I Saw A Film Today… Paranormal Activity 3

I should note here that I have not seen Paranormal Activity or Paranormal Activity 2. Neither film really screamed out “see me” to me when they came out. But seeing how Paranormal Activity 3 is a prequel to the prequel of the original film, I felt that it was safe to start here, that is if I decided to view the other two afterwards. Now after seeing it, I wont be.


Dennis (Christopher Nicholas Smith) and Julie (Lauren Bittner) have just got a house together with Julie’s two children, Kristi and Katie. Oh, and Kristi’s imaginary friend Toby. But it turns out that Toby might not be so imaginary after all. One night while Dennis and Julie are filming themselves in hanky panky mode, there is a  earthquake that disrupts the two. While away, the still running camera catches dust falling on an invisible object.

Dennis reviews the footage and also sees the mysterious figure and naturally decides to put up a few cameras around the house in order to catch some more creepy things happen. And oh boy do things go bombastic relatively slowly.

I would have thought that a film billed as a horror film would have some form of genuine horror in it. Instead it relies on cheap scare tactics that are just recycled from other current “horror” films. A good way to describe the film is to call it a haunted house. In a haunted house, something or someone pops out of nowhere and yells “ah” every once in a while in hopes of startling you. The same method is applied here, with emphasis on the words “every once in a while”.

For the most part Paranormal Activity 3 is boring and predictable. Anything that is meant to creep you out or scare you is followed by about ten minutes of the actors elaborating on what they captured on camera and talking about how “weird” it is. And this cycle of storytelling gets old after a while. The whole set up is night with a mixture of noises and spooking followed by day time speculation.

The only real salvation for this film is the last thirty minutes. This is when the people behind this decided to actually spend a part of it’s five million dollar budget to bring out the big guns. But really by this time it’s too little, too late. And when discussing the performances, there really isn’t much to discuss. No one really put forth anything memorable. When the best acting comes from the little girl who portrays Kristie, you know you could have done better in the casting department.

When did horror films change their definition? Horror films used to be about scaring with the subtle and the almost constant suspense. Now, it’s about the what will shock you the most in the most instant way. But you can’t blame studios for eating these kinds of films up when you can churn them out on a tiny budget and make a giant profit of them. But I still prefer quality over cheap thrills.

Verdict: SKIP IT!

*Rated R for some violence, language, brief sexuality and drug use

Comments? Opinions? Leave them below.


2 Responses to “I Saw A Film Today… Paranormal Activity 3”

  1. Definitely better than the second one and even though it’s a little bit of the same thing around again, it still is totally freaky and has so many chilling moments that will stay in your mind forever. Good review Kev.

  2. Sorry that you had to sit through this one. I saw the first one, but am hoping that I never have to sit through numbers 2 or 3. If I can convince my friends to see something else this Halloween weekend, I should be in the clear!

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