Paranormal Activity 3 (2011) Movie Review
Written By: JASR
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
Producers: Jason Blum, Oren Peli, Steven Schneider
Writers: Christopher Landon, Oren Peli
Date Released: October 21, 2011
Lauren Bittner as Julie
Christopher Nicholas Smith as Dennis
Chloe Csengery as Katie
Jessica Tyler Brown as Kristi
Hallie Foote as Grandma Lois
Dustin Ingram as Randy Rosen
Johanna Braddy as Lisa
Rating = 2.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Set in 1988, Paranormal Activity 3 (2011) follows the story of sisters Katie (Chloe Csengery) and Kristi (Jessica Tyler Brown) when they were little girls. The sisters live with their mother Julie (Lauren Bittner) and Julie’s boyfriend Dennis (Christopher Nicholas Smith). When Dennis places cameras around the house, the cameras capture unusual footage of hair-raising events – most notably Kristi’s conversations with an invisible entity named Toby.
By now, fans of the Paranormal Activity franchise probably already know that “Toby” is not known for gore. He is essentially known for his sinister actions such as moving items, pulling people, and in this movie, talking to Kristi. There isn’t really any gore in this movie.
The Grave Review
Paranormal Activity 3 (2011) is a prequel of a prequel. It is set way before the first two Paranormal Activity movies – showing how Katie and Kristi encountered the demon when they were little girls. I would say that the franchise could still live without making this movie, but it’s good that we get to see a little backstory of the girls.
In Paranormal Activity 2 (2010), adult Kristi mentions that she was “scared all the time” when she was a kid, but in Paranormal Activity 3, we see that young Kristi isn’t scared at all. She would talk to Toby all the time and even play with him.
Also, in the second movie, adult Katie tells Kristi that she remembers her sister “crying all the time” and “getting anxiety attacks,” but we don’t seem to see that in this movie. Moreover, Katie says their mom was “upset all the time,” and even tells Kristi she needs to “ignore it, or you’re gonna end up just like mom.” However, now that we have a movie about their childhood, we don’t see any of that. Their mother always dismisses Dennis’s claims about what is possibly going on. Even when young Katie runs to her mother saying Toby pulled her hair, she still wouldn’t believe it.
The creators of the movie had the opportunity to justify the events of the previous movie by sticking to how adults Katie and Kristi described their experiences, but the events in this movie don’t seem to be parallel to what they said.
Another questionable point is how the writers wrote about Grandma Lois’s intentions. Part of her agreement with the demon is forfeiting a firstborn male, which is why she wanted Julie to have a son. However, when Julie and Dennis stayed in her house, she wouldn’t let the couple on the same bed, which is quite a questionable detail.
Despite the inconsistent details, Paranormal Activity 3 allows us to see how the sisters’ childhood was like – allowing us to understand their situation better. The movie relies on sound effects to give us that quick shock that we normally expect from horror movies.
While we already know that the succeeding movies will be giving a few more details about Toby, it still would have been great to know a little background about that demon by now. Paranormal Activity 3 seems to be answering some questions while producing new ones at the same time.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Paranormal Activity 3 (2011) two and one-half graves out of five graves.
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