Sunday, October 30, 2011

"Paranormal Activity 3" a Spine-Tingler for Real

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 88 (of 2011) by Leroy Douresseaux

Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)
Running time: 85 minutes (1 hour, 25 minutes)
MPAA – R for some violence, language, brief sexuality and drug use
DIRECTORS: Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman
WRITER: Christopher B. Landon (based on film created by Oren Peli)
PRODUCERS: Jason Blum, Oren Peli, and Steven Schneider
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Magdalena Gorka Bonacorso
EDITOR: Gregory Plotkin


Starring: Christopher Nicholas Smith, Lauren Bittner, Jessica Tyler Brown, Chloe Csengery, Dustin Ingram, Hallie Foote, Johanna Braddy, Katie Featherston, and Sprague Grayden

Paranormal Activity 3 is a 2011 supernatural horror film, and it is also a prequel to the earlier films, Paranormal Activity (2009) and Paranormal Activity 2 (2010). Paranormal Activity 3 is set 18 years before the events depicted in the first two films and focuses on the two sisters at the heart of the series when they were children.

The main story opens in late summer of 1988 at the birthday party of Katie (Chloe Csengery), during which her younger sister, Kristi (Jessica Tyler Brown), can be seen in the background talking to empty space. The girls live with their mother, Julie (Lauren Bittner), and her boyfriend, Dennis (Christopher Nicholas Smith).

Dennis notices that strange things have begun to happen in the house ever since Kristi began interacting with an imaginary (or invisible) friend whose name she says is Toby. Dennis sets up cameras around the house to record these strange events. Through his investigations, Dennis discovers a strange symbol drawn on a wall in the house, which leads to an even more shocking discovery. As Dennis tries to learn more, the paranormal activity increases both in number and in intensity.

I compared the first two Paranormal Activity films to The Blair Witch Project, and the final act of this film has striking similarities to the end of the original Blair Witch film, which is a good thing in this instance. I really like Paranormal Activity 3 because it is genuinely scary. Several times, I hugged myself tightly in an anticipation of the next bump in the night or shadowy figure standing in the background. This movie delivers the chills. I was still thinking about it the morning after seeing it.

Still, it feels as if something is missing from Paranormal Activity 3. It’s as if there is a glitch in the storyline that runs through this film series and through the backstory that is the series’ spine. I won’t let that bother me. This movie is a real Halloween, scary movie thriller. Perhaps, it is because the entity seems angrier this time and because it threatens small children so much in this film. Whatever the reason, Paranormal Activity 3 is the real deal, and I’m looking forward to the next film.

7 of 10

Sunday, October 30, 2011

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