Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)

Paranormal Activity 3 acts as a prequel, giving us an insight into how the events of the first two came into fruition. To do this, we go back in time to the mystical age of the 80’s; a time where everyone had five o’clock shadow, rolled up sleeves and recorded every single second of their waking day. Yes, the timezone may have changed but nothing else has. This is the same shakey, oh my god! what was that!, argh twist ending we’ve now come to expect from this film series. Hell, from this very genre.

Paranormal Activity was, like Blair Witch and REC, a revolutionary experience. It took what little budget it had, ran with it and never looked back. Okay, you can sniff at it and say it’s pretty easy to put a film like this together and make money off it. However, EBFS suggests you put down this review down and go and prove it. Let’s be honest, most of you will fail or produce Grave Encounters. Either way, yeesh.

It’s sequel wasn’t wholly different from it’s predecessor, but with it’s little surprise of SPOILER being set at the same time of the original END SPOILER, it worked to a degree and it was easy to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Paranormal Activity 3 is, unsurprisingly, not different from either of the first two, but unfortunately it doesn’t have anything else to back it up. Okay, it’s a prequel, so it could be interesting, but it’s all just answers to questions no one even asked. There are plenty of nods to the other films in the series, but these are as pretty close to fanwank as you can get. Yes, it’s got some scares. The game of Bloody Mary that goes wrong in the childrens’ bedroom is particularly jumpy, but after a while it all just begins to feel like a series of YouTube clips off someone’s playlist.

About halfway through, I became very aware that this was a lot like BBC’s Ghostwatch and once that comparison entered my head I couldn’t stop hoping Sarah Greene was going to jump out of the dark with her giant shoulder pads.

The ending adds more weight than necessary to the plot of the first two. Demons, grandmas and secret cults make you pine for the simpler times of footprints appearing in flour and Kate Featherstone frolicking in the pool. With the fourth chapter in the series already green-lit, there’s no point me discouraging anyone not to see this. So, let’s just open up a betting pool on what’s coming up next? EBFS says demon aliens.


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