Friday, October 21, 2011

Paranormal Activity 3 Review

Greetings Internet!

I feel that I must begin this discussion with a smidge of background info.  I am not generally a fan of horror films (I don't like to be scared), although I will still see them.  Just like the Asian Scottsman in that Starburst commercial, its a bit contradictory.  I saw both previous Paranormal films in theater at midnight screenings, with a packed audience.  I feel that this trilogy is best seen amongst a group of people.  While frankly terrified by both previous films (again, I'm a sissy), I feel that Paranormal Activity 3 is the scariest, and quite possibly the best film in the trilogy.

I'm going to try to not spoil much for any of you who haven't seen the first two films.  PA3 is a prequel set in 1988.  We get to see the sisters from the first two films as small children, living with their mother and her boyfriend.  Being set in 1988 meant that video surveillance equipment and/or a plethora of easily-accessible video equipment would be tough to come by.  How the film handles this is fairly believable (the boyfriend is a wedding videographer).  The build up is pretty much following the path laid out by the first two films, with footage toggling between daytime and nighttime.  This is not necessarily new territory being tread here; much like the recent The Thing prequel, PA3 borrows heavily from the first two films in terms of set-up.

Where PA3 differs is in the quality of the scares.  I'm not afraid to admit that I was absolutely terrified throughout the film.  My eyes were constantly darting across every frame trying to find something moving or making noises.  The way the story is told is quite compelling and good use is made of the two girls.  The quality of the physical effects is quite impressive; there were plenty of shots and scares that left me not only terrified but also questioning "how'd he do dat?"

In terms of story PA3 does a fairly decent job at leading into the two previous films.  Some questions were answered while others were raised.  Again, I don't really wish to spoil anything for any of the trilogy.  Ultimately these films aren't, at the their core, story-or-character-driven.  You see the Paranormal films to be scared.  I will say that the family in this film is quite likable; I really didn't want any negative to befall them.  While the male character in each preceding film was, let's face it, quite douchy, Dennis (the boyfriend) is quite charming and easy to get behind.

As you can probably tell I'm a fan of Paranormal Activity 3.  I recommend it for those of you who enjoy being scared, or were simply fans of the first two films.  If you didn't like those there really isn't much here to change your mind.

Paranormal Activity 3 is terrifyingly rad.

The Bearded Bullet afraid to sleep.


  1. Word. I thought the rotating fan cam was brilliant! Loved it.