in Review

Bloodcurdling Beginnings

Paranormal Activity 3

It’s movies like that this that remind us why we still have movie theaters. The feeling of a group of people all coming together to share the same thrills and chills is a feeling that will never be toppled by the internet. These are the same reasons that Paranormal Activity has been so successful and the latest is no exception. It’s not that these movies are great horror stories as much as they’re just great at creating atmosphere, or as I like to call it “Atmos-fear”. It’s all about the big “Boo!” moments that make these movies just as exciting as any roller coaster. I was hesitant about PA turning into a franchise, but now I love the idea because the’ve all been entertaining additions to the Halloween season.

Explaining the plot is a little tricky if you haven’t seen the others. All I’ll say is that this one is a prequel set in 1988 that basically explains the other two. It focuses on Kristi and Katie (sisters and characters from Paranormal Activity 1 and 2) and Kristi’s eerie relationship with an “imaginary” friend. Naturally, their stepdad (who makes wedding videos) is like “This ain’t right” and sets up cameras around the house. The next thing you know this shit gets paranormal. PA3 continues the trend that less is more but still kicks it up just enough to make the skin crawl.

It’s a nice change of pace to see a horror franchise that’s still delivering quality material in it’s third installment. The story is still fresh and the series has yet to take it too far off the deep end. As a matter of fact this installment faired better with the critics than the last one which received mixed reviews. I don’t know if bringing in indie directors Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost (Catfish) made any difference, but this one definitely has the most depth out of the three. I enjoyed and sympathized for all the characters and really cared about what was going. Of course the handheld camera style always gives it that nice sense of realism too. Which reminds me how much I love the style of well made “found footage” movies. I know a lot of people hate these and think they’re a fad, but I can’t get enough of em.

As for the future of the series I think it’s safe to say that this will not be the last one. In a way that’s probably bad as they’re going to run out of ways to keep this concept going at some point. Though the second installment ended with a lot of loose ends and this one really didn’t answer any of them so at least one more would be nice to wrap everything up. Whatever happens I consider myself a strong supporter of this series and will definitely be in line buying a ticket when Paranormal Activity 4 opens or P4ranormal Activity or whatever it’ll be called.