Paranormal Activity 3
Bottom Line: More irresistible, documentary-style startles–this time from the directors of Catfish.
Directed by: Ariel Schulman, Henry Joost
Starring: Chloe Csengery, Christopher Nicholas Smith, Jessica Tyler Brown, Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat
In 2009, we were hit by surprise with PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, a film that budgeted only $15,000 and grossed massively at the box office with over $193 million. Because of the manner in which it ended, a sequel could not be easily produced; but fans were using social media to demand a follow-up of some sort, and out of that came prequel PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2, set a month or so before the events of the first. Now, we have PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3, an inevitable prequel set (for the most part) eighteen years prior to the events of the first and second installment.
Fans who were disappointed by PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 would be delighted to know that the saga is now back on its feet again for a third entry. If you enjoyed the performances of the actors from #1 and #2, though, you may be disappointed again, as this does not show any of the actors from the first two (except in the beginning, which serves as a prologue in a way). All relatives to Katie and Kristi are scrapped (except for their mother, father, and grandmother, who are instead introduced), and the majority of the film centers on Katie and Kristi as ten- and seven-year-olds respectively.
For anyone else, though, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 should be a blast. The scares are much bigger than in the previous two, and there is a lot more to jump at. There is also a new, creative camera setup introduced in this film: a camera attached to a fan so that it is constantly panning left and right, allowing for views of both the kitchen and the living room, and creating spooky “now you see it, now you don’t” moments. But back in ’88, cameras were fairly expensive, weren’t they? And now there are three home video cameras set up around the house: one in Katie and Kristi’s bedroom, one in their parents’ bedroom, and the one panning the two rooms. Just saying.
So what next? “Paranormal Activity 4″ is inevitable, and that is made clear here. There’d be no point in creating another prequel, and to follow up all three films wouldn’t make sense, since the second film ended by showing a title reading, [slight spoiler] “Katie and Hunter’s whereabouts remain unknown.” But until a plot is announced (if it even is–everything with this film remained, for the most part, a secret until a few weeks prior to its release), let’s just say be prepared for the eighteen-year gap to be filled.