1001 Movies: Paranormal Activity 3

Why hello there readers. Welcome to another installment of 1001 Movies. I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey so far because we still have a long way ahead of us. This is my fourth entry and only nine hundred ninety seven movies to go. Let’s not waste any more time and dive right in. Spoilers are ahead!


4.) Paranormal Activity 3

Paranormal Activity 3 is a solid entry in the series but in the end it poses more questions than it answers and never really moves the story along. This installment has some of the more tense moments of the series and leaves me interested in more of the story.

The story takes us back to the 1988 when Katie (Chloe Csengery) and Kristie (Jessica Tyler Brown) were young girls and gives us a glimpse at where everything began. As weird things begin happening and Kristie’s behavior becomes increasingly strange, Julie’s (Lauren Bittner) boyfriend Dennis (Christopher Nicholas Smith) begins taping the happenings around the house. As he digs deeper into Kristie’s imaginary friend, Toby, things get increasingly worst in the house. Over time it becomes apparent that something wants Kristie and won’t let anyone get in its way.

I feel very on the fence about this movie because there are some things that I thought this film had improved on from its predecessors but in the end it didn’t really feel complete. I’ll start with what this film did right. The filmmakers have done a great job at making tweaks to found footage genre. PA3 does a magnificent job at putting a lot of tension in their scenes simply by putting the camera on an oscillating fan base. This simple of device inserted so much tension into scenes to make the simplest moment terrifying. My favorite scene has to be when the baby sitter is sitting at the kitchen table studying. The camera rotates over to show the quiet empty house and then back on the babysitter. As it makes its way back around it shows a small figure wearing a sheet and moves away. When the camera makes it back to the babysitter the figure is behind her and then the sheet just falls to the ground. I think my top scare was when Katie is chasing Kristie upstairs and Katie bumps into something. As she stands in terror and yells for her mom, something yanks her up by her hair. This scene gave me goose bumps and I may have peed a little… just a little.

What PA3 did wrong was to a poor set up to the end that just posed more questions than it answered. As Dennis is digging, he comes across information about witch covens and how they traded male offspring to demons for power and wealth. That explains the demon’s desire for Hunter in the previous films, but when it’s revealed that Julie’s mom is apparently part of a witch coven, it feels out of left field. What also confused me was why Julie was killed. I know her mother had tried to talk her into more children in hopes for that boy and Julie declined, but it made no sense to kill her. Her mother apparently didn’t have any males but she wasn’t killed and neither was her mother. I just figured if one woman failed to produce males then the coven moved their hopes to the next generation.

Another interesting thing about this movie was the final film compared to the trailer. Except for maybe a scene or two, nothing was the same from the trailer to the film. Maybe a lot was changed during editing, could be a bait and switch or a brilliant marketing tool to pique interest for further sequels. Only time will tell.

PA3 is definitely the weakest installment but it’s still a stronger sequel than most horror series. If you’re a fan of the series then you should enjoy this film, just don’t expect to be blown away.

Another one bites the dust. Stay tuned for more movies to be viewed and reviewed. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter and don’t be shy about telling your friends. Help me to spread that good word of the nerd. 


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