Film Review: Paranormal Activity 3

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.

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2 thoughts on “Film Review: Paranormal Activity 3

  1. I don’t care much for this movie. The first movie was pretty exciting, but the sequel was predictable and tedious. And i don’t think the third film is better than number two.

  2. The whole plot to the story starts with the their great-great-great grandmother who signed a contract with a demon for wealth, power, etc. (Anyone else notice the huge houses?)
    We’ll start with the the third:
    Julie and her mother, Lois, are speaking about Denis. From there, they discuss children. Julie informs her mother she doesn’t want any more children even though Lois tries to convince her she wanted a boy when she was younger.
    Meanwhile, Kristy is friends with Toby which would make sense since she has the son in PA2.
    Lois kills Denis and Julie in the end because Julie refused to conceive more children (a son). Through out the movie, Toby(the demon) is mostly interested in Kristy until suddenly, Katie becomes an interest in which she is pulled in to the tiny cupboard in their room twice as well as her sheets being lifted.

    The first movie and second movie are folded neatly together.Because Kristy had the son, we’ll start with her story.

    Kristy and her husband married, (I’m assuming) when his wife died and along with her husband came a step-daughter Ali who is the only one (besides Denis) who connects the dots between the witches, demon contracts, and family line.
    Before Kristy conceived her son though, (Pay close attention to the PA1 to understand this) The demon was haunting Katie. In a way, the demon preferred Katie until Hunter (the son) was born. Then he had to pick up his payment by causing distractions for Kristy’s family until he could possess her in which he did.
    When this happened though, Kristy’s husband had to pass the demon on to a blood relative, the relative being Katie.
    Kristy was free and life went back to normal. Ali went on a school trip while the family continued a regular routine.
    Now, Katie is bothered for three weeks until one night, the demon possesses her. She kills Micha then goes to her sister house where she murders Kristy and her husband before kidnapping Hunter or the demon collected his payment.
    As for PA4, I don’t see the point for it. If you paid any attention to all three (or just PA3 and PA2) you would understand the plot I have drawn out. PA4 may go in to detail for those who simply couldn’t piece it together.

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