Saturday, 22 October 2011

Paranormal Activity 3 (spoilers)

I still class Paranormal Activity as one of the best cinema experiences I have ever had however after the disappointment of Paranormal Activity 2 I paid absolutely no attention whatsoever to the announcement that they were making a third. 

I watched the trailer for Paranormal Activity 3 and although it looked to be more of the same it was pretty damn convincing.  I hate that!

PLOT:  It’s 1988 and Katie and Kristi are young girls living with their mother Julie and stepfather Dennis.  The family are hunted by creaking doors, floating bed covers and Kristi’s imaginary friend Toby appears to be the culprit.  Man has video camera therefore man must film.    END PLOT

The plot PA3 is essentially an origin story but unfortunately it failed make any sense or attempt to fit in with the first two films.  The family being hunted by a demon was passable however PA3 tried to strengthen the mythology by introducing creepy symbols and Granny and her evil coven but it failed miserably.

The fact that the Granny was evil and allowed Dennis to set up cameras in her home was daft enough but then she clearly kept the tapes as Katie had them when she was an adult.  This is just an example of the ridiculous plot holes which are cropping up in the franchise.

Paranormal Activity was a brilliantly clever film as it allowed itself to be simple – it was one camera in a bedroom and it allowed the scares to build relatively slowly.  Law dictates that sequels have to be bigger in order to be better therefore the scares and situations have to become much more extreme but in PA3 they were just silly and peaked at ghostly bedlinen and hair pulling.

There is a fine line between comedy and scary but PA3 didn’t get the balance right at all as there were more unintentional laughs than scares – the sudden introduction of the evil granny cult threw the film even more off kilter.  

The only (relatively) scary moment was the Bloody Mary set piece which took place with Katie and Randy, a family friend, rather than Katie and Kristi as shown in the trailer. I know that some scenes in the trailer never make the final cut but there were a lot more differences between trailer and film than there normally would be.  

Aside from the Bloody Mary section there were next to no scares in Paranormal Activity 3 at all – even the ending became a non event and fell completely flat.  

It is hard to fault the performances of adult and child members of the cast but there was nothing remarkable or memorable about them which is in keeping with film.

I will admit that the camera angles were impressive and I did find myself trying to look around corners and dark hallways in order to see what was coming.  The film did look good and the potential for scares in the dark were there but unfortunately they never materialised.

The one thing that Paranormal Activity 3 got correct was the damn trailer as it was very persuasive and the most enjoyable part of the entire PA3 experience.  Paranormal Activity 3 gets a 4/10 and will be forgotten about until the trailer for Paranormal Activity 4 rocks up with another convincing trailer and the wheel of repetitive hell will keep on turning. I hate that!


  1. Nice write up K, I think I'm right there with you, I found a lot of sections funnier than actually scary, all felt very ho-hum and the finale was just kind of there.

    The sinister grandma was mentioned in the 2nd one in passing, so her evil turn wasn't a huge shock.

    My review will be coming up tomorrow.

  2. Ah!! It sounds very much as if the premise has been pushed too far. This is what I thought in my recent Trollhunter review. there really is only limited scope as to what can be done with the premise.
    The trailers are persuasive though aren't they! I was looking forward to this but now know I'm going to be disapointed. Bugger.

  3. Great Review as always...I liked the first one and passed on the second one..So i think this will be a skip again, But thanks for the heads up review :D

  4. Oh I forgot to least it wasn't in 3-D!!!!! I suppose that will be the next step in trying to keep the franchise alive.

  5. I'm a girl with a twisted mind. The previews were rather funny. The first one was a bit odd and I didn't watch the second one. Good review.

  6. Daniel: I vaguely remember the granny's deal with the demon in the 2nd one but it evil granny and her cult of other grannies didn't play out well!

    Brent: PA2 and PA3 have never managed to equal the first film let alone better it which is a pity as there is promise in there. Now that you mention it I am surprised they didn't go with Paranormal Activity 3D - can't imagine it would have made much difference though!

    John: Thanks for reading as always!! K :-D

    D: The previews for this one were really creepy but they were different from the final cut - a lot of scenes were removed or reshot completely!

    Thanks for reading everyone :-D