The question comes up to me many times when I discuss the issue with friends and family. Do horror films really scare people? The question came up again when I saw Paranormal Activity 3 just the other day. On a personal level I’ll come right out and tell you that Paranormal Activity 3 is NOT as good as the first two. I find the second one to be the solid movie as far as ‘story’ goes.
The movie focus is Katie and Kristi, and unlike the first two films they are kids revealing to us what happen to lead to the events of the 2nd film. We’re given their mother who is pretty much very skeptical that anything is going on. Their father, or step-father who looks rather close to Micah from the first film, is a videographer. They go into what would be the series first sex scene is cut short when an earthquake erupts. Later Dennis discovers that there was an invisible figure there when finds it emerging from dust.
Just like the other films, this event naturally leads him keep recording and changing tapes every six hours. That is until the first night he sees Kristi get out of bed and speak to someone off camera, discovering that this invisible friend is named Tobi. This leads us down a path of a series of events of night video clips of Kristi speaking to someone at night, getting up and moving around and even at one point standing at the door to his mother and step-fathers room for nearly 3 hours before going back to bed.
The film in my opinion does a rather poor job in giving us the feeling that this invisible friend means no harm, that is until things get real. Watching I found myself almost chuckling and waiting for something to happen and what happens is nothing but small pauses and nothing short to be scared about. The film always seems to cut us short in explaining any information the father discovers about whats going. In a nutshell, Paranormal Activity 3 is mostly what you would expect out of the first two, just a lot less of it.
There was only a few sense that stood apart and did and in all account bring some sort of tension; this was when the demon stop being the nice little Tobi and started to attack the little girls. Such as picking her up by her hair and more or less off-screen trashing her a bit. All we learn form the movie is that he wants something and wants Kristi to do it as Katie teases her a few times about it. The tension building in this one was lacking and I did find myself watching the time now and then. Which is pretty sad given I watches the first two and came away with hopes that I loved this one as well; simply not the case.
Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t a bad film. The some good reviews and the amount of money that its made clearly shows it’s a strong film.. but for someone who was hoping for some sort of closure I got nothing. I really wouldn’t want to go into too much detail or over talk about the ending and the plot itself and how it fits into the overall picture. This is after all a prequel to the first two, taking place when they are little girls. The only real complains I have is that they had to have cut an hour of this movie out as there was a number of really down right scary scenes in the trailers that where not in the movie at all, like the house burning down. Something that I feel was a key event that we didn’t get to see. Another issue I had been that this one really gives us no reason about how we’re seeing these tapes. Like the first two the videos were found upon finding the bodies, this one pretty much doesn’t give us anything and the ending sort of leaves you wondering.
Finally, do I recommend Paranormal Activity 3? Yes and No. If you can look past it’s flaws (which they all have) and enjoy it and let yourself get suck into it, then yes I would check it out. But if your like me and found yourself sort of scratching your head with a huh look you may want to wait for it to hit DVD to rent and check it out. Maybe we’ll get a directors cut with that missing footage to fill the holes. While I might have sounded like I dislike the movie, I don’t I simply can’t go on about how this is the BEST of the series. To me that would be Paranormal Activity 2, which may be being if you look at this as a whole, Paranormal Activity 2 is the ending; aka the demon gets what he wants finally.