Paranormal Activity 3: Movie Review
Paranormal Activity 3
Cast: Lauren Bittner, Chloe Csengery, Christopher Nicholas
Smith, Jessica Tyler Brown
Director: Henry Joost,
Horror franchises - let's be honest,
they start to run out of steam after maybe the second outing, right?
Not in the case of Paranormal Activity.
Following on from the sleeper success of the first film which saw Katie
Featherston's Katie being terrified by a "ghost" in her home, a second was
rolled out within a year; and now the same's happened with the latest as the
studios aim for an annual Hallowe'en release. But it's good news for fans of
this particular genre, because the latest outing is a deeply unsettling and
Essentially, it's a prequel to the first film and delves back into 1988 when
Katie and Kristi were young girls living with their parents Dennis and Julie in
California. Once again, there's an entity spooking the house and so Dennis, an
amateur wedding video creator, decides to set up cameras around the house to try
and find out what's going on. Coupled with the fact Kristi's got an imaginary
friend Toby, there's plenty to keep him occupied.
But over the course of some 14 nights, the presence really makes itself felt
and things escalate into a terrifying conclusion...
I'm loathe to give away too much of this film for the simple reason that a
lot of the fun/ heart in mouth moments in the Paranormal Activity films tend to
come from not knowing what's ahead - sure, there's a few predictable shocks and
jolts, as well as a couple of fake outs, but it doesn't stop what unfolds on the
screen in the dark of the cinema from being quite horrifying.
I think half of the horror of this film is due to the fact it involves young
children. The young Katie and Kristi are well played by their kiddie charges and
you really feel their terror as the entity exerts its might. Lauren Bittner and
Christopher Nicholas Smith play the parents well and there's a primal fear being
played to here that they can't appear to protect their own in their home which
really does grip you.
In the days pre-cutting edge technology, the 1988 setting gives an occasional
feeling of retro as video cameras are mounted on desk fans to ensure all sides
of the rooms are covered - it's a clever touch which forces you to quickly look
at what's on the screen and identify any fleeting images as it pans left and
right. It's a smart move and adds to the tension - particuarly during key scenes
in the kitchen areas.
Ultimately, some may argue this latest is very similar to what's gone before
and there's a chance the ending may polarise some like The Blair Witch Project
denouement did; but Paranormal Activity 3 is a thrilling, horrifying,
unsettling, heart in mouth rollercoaster ride, which is packed full of genuinely