Saturday, October 29, 2011

Paranormal Activity 3

Halloween Movie

As I said before, in my Last Exorcism review, crowd reactions are priceless. The crowd reaction at Paranormal Activity 3 was super entertaining. I think I enjoyed the gasping and the screaming from the audience more than the movie itself. There were a lot of cat scares in Paranormal Activity 3 and some of them were just old fashion jump out at the camera scares that had nothing to do with the paranormal. I still think this is a cheap trick but, I did enjoy one of them a lot. I love a good practical joke. I think after I die, I'd come back as a poltergeist. Don't get me wrong, the movie is still creepy at parts and it was entertaining. The screaming audience is the proof of that. I want to talk more about Paranormal Activity 3 but I can't do so without spoiling some of the fun. I'll leave the rest of this review after the "JUMP!" It's not a detailed assessment. It's just a general review but, I'm going talk a bit about the first two movie and, it might spoil the story for people whom haven't seen them before. The three movies are connected and the continuity is set up nicely. It's not necessary to watch the first two Paranormal Activity movies before this one but, it would help. For now, I highly recommend checking out Paranormal Activity 3 during this Halloween weekend. It's a very fun time. When the movie was over, a couple of people in the audience couldn't wait to get out of the dark claustrophobic theater.


(5/5 if watched in the right atmosphere and company)

The timeline for the Paranormal Activity movies works this way: the third movie takes place before the second movie. The second movie takes place before the first movie. It's because of this, the third movie gives more insight on the sisters' hauntings. It's a pretty generic origin. When the first movie came out, I wrote it off as being a generic cheap ploy at creating scares. In a way it was but, it was done well. Then when it was time for the second movie's release, the first trailer just showed a dog and a baby in danger and I rolled my eyes. So, I wrote that one off too. I wish I didn't. I ended up watching both of them at home and the first Paranormal Activity creeped me out. I kept on wondering what the audience reaction could have been. The second movie was pretty good too. It wasn't as creepy as the first one but, it was still scary and engaging. Now, the third movie is still a good watch but personally, I didn't like the explanation of the haunting. It has the same type of... ***SPOILERS!***... cult explanation like all the other demon and possession movies. In any case, despite my opinion on the origin of the hauntings, Paranormal Activity 3 did a lot of things well.

The movie focuses on Katie and Kristi when they were kids in 1988. They live with their mother Julie and her boyfriend Dennis. I didn't catch what happened to the biological father. I'm not sure if he abandoned them or died. This might be crucial information for a possible Paranormal Activity 4. Katie and Kristi's surrogate father, Dennis, is a videographer who makes money with wedding videos. One night, he catches a strange phenomenon on tape. With this and the strange noises in the house, Dennis is convinced that their house is haunted. In connection with this, Kristi's imaginary friend, Toby, is becoming less imaginary to say the least. Kids with imaginary friends are always creepy and Paranormal Activity 3 plays this up. You might not look at imaginary friends the same way after watching this. The found footage shown in this movie are captured on two old VHS handheld cameras. I suspended my disbelief in order to accept the technical quality of these tapes. The footage is in widescreen and the quality is amazing for that era. Even the editing is superbly done. The editing team behind Paranormal Activity 3 had untimely cut offs during the beginnings and endings of each footage to remind us of the imprecision with editing on VCR's but, where's the sound pops and tracking issues? How could a starving videographer afford such high end equipment? It was established that Dennis was barely making money and Julie was well off or, at least Julie's mother had money. Enough to help them out anyway. I am a bit of a stickler with details but, it didn't deter my enjoyment for this movie. There were enough supernatural happenings in Paranormal Activity 3 to keep me interested and to distract from noticing things that should not belong in the 80's. The effects were creepy and done well with old school film techniques. It's pretty amazing actually, to stir an entire audience with out music. Loud noises was used though but, the scariest moments involved the invisible Toby. A subtle movement, a gust of wind... the fear was created by our own imaginations. Henry Joost's and Ariel Schulman's direction did an awesome job leading us into that dark closet in our minds. One of the coolest moment in the movie is the old ghost in the sheet trick. Was this a way for the film makers to make their point? That old tricks are not bad if executed well? The movie even had a baby sitter situation.

All the actors in Paranormal Activity 3 did a better job than I expected. Unlike the first 2 movies, this third one did not have a douchey male figure. I am very glad that Dennis was a very well liked father figure who tries his best to protect the two girls along with their mother Julie. The two child actors who played Katie and Kristi did an excellent job. I worried and cared for all the characters especially Kristi. This made the scares and the dangers very effective. I purposely left the actors names out of this review to keep with the illusion of the found footage. Since I already pointed out the quality of the VHS and named the directors, I don't want to ruin the illusion anymore because, I really did like Paranormal Activity 3. If there is going to be a Paranormal Activity 4, I hope the creative team can come up with an entertaining movie around the generic origin story. With the money that Paranormal Activity 3 is making, I'm pretty sure there will be a fourth movie. When the fourth movie comes out, hopefully next Halloween, you will find me in the theaters OMG'ing.

No comments:

Post a Comment