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Paranormal Activity 3: Prequel or Sequel?
Paranormal Activity has quickly become one of the most popular horror film franchise of recent memory and to no surprise it has a new entry coming in October. The first two films did pretty well and raked in a handsome amount of cash as it followed two sisters. The first film focused on Katie and her boyfriend Micah as she believed that there was a ghost in the house with them. Micah takes it upon himself to carry around a camera to see if any paranormal phenomena occurs. Obviously it does, and things don't end while for either of them as Katie gets possessed by the demon that was haunting them.
The second film is a prequel that adds more to the story. Kristi, Katie's younger sister, is the main character in the film as she had just recently had a baby boy. The film starts pretty much the same as the first and quickly picks up. Paranormal phenomena begin to occur and it seems linked to Hunter, the new baby boy in the family. It is also revealed that Katie and Kristi felt constantly scared when they were kids as they felt something was always around them. They described whatever it was as something that wasn't good. It is also revealed to be a demon, just like in the first, to be haunting them. Kristi's stepdaughter does research on what it could be haunting them, and realizes that people can make deals with demons for wealth and in return the demon would get the first born male, being Hunter. The film ends with a possessed Katie coming into her sister's home killing her brother in-law and Kristi while taking Hunter.
Just like last year not much is known about this entry. Is it a sequel around the possessed Katie? Is it a prequel that goes further into the history of Katie and Kristi's past? The new trailer makes it seem to be a prequel while series creator, Oren Peli, says otherwise. This article goes over what direction the film could possibly explore, whether it's a sequel or a prequel.
Sequel: Saving Hunter
Oren Peli has said that the third film will be the scariest due to the fact that Katie is possessed as it allows for more opportunities. If that's the case the film may get away from what has made the series so successful. It has been successful because each film takes place within a home, where most believe that they are safe. When you take away that security blanket it really makes something terrifying. Even more terrifying is the fact that everything took place mostly when the characters were asleep and most vulnerable, which only made it that much scarier. If the third film is a hunt for Katie and Hunter it would be outside of a home and feel more like any normal movie. While that could be a welcome change for the franchise as they try to spice things up, it doesn't seem logical.
It would be hard pill to swallow if the sequel were to follow Ali and presumably Micah's brother in pursuit of a possessed Katie which was a rumor before. If that's what it were to become it wouldn't feel like a Paranormal Activity film at all. Another rumor that was heard is something along the lines of the police catching Katie at a point where she isn't possessed and arresting her. While she is in jail the film is shot through the surveillance camera watching her cell as the demon takes her over. Granted that's a major stretch, and honestly sounds like an awful idea. If PA3 is in fact a sequel that furthers the plot, Oren Peli clearly knows where he is going with it and it should be interesting.
Prequel: The Beginning
The more I think about it the more this makes sense. Even though it goes against what Oren Peli has said, going back to where it started is much more logical. Granted, I'm sure that at some point later in the movie they will go back to present time. The recently released trailer shows Katie and Kristi as kids, and a little creepy, or is that just because of what we know is going to happen. That's probably why. It shows Katie playing, while Kristi is much more reserved. If you think about it, it makes sense considering what Katie said to Kristi in PA2. When Kristi got scared she asked Katie what she remembers from their childhood. Katie explained that her younger sister was scared and that she went days without speaking a word, even furthermore she said how crazy their mother became.
As far as the trailer goes, I highly doubt that the demon that has haunted them all this time is Bloody Mary. I'd be highly disappointed if that were the case. Furthermore, if the film is to succeed I think it's likely that Katie and Kristi will take a backseat in this film as it'll be more about the demon tormenting the mother as it circles her waiting for the first born male in the family line.The problem with making it into a prequel is that a good portion of it will be predictable. We know the mother will go crazy, we know spooky things will happen to the children and that the house will be burnt and even furthermore, no one dies. While maybe the father dies seeing how he has never been mentioned up to this point in the films and also the children seem to be forgetting a good portion of their childhood. All I know is that October 21st can't come soon enough so that I have answers.
We Have Our Answer
(9/28) It's a prequel. The newest trailer shows us a good amount of the film, and dreadcentral.com has also released some viral clips on the new movie indicating that indeed it is a prequel. It also seems that this third movie will show more, instead of relying on the viewers imagination which ultimately made the first film the scariest. It is nice to see that some of the more iconic scenes are present in the trailer such as the similarities between the mother being thrown and Micah being thrown.
The film also will be similar to the second in the way that it is a prequel/sequel. A good portion of the film will be in 1988 when Katie and Kristi are children. According to some plot summaries I've found, the film starts a week before Kristi begins to suspect paranormal activity in her new house when Hunter is born. In it, Katie comes over with tapes of them as children. Then the good stuff begins. It is widely believed that the ending will pick up right where the second film left off with Hunter and Katie in the house. Now excuse me as I get the night lights set up in my house for when I come home from seeing this movie on October 21st.