Review: Paranormal Activity 3
By now we horror movie fans have figured out the formula of the Paranormal Activity franchise, at night people film themselves and scary things happen all of a sudden to provide a good fun jolt to the audience, nothing spectacular but it makes for a fun movie night when seen with people who are easily frightened. Thankfully the third installment makes some much needed changes to the formula, starting with setting the movie in the 80’s when the two main characters from the first two films are children. Thankfully unlike many other movies and shows nowadays set in the 80’s Paranormal Activity 3 avoids having the characters reminding us every five minutes what time period it is with cheesy dialogue like: “President Reagan said we should all go see ET” or “After watching Cosby can we flip over to PBS for the Doctor Who marathon pledge drive?”, instead the movie only gives a few nods to the tacky decade with mentions of Back to the Future and cameos from famous toys of the time. The second element that keeps this movie entertaining is the presence of Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman who inject new and creative scares not seen before in the franchise, while following a different sort of story structure.
Unlike the predictable plots of the first two films, Paranormal Activity 3 opts for a slow burn type plot, starting out slow and building the creepiness level until a completely crazy climax. The plot revolves around Kristi and her “imaginary” friend Toby, as you may have guessed Toby is an unseen evil entity who causes chaos in the household This leads family patriarch Dennis to set up video cameras in creative ways all over the house to record the events. As the recording increases so does Toby’s attacks on the family, all the while Dennis uncovers strange information about a cult that may hold the key to what is happening. Eventually the family seeks refuge at their grandmother’s house just in time for a completely mad climax that will hold you spellbound.
The Joost and Schulman team decide to thrill audiences with a few scenes that are very effective and hold their audience captive as opposed to several little moments that provide a quick jump. One element of particular brilliance in the idea of one of the cameras attached to the remains of a rotating fan which limits the audiences POV. The movie is by no means perfect; there are plot twists that come out of no where and the very end of the movie will leave many scratching their heads, but overall Paranormal Activity 3, is the best installment of the franchise and an all around good time.
7.5 out of 10