The scenarios from both films are fairly similar, but creators were still able to deliver a good amount of jump-out-of-your-seat scares. Watching a third straight movie of the “found footage” style film meant “Paranormal Activity 3” had to deliver in order to keep me interested … and boy did it ever.
The third movie in the series is another prequel. So basically, it’s a prequel of a prequel … still with me? The first movie takes place in late 2006 and the second is set about two months earlier.
For the third film, we jump back to good ole’ 1988. This was a time when iPods and laptops were still more than a decade away, but apparently, video quality was better than it was in 2006.
Yes, I know the movie had a much larger budget than the original or the sequel and as technology improves, the movies are going to look better. However, it was still funny to watch the movie “filmed” in 1988, and think just how awesome it looked. So … let’s set reality aside for the moment and jump into the plot.
The two female protagonists from the first two films are back … this time in creepy-little-girl form. After a short call back to the end of the second movie, we’re transported to when sisters Katie and Kristi were living with their mom, Julie, and her boyfriend, Daniel. Things seem to be going along a little too smoothly for the happy family, and right on cue, a bunch of crazy stuff starts going down.
Once again, there are cameras set up throughout the house to document the madness which unfolds. I was really interested in how they’d continue the whole first-person-camera view in the film and I came away impressed.
The fact that the boyfriend just happens to be a wedding videographer and has a numerous amount of cameras and high tech camera equipment might seem a little forced to some. Then again, horror movies aren’t known for their sterling plots, so let’s just go with it.
As I said, a bunch of weird stuff starts happening and this time, it starts early. The previous films seemed to take a good amount of time to build up the suspense before finally delivering, but this one is ready to make you scream in fright almost from the get-go. It’s a real credit to the filmmakers that they could add more “holy crap” moments without the novelty wearing thin.
I found my heart racing constantly from the fear something new was going to pop up on the screen at any minute and scare the crap out of me.
Just like in the first two films, “Paranormal Activity 3” saves the best scares for last. There are moments that will make you squirm in your seat and hold your mouth agape from pure shock. It’s a well-filmed and surprisingly well-acted horror movie. The list of third movies in franchises that are just as good as the previous two is small, if not non-existent.
However, “Paranormal Activity 3” is a worthy entry. Let’s hope this series doesn’t mimic other recent horror movie franchises and start churning out an infinite amount of sequels that get increasingly terrible. Four out of 5 stars.