Paranormal Activity 3
Paranormal Activity 3
Directors: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
Writers: Oren Peli, Christopher B. Landon
Cast: Chloe Csengery, Jessica Tyler Brown, Christopher Nicholas Smith, Katie Featherston, Sprague Grayden, Lauren Bittner, Brian Boland, Dustin Ingram, Mark Fredrichs
Synopsis: In 1988, young sisters Katie and Kristi befriend an invisible entity who resides in their home.
The PARANORMAL ACTIVITY franchise continues with this third outing from Paramount Pictures. Oren Peli and Jason Blum return to produce the highly secretive feature.
MPAA Rating: Rated R for some violence, language, brief sexuality and drug use
Here comes the anticipated Sequel or Prequel to the popular franchise..or as I like to call it...Presequel!
Where would Halloween be if we didn't have another "Paranormal Activity" film to scare the living snot out of us? It seems like only yesterday that "Paranormal Activity" became an instant success, as it perfected on a method that "The Blair Witch Project" introduced back in the nineties; using a home video cam method that forces the viewer to question whether or not the scenes that transpire are real. However, as effective as this method is, the scariest parts of this franchise isn't what's shown in the movies, but it's what they don't show you, as it forces the viewers' imaginations to wander. Each film subtly starting off with a clueless family/couple, where they decide video tape various parts of their home to investigate a series of unexplained events.
At first, the images seem harmless, as one could easily use logic to explain most of them. But, as each movie plays out, the images slowly start to become more disturbing. Depicting most of it's epic violent scenes in the dark shadows while the lights are off, as it forces the viewers' imaginations to run wild with fear. As a wise man once said, humanity fears most of what they cannot see, or understand. Indeed, the "Paranormal Activity" franchise plays upon that concept of fear beautifully throughout it's first two films. However, is the third movie as good as the previous chapters? Or possibly better? Well, lets get into that now.
As some of you might have guessed from the trailers, this movie plays more along the lines of a prequel. Dating back to 1988, both Katie and Kristi are young little girls in this movie, as they still live with their mother, and their step father, Dennis, who happens to be a professional photographer. The movie starts off at a birthday party, where we see Kristi playing with her imaginary friend, Toby. Granted, I'm sure most parents would probably think that's too cute for a little girl to have an imaginary friend, and would probably see it as harmless. However, since this is a "Paranormal Activity" movie, then we know that this whole cute imaginary friend nonsense is really just a cover for something even more dangerous and disturbing.
Anyway, Dennis eventually discovers a strange ghostly image as he edits his recorded video, during an Earthquake. Unsure of what the image is exactly, he decides to set up cameras around the house to investigate it. And like all the other movies, this little plan doesn't turn out to be the best idea, as there's a reason why they say.."ignorance is bliss."
And, that's pretty much the entire plot in a nutshell without giving anything away. However, when I watched this movie, I was expecting to lose at least several days of sleep, like what happened when I saw the other two movies. Hell, I can still recall how I would often look over my own shoulder every time I thought I heard even the faintest hint of a noise, or presence, because of the first two movies. Unfortunately, this movie wasn't that scary to be quite honest. Sure, I'll admit the film does have it's moments where it'll scare you, but nothing that will leave a lasting imprint on your psyche like the last two films. No, unlike the last two movies, this one tends to rely most of it's horror on shock value more than anything else. Granted, the other films had a great degree of shock value as well, but it was a lot more subtle in the previous movies; where each scene would build up slowly, as the previous movies would play with your psyche a bit before scaring you with it's shock value. Don't get me wrong, it's still a good film to watch if you're looking for a movie to see on Halloween, but I wouldn't expect this to be as great as the previous ones.
As for the story, I have to say it raises more questions than it does answer them; which would suggest that there will probably be a sequel to this coming soon. Gee, there's a shocker if that were to happen. A horror franchise that promotes it's latest film as the last one in the series, but it turns out that was all a lie to begin with. Seriously, what are the odds? I mean, it's not like other film makers behind popular horror franchises have done the same thing. Of course, I'm being sarcastic with that last statement, as this wouldn't be the first time a film is promoted as being the last of a franchise; only come to find out that there's another sequel, remake, reboot or whatever on the way. Any true horror film fan can attest to that I'm sure.
Although this film does serve as a prequel to the previous movies, it doesn't really contradict anything like most do. Sure, there's a few minor questions that are raised here and there, but I'm sure we'll find out the answers to those in the next film (assuming there is one). As I stated in my "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" review, the daunting task of a prequel often lies in the fact that it has to fall in line with the previous films, while still being entertaining enough to stand on it's own merit. Not an easy thing to do for any prequel. However, this film seems to do a fairly good job of that, as it not only answers a few lingering questions from the previous films, but it also manages to stay entertaining enough to where even newcomers to this franchise can still enjoy it.
Overall, I wouldn't go out of my way to say this is the best horror film of this year, but it's definitely worth checking out in theaters if you haven't seen it already. Granted, it's not as scary as the last two films, but it does have it's moments, and it definitely adds more mystery to an already great horror franchise. Definitely a must see if you want to see a good horror film on Halloween night, as I'd probably have to rate this movie at a two and a half out of four.
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