Best Movies of All Time + sequel


Paranormal Activity 3 is a 2011 horror film directed by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost that serves as a prequel to 2010's Paranormal Activity 2 despite being the franchise's third installment. The home video footage takes us back to 1988 where we see a young Katie (Chloe Csengery) and Kristi (Jessica Tyler Brown) dealing with the arrival of our favorite demonic presence. Kristi starts to talk about her imaginary friend "Toby," but her mother Julie (Lauren Bittner) starts to think she's letting her imagination go a little too far. Julie's boyfriend Dennis (Christopher Nicholas Smith), however, has his curiosity piqued when unexplainable events start to occur around the house. He sets up a number of his video cameras in order to record and document the phenomena, but as time goes by, the demon becomes more and more violent with its presence, and Dennis starts to realize that there may be more to the story than meets the eye.

I think I have to start by saying that if you weren't a fan of the first two films, there's really no need for you to see this third one. I've run into a lot of people who hated these movies, but I've found just as many who've loved them as much as I do. I should probably tell you that as well - I instantly fell in love with the original 2009 film when I saw it in theaters, and as you can see in my review of the second installment (linked in the first paragraph), you'll know that I was rather fond of that one as well (although my views have changed slightly). Still, when the third film was announced, I had mixed feelings about whether it could succeed. I was hoping they would continue where the second film had left off, but instead, they chose to take us back in time and show the start of the girls' issues with this demon. The prequel idea was an interesting one to me (those of you who read my trailer breakdown for the film will already know this), but it still wasn't a guaranteed success. However, this film did garner more positive reviews than its immediate predecessor, so the filmmakers must have done something right.

Speaking of the filmmakers, this film was brought to us by the two directors who brought us the faux (?) documentary Catfish last year. While I found that to be a rather effective film, even if I don't think it's a true documentary, I thought they were an interesting choice to carry on the Paranormal Activity franchise. However, their direction is definitely noticeable, and they did a very good job with the hand-held camerawork once again. The deftness of their cinematography as well as their direction helped create a very spooky atmosphere, and while there were a few more "jump-out-of-your-seat" moments than the original film, I thought there was a lot more suspense than the second film. Those of my readers who have been following me for a while know that I'm a strong proponent of suspense over cheap thrills, so the fact that Joost and Schulman went in that direction is a huge plus for this film. I was definitely left on the edge of my seat, so kudos to them.

There isn't a ton to say about the acting in the film. Everyone plays their parts very well, but it's not as though we were expecting anything truly brilliant in terms of acting performances. We get our obligatory Katie Featherston appearance, but aside from that, we're not really seeing anybody I've ever seen in a movie before. Still, the cast rounds out nicely and performs exactly what you'd expect to see in a film like this.

While it's not quite as good as the original film, I'd have to say it's just about on par with the second film save for a strange ending that will hopefully be explained in subsequent sequels. After making a massive amount of money over its opening weekend, I think it's only a matter of time until a fourth installment is announced. Seeing as there are some holes left to fill, I'll be eagerly expecting next October.

Movie Review Summary
Grade: B+
2 Thumbs Up

2011, Ariel Schulman, Chloe Csengery, Christopher Nicholas Smith, Henry Joost, horror, Jessica Tyler Brown, Katie Featherston, Lauren Bittner, movie review, Paranormal Activity, and more:

Relevant to: PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 + sequel