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Paranormal Activity 3 - Film Review

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by Gordon D'Mello (subscribe)
Freelance writer based in Sydney's heart, event enthusiast and founder/editor of growing sports syndicate 'Injury Time' www.injurytime.net.
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(Copyright Paramount Pictures)


Remember that dream you had once, when you heard the roof boards cracking, the tap dripping and weird noises from the basement? Well, take that dream, add some demons, multiply it by one hundred and you have all the thrills that is Paranormal Activity 3.

It would probably be argued that PA3 doesn't bring anything new to the franchise in terms of thrills, but in my opinion, this is certainly the pick of the lot.

For all of you out there who haven't seen the film and plan to, let me just say that some spoilers do follow, so beware!

The film is a prequel to the first two in the series, and when main protagonists Kristi and Katie are children, some 18 odd years after the events in PA1 and PA2.

As more of the storyline is revealed, this film mainly deals with an invisible entity named Toby who first 'bonds' with Kristi.
Like the previous films in the franchise, PA3 starts slowly, with a subtle build up to the activity to create an intense atmosphere.
We are first shown some footage of the 'robbery' at older Kristi's house from PA2, before we are then taken back to 1988 and the time where PA3 is set in.

Here, Julie (Kristi and Katie's mother) is dating Dennis, a wedding cinematographer, after the mysterious, and not explained, passing of the girls' father.

When Dennis tries to film a sex tape with Julie (convenient), odd noises can be heard coming from the house (don't laugh, it's true!) The couple are then interrupted when a violent earthquake shakes the house.

Upon reviewing the footage with his assistant Randy, Dennis notices dust that falls from the ceiling during the earthquake to somewhat land on an invisible figure which then disappears. After seeing the footage, Randy tells Dennis to set up various cameras around the house to catch any extra activity.

We are then taken on a roller coaster ride that includes flung furniture, an intense 'Bloody Mary' scene and a compilation of other spine-tingling moments that you just have to see to believe.
Long story short, the family moves to Lois' (Kristi and Katie's grandmother) house fearing for their safety. Unfortunately for them, this is simply where the activity gets crazy.

The final period of the film is set here and stays true to the theme of the PA series, with another intense ending. We find out that Lois isn't quite the caring person most grandmothers are; rather she is part of a cult of witches that serve the aforementioned demon 'Toby'.

PA3 stays true to the franchise and delivers what is surely the best of all three films. To all the torrent-downloading people out there, don't bother with this one. Like the previous films, PA3 is simply not the same watching at home as it is in the cinema.

Also, when you do go, take a few friends; maybe even a pillow or four. You don't want to be sitting there by yourself when a group of demonic witches start walking towards the camera. Have I said too much? You'll have to see it to find out.

A lot of people have asked me, being a PA fanatic, whether watching the previous two films is needed to understand the third. In truth, you could probably get away with it because the storyline of the franchise is told in Stars Wars style. But if you've seen the first two, no doubt certain things will make much more sense.

This certainly won't be the last film of what is becoming a record-breaking franchise, some critics are touting as many as three more instalments. I think that's a bit rich though, personally I'm feeling there will be two more, one on Kristi and Katie when they're in their teens and a final climax set in the present day.

So grab your mates, perhaps even that girl or guy you've been eyeing of for the past few weeks, get some popcorn and strap yourself tight for a ride that you'll never forget.

Paranormal Activity 3 is currently showing in all cinemas.


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Why? To experience the best horror film in decades.
When: From October 20 (AUS), October 21 (USA & UK)
Where: In Cinemas Now
Cost: $10-$25
Your Comment
I think you gave away a fair amount of the plot there, including scares to watch for and the ending. These films are enjoyed when the only known aspect is that a family is being haunted. While the cinema is the most ideal place to watch such a film, don't underestimate watching PA on your own TV with the lights off. If alone, at night, in your home, the effect is magnified. You won't have the luxury of leaving the screening with a group of people, instead focusing on every sound that would normally seem insignificant.
by Chris Sutton (score: 0|8) 2148 days ago
I think you gave away a fair amount of the plot there, including scares to watch for and the ending. These films are enjoyed when the only known aspect is that a family is being haunted. While the cinema is the most ideal place to watch such a film, don't underestimate watching PA on your own TV with the lights off. If alone, at night, in your home, the effect is magnified. You won't have the luxury of leaving the screening with a group of people, instead focusing on every sound that would normally seem insignificant.
by Chris Sutton (score: 0|8) 2148 days ago
Cheers for the response Chris. Always great to get feedback! True about the plot details, however, I did want to make it more direct. It is my first film reveiw though, so always room to imrpove. Regarding the PA at home, if by yourself I agree it would be great. But personally, I'm off the opinion that these type of films are best enjoyed with company/friends+peopel you don't know. Just my thoughts though!
by Gordon D'Mello (score: 1|27) 2148 days ago
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