Connect with us

Movie Reviews

Paranormal Activity 3





Released: 2011

Directed By: Ariel Schulman/Henry Joost

Starring: Katie Featherston, Chloe Csengery, Jessica Tyler Brown

Certificate: 15

Reviewed By: Darryl Griffiths

The bigwigs at Paramount must be desperate to get one over the guys at Lionsgate after the consistent success of the Saw franchise. It’s the only logical reason surely that they’ve agreed to prolong the existence of ‘Paranormal Activity’. At first, it seemed like a low budget gimmick that maybe expertly tapped into people’s fears of being spooked in their own home, but got everyone thinking ’surely one installment is enough’. But as with all things Hollywood, they’ve decided to cash in and expand on the mythology.

Hardcore fans (including myself) now know that the trilogy has centred around a entity tormenting the sisters Katie and Kristi ( Katie Featherston and Sprague Grayden). Here, we are taken back to the origins of the activity that took place in 1988 where VHS was king. As their younger selves ( played by Chloe Csengery and Jessica Tyler Brown), they live with their mother Julie ( Laura Bittner) and her her tech-savvy boyfriend Dennis ( Christopher Nicholas Smith). The sinister nature of this installment is introduced by Kristi ‘befriending’ an imaginary friend in the form of Toby, who is desperate for her to listen to his demands. Failure to comply, then the familar freakiness will play out! Luckily, Dennis is on hand to capture all the goings on by setting up surveillance cameras around the house.

With original director Oren Peli now on producing duties, the franchise has been handed over to the duo Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman whose debut feature ‘Catfish’ caused quite a stir. They prove to be an inspired choice, as I believe the portrayal of the the then innocent female protaongists at its core, they’ve delivered the most unnerving film in the series. Also, it is hard not to welcome to the series a much needed dose of tongue in cheek humour, that the horror genre normally adopts.

The constant here is the expansion of various elements on what has gone before. We have more characters involved, how the activity is captured (a camera stuck on a rotating fan is a masterstroke of a move creating shocks galore) and a surprise change of location for the finale that answers many questions that have been hanging around.

It’s reveal may be a tad more conventional than expected, but it’s still impactful. Little niggles about narrative logic will always remain due to the reverse timeframe approach the makers have taken and also for footage that is based in 1988, it looks too modern day which might be a little offputting for some audiences to buy into its concept.

But for expert composition of sequences resulting in well sustained chills and suspense, it’s still THE thrill ride to check out come Halloween.

Just For You