By Sam Williams
How much more can this family go through? In films one and two we see sisters, Katie and Kristi, respectively taking their turns to be haunted by the seemingly obsessed demon. Paranormal Activity 3 goes one step further as we see them both being stalked as children.
I’ve worked out the formula to these films now. You need a cynic – usually the spouse (this time the mum), someone handy with a video camera, a big house with dodgy lighting, and a dark cupboard/attic/basement for the demon to hide in. Throw it all together with some heavy demonic breathing and doors slamming and you have the foundation to a Paranormal Activity film.
It might appear that I’m criticising, but in fact I am a fan of the franchise. It took me a while to catch on, watching the first in the form of a fuzzy download on my laptop having missed it at the cinema. When the second one was released last year I was more in the know and watched with other cinemagoers behind my box of popcorn on the edge of my seat.
Predictable as these films are, they deliver suspense perfectly. The third does not fail to provide the right level of scares and enough jumps to get really get your pulse racing.
The premise is pretty much the same as the first two. Paranormal Activity 3 is a prequel to the second movie (which naturally was a prequel to the first), so we see Katie and Kristi living with mum Julie and her boyfriend Dennis.
After an earthquake interrupts Dennis and Julie’s bedroom camera fun, dust falls from a shaky ceiling to reveal a figure. Concerned, and slightly intrigued, Dennis calls in the help of his flaky friend Randy (lesson learned – never let this man babysit) who advises him to set up cameras in the house to catch anymore mysterious appearances.
Cue the theme of ‘homemade and cheap’ scares that the first film employed. Although this time, for added suspense and thrills, we have a rotating camera switching between the kitchen and the dining room, rather than security cameras that are used in the second film.
The ending is a little farfetched – but, let’s be honest, most trilogies rely on a confusing and shocking ending to keep the audience satisfied. This ending, however, might qualify for a post-film discussion, with a quick internet search thrown in to unveil what the heck actually went down.
This film, ultimately, explains why the stalker demon is so obsessed with the sisters in the first two films, however, it doesn’t explain why it is obsessed with this family in the first place … and this is where I predict Paranormal Activity 4. If it follows the backward timeline of the first three films, where will it take us? Into the womb? I hope not.