Film Reviews: Paranormal Activity 3

Grade: B+ | 85 minutes

One may wonder why, after “Paranormal Activity 1” and “Paranormal Activity 2,” people would go back to see the third installment in the series.

However, “Paranormal Activity 3,” directed by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost (“Catfish”), proves that the horror genre is not dead — and neither is this franchise.

The story starts off by bringing viewers back to some of the key scenes in “Paranormal Activity 1” and “Paranormal Activity 2.” After a few minutes, with the intrigue of the movie back in the minds of the audience, “Paranormal Activity 3” begins in the past (1988 to be precise). This prequel’s intention is to shed light on how the strange events surrounding sisters Katie (Chloe Csengery) and Kristi (Jessica Brown) occurred.

As the film flashes back to the olden days, new characters come into place: Julie (Lauren Bittner), the girls’ mother, and Dennis (Christopher Nicholas Smith), her boyfriend. Although the plot is centered on the two girls and their connection with the mysterious presence that is haunting their house, the story really takes off because aspiring filmmaker Dennis has noticed a strange presence on camera after attempting to make a sex tape with Julie (which remains one of the funniest scenes in the movie).

Toby, Kristi’s imaginary friend, is at the center of the horror scenario as he takes on the role of the “activity.”

However, there is so much more to this story as it digs into the past to find out not only what is behind the supernatural events, but also who is behind it.

As a whole, it is important to point out that “Paranormal Activity 3” and its predecessors succeed in bringing an innovative horror experience thanks to its unique shooting style. By setting the film in the ‘80s and using cameras from the time, the movie embeds realism into its plot by making it seem like this is actually a compilation of home video footage.

The acting is also something noteworthy. By choosing unknown actors to play the part of ordinary couple Julie and Dennis, this only fuels the audience’s belief that the footage seen is real.

This is the whole premise of the franchise. When you walk into theaters to see “Paranormal Activity” 1, 2 or 3, you are going because you want to see something extremely frightening happen to regular people that could be your friends, neighbors or even strangers that you see on the street.

By the end of the movie, not only are you left with questions, but with the desire to know what is going to happen next.

thescene@theeagleonline.com

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