Saturday, October 22, 2011

Rath's Reviews: Paranormal Activity 3

I'll be very upfront and honest. The Paranormal Activity movies terrify the absolute s**t out of me. And I think they truly get under everyone's skin to some degree. I hear a bunch of people who say, "Those movies were hilarious, I wasn't scared at all!" I'm calling bull-shenanigans on that one sir. I think everyone gets scared from these movies, some people just laugh to cover up their fear. Just my personal opinion. Also, on a second rant...I heard some people coming out of the theater I was in saying, "That was the worst movie I have ever seen." What exactly did you expect? Have you been living under a rock for the past few years and you dont know what Paranormal Activities are about? It just frustrates me when people can't appreciate movies for what they are. And the Paranormal Activities are tension-building, intensity-filled horror movies. And you know what? They are damn good at what they do.

Paranormal Activity 3 serves as a prequel to the first two movies, featuring the terrorized sisters in their child years. It seems to describe how this whole terror started, but one of the most glaring problems of the trilogy as a whole has now been created. There appear to be huge plot holes based on the events of the 3rd installment. For example, how do the sisters in the first two movies not remember any of this happening? I won't give anything away, but I'm just not sure that that is an answer that the inevitable Paranormal Activity 4 can answer. As far as the story in just this movie however, it is pretty well done. It helps to explain the origins of this demon and what sect of demonology "it" stems from. It even gives it a name: Toby! I also would like to point out that the acting is pretty good in this movie...I am always amazed how natural the families feel in these movies. I feel like it takes some unique type of acting to essentially act normal. And the children actors in the movie? Phenomenal. The older sister, Katie, played by Chloe Csengery does really good, but the true star of the show is the little Kristi played by Jessica Tyler Brown. At such a young age I was surprised that she was able to be so creepy and so cute all at the same time.

Check the mirror reflection
What I like about the Paranormal Activities is that they strive to stay original within themselves. What I mean is that they try to create new spooks in each film. Sure there are the common doors slamming and loud noises, but they also add some new ones in each iteration. For example, in this one, two of the biggest scares are actually comedic based. It reminded me that these movies still like to have some fun even though they are stressing you out and raising your blood pressure. Paranormal Activity 3 adds to the formula by adding the genius fan-camera which truly adds some tension building moments. I remember I was seriously stressing out at one point because the slowly-oscillating fan had gone back and forth like 7 times and nothing had happened yet, but you know something is going to happen. The makers of these movies are truly masters at what they do. There are so many little details scattered throughout to add to the effect that my eyes were darting around the screen like a pair of ADHD fingers.

This part never actually happens in the movie
So how does Paranormal Activity 3 compare to the others? Extremely well actually. This one is by far the most violent out of the three with the ending and a Bloody-Mary-game-gone-bad being extremely terrifying. I could be quoted as yelling "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh shhhhhhhhhhhhit!" throughout multiple sections of the movie. And that was completely by instinct. Overall, I would say that the second movie has the most BOO! moments, and the first one still has the originality factor going for it. but this is definitely a strong addition to the trilogy, and most likely continuing franchise.

Also never happens in the movie
Paranormal Activity 3 follows the motto "if it ain't broke then don't fix it". And clearly these movies aren't broke. They cost next to nothing to make and they make hundreds of millions of dollars. They are a sure thing for the studio making them. I like to compare them to the Saw franchise except for the fact that all of the Paranormal Activities are actually good. If you liked the first two, you will love this one no doubt. In fact, it might be my favorite one so far. If you didnt like the first two, then save your money, and save us all the trouble of hearing you complain about how "terrible" it was. If you don't like handheld camera movies, then dont see it and quit one cares.

But if you have always been afraid of things lurking in your house, if you are in for a good scare, then I suggest this: work yourself up before the movie. Get stressed out about seeing it. It's what I do once a year when these things come out. I get all worked up beforehand and the experience is one of the most rewarding I have at the movies all year. Once it's all done, my muscles are sore and tense, it takes me a good two to three hours to calm down, and I feel as if I just had multiple heart attacks. I live for that type of adrenaline rush in movies, I would almost even compare it to bungee gets to me that much. So when it comes to grading Paranormal Activity 3, I'm judging it on what it strives to be; and that's an effective horror movie. And damn it if these movies aren't effective.


  • If you have the right mindset, the movies are immensely terrifying
  • Fun scenes throughout help to lighten the mood
  • Great acting, especially by Jessica Tyler Brown
  • Genius methodology of scaring people. Little details add to the tension that builds at an alarming pace in some scenes
  • The scares are plentiful and several are iconic. There are scenes I will never forget
  • The fan-camera
  • Creates plot holes in the trilogy that I don't think can be repaired
  • I still find myself asking, "What is it with this family and cameras?"
  • How do they keep the inevitable Paranormal Activity 4 fresh, and where do they go from here?

Rath's Review Score: 9/10

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