Paranormal Activity 3

Film, Horror
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Paranormal Activity 3
Paranormal Activity 3
Helmed by ‘Catfish’ directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, this broken-backed prequel to the first two ‘Paranormal Activity’ films is set during the childhood of Katie (Katie Featherstone) and her sister Kristi (Sprague Graydon). This being so, its expanded mythology and familial back-story beg the enormous question: how did the two sisters manage to forget that all the bad shit that happened to them when they were young? Courtesy of some kind of demonic mind-wipe, apparerently – but this is no more convincing than the convenient fact that their mother's boyfriend was a wedding video-maker with access to VHS cameras and a sophisticated editing suite in the basement.

The discovery of a stash of old VHS tapes rings no bells for the older Katie and Kristi, who are seen briefly in March 2005, before these ‘found footage’ home movies catapult us back to their childhood in Carlsbad, California in 1988. Kristi has an imaginary friend called Toby, and there are the usual unexplained nocturnal noises and rattling of pots and pans in the kitchen. This prompts the girls’ curious father to rig up surveillance cameras in the girls’ bedroom, the adults’ bedroom and the open plan kitchen/living room. This last is rigged to a customised fan, allowing a teasingly slow 180-degree sweep of the whole downstairs area.

Only after the requirements of the franchise have been served by the expected noises off and our nervous combing of the fuzzy frame hints of demonic activity, does the film enter fresh territory. Fleeing from their haunted home, the family take refuge at the girls’ grandmother’s house; but the malignant entities are not be denied. The last third of the movie is the scariest, though even it relies on visual and aural devices with which we have become a little too familiar. Most bizarrely, the film starts with the girls’ mother empahasising the heavy, cumbersome nature of the analogue recording equipment and ends with their mother's boyfriend filming the life- and soul-threatening events with a hand-held camera. On balance, depite its myriad contrivances and credibility-stretching lacunae, this is truer to the spirit of the frightening original than last year’s disappointing sequel.

By: Nigel Floyd


Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday October 21 2011
Duration: 84 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
Cast: Katie Featherston
Sprague Grayden

Average User Rating

2.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:3
  • 1 star:0
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this is one of the most scaries movies ever but the only thing is at the part when the man starts to get his head waked off the table i had to laugh so that just ruined the atmusphere sorry .

If you`re prepared to suspend your disbelief and overlook a mountain of implausibilities detailed in earlier reviews, this is a highly enjoyable jump-fest, The last act introduces a fresh twist to the usual bump and bang shenanigans.

Just Love love love thi film its way way way better than 1 and 2 (y)

Was bored waiting for something to happen...some scary moments but not as good as first two.Was more enjoyable watching the audiences reaction..lots of "jumps"!!!

Just about worth a trip to the cinema (NEEDLESS STATEMENT ALERT!) if you liked the first 2, but couldn't help thinking on my way home if I was on a tight budget or didn't have an unlimited card, would I have felt id had my £7.40's worth (more in eve) ? Bound to be a trilogy box set for £10 this time next year, not really. 6/10

It's filled with some wild improbabilities and non-sequiturs. The decision to turn this into a franchise was based on cynicism, and one hopes it doesn't follow in the wake of what happened with the Saw films: but this is still wildly entertaining, very clever shock manipulation. Less subtle at times than the previous two parts, on account of its hysterical tone of one-upmanship, it's also often more invasive. Genuine self-referential wit and a certain we-don't-care-much artistry involved. May lose effectiveness significantly in a bright room with the sound turned down. Seen on the big screen, with a screaming audience, it's a blast. And it is a shade better than the 2nd part, which I enjoyed but found lacking in pace a bit, which at least is a good sign.

The reviewer says part 2 was disappointing?? It's the best of the 3!! I'm a fan of the series but this one slipped off the rails a little. What about the fire that took place, what happened to the baby?? Obviously Paranormal Activity 4 will be with us next Halloween!! What was the deal with the old biddies in the shed?? The Michael Myers bed sheet trick was clever but the ending was all too familiar. I wasn PA4 to go back down the lines of the best film of the series, (Part 2) and start filling in the blanks. Not an awful film, just about watchable!! After the 'Bloody Mary' advert I was expecting a big dark figure to appear somewhere in the film, never happens and the 'drag the human off camera' trick is getting old too!! Part 4 needs to improve!!