noise. I guess the director's plans to spice things up this time, was a "spine-tingling" game of "Bloody Mary". Which last I checked, was only mildly creepy back when I was six. This film is the epitome of a brain-dead garbage, that represents everything that I hate about horror movies. If you like the first two, you suck. If you didn't, avoid this excrement too.
Super Reviewer
½ May 22, 2012
2 and a half
Super Reviewer
½ May 12, 2012
Man, it's a good thing flixster doesn't allow profanity or I'd be off on a profane tear. Are you kidding me? Seriously, I thought the guy was going to pick up the camera again at the end. And how the heck did they recover that film? Chronic video makers irritate the borat out of me. Well, it's better than Blair Witch, and the best thing about it is the soundtrack. I wonder if it's available on CD?
Super Reviewer
August 26, 2011
Third entry in the Paranormal Activity series is an interesting third film as it is just as good as the first two. Paranormal Activity 3 is one of the rare example where a series still good by the third film. I'll get this way, I've always had mixed feelings about documentary style horror flicks. But I was very much surprised with this series, though not the greatest horror films in recent memory, as so many critics have claimed these films to be, this is nonetheless a good series. This third entry is just as scary and pulse pounding, even if the scares are somewhat predictable. What stands out with this series is that the filmmakers don't go overboard in the horror delivery in the sense that the concept is so simple. The result is a fine third entry that successfully build shock and dread into the viewer. This film makes you realize that you don't need a big budget to create effective tension and chills, all you need is originality. Paranormal Activity 3 delivers all that, despite the fact that it has some faults. Even with that in mind, this film delivers good enough chills for you to have a sleepless night or two. As a whole, I very much enjoyed this third entry and if you're a fan of the first two, you'll surely enjoy this third entry. Though I'm not the biggest fan of found footage films, this series still is horrifying enough to thrill even the most die-hard horror fan.
Super Reviewer
½ March 11, 2011
A prequel to a prequel, this film is a good addition to the Paranormal Activity series, which, like it's predecessors, is full of dark creepy night shots, silent suspense, and "gotcha" moments. If you like the first two, and you're into this type of horror movie, I'm sure you'll be pleased. Heck, it scared the hell out of my dog.
Super Reviewer
½ February 6, 2012
Julie: Who's Toby?
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.
Super Reviewer
½ February 5, 2012
Toss up as to which I like better between 2 and 3
Super Reviewer
January 30, 2012
An occasionally scary, atmospheric prequel to the hit horror series this time details the grown up sisters from both 1 & 2 and how they were first haunted by a demonic spirit at a young age, living with their parents in the year 1988. Oren Peli continues to add to his series, providing jumpy scares that hit with precision. This time though, you start to see more of it coming from a distance away. The collective "bang!" moment isn' as surprising, nor is that demonic face that presents itself near the film's gloriously over-the-top conclusion. The first film was an original fright-fest that was a welcome sight to horror film fans in terms of how to properly scare your audience. The second film was a fun, though less memorable experience that added a few more scares to this mix. This film abandons literally all character development, sprints ahead with its premise, and the result is a mixed bag. Sometimes it's genuinely creepy and suspenseful, other times it is silly and unintentionally funny. No one can blame the creators for pushing this series forward and going for the jugular at the box office with even more sequels to follow, when one considers the budget and net worth these films make. However, from a pure film-making/artistic approach, it's fair to say that these movies are starting to run their course.
Super Reviewer
½ July 23, 2011
Scariest of the three and surprisingly good! Although its existence isn't quite justified and really milks the crow dry, they certainly didn't go lazy in the crafting of this film. The story, which is a prequel set in 1988, holds more shock value than its predecessors, and particularily as its main victims are two innocent young girls. As can be expected, there's the obligatory cheap and predictable scares, but once the terror is intensified (which happens about halfway through), it will have you clinging to your chest with some truly heart-stopping moments. Effectfully directed and creepy beyond imagining, it's definitely not the type of movie you wanna be watching alone in a dark room. Another superlative element is the mind-blowing special effects. I'm genuinely at a loss for how some of them were conceived. And with a third act reminiscent of some of the most atmospheric moments in the Resident Evil games, it really cements itself as a horror experience above the median. In fact, if it wasn't for the irritatingly abrupt and confusing ending, I would have given it a solid 4 out of 5. Ungratifying as it is though, I had to lower down my rating a notch. Even so, it really earns itself to be sincerely recommended. For while it does have its imperfections, the vigorously executed horror bits left me with a genuine addiction for more.
Super Reviewer
½ September 5, 2011
The Paranormal Activity series is (still) fun, but it's apparent by now that it doesn't have much more new to offer. If you've seen the first two movies, you already will be familiar with most of the tricks this prequel is going to throw at you.

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.
Super Reviewer
½ January 24, 2012
If you can suspend your sense of curiosity, which is tough since this movie begs to be torn apart in the logistics department, you can definitely be entertained. It is the attempt to keep the same story throughout the franchise that hinders full enjoyment of the film. All of the attempts to make this film cogent bring to the surface more questions than answers. Also, while I understand that this is a horror film, every attempt to augment the overall narrative only draws attention to the implausibility of it all.
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.
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