It’s no surprise that a third installment of the popular horror franchise was produced, after the soaring profits of Paranormal Activity (Grossed $107,917,283 (USA) alone and had a budget under $500,000). Paranormal Activity 1 (set in 2006) followed adult Katie and her family in the disturbing poltergeist happenings within their home.
Paranormal Activity 2 (set in 2006) followed Katie’s sister, Kristi and her family as they also experience ghost like events. Throughout the two films, there are references to how they had similar experiences when they were younger, growing up, and that is where the third film (set in 1988) takes place.
Even though more than half of the film’s trailer appears absent from the film, it’s quite obvious that you’re going into a horror movie which is centred around poltergeists. The plot tie-in is pleasing and continues to expand and elaborate on the sinister events in the previous films, which creates a better sense of the world and story that is trying to be portrayed. Though unfortunately, the various techniques and construction involved in creating the film are far too similar to what we have experienced before and therefore a vast proportion lacks liveliness. Furthermore, without ruining anything, the ending was left far more open than anyone would have expected, and a lot wasn’t fully explained, whereas the others were far more digestible and were a lot less ambiguous. Explanation or more reference to the spiritual elements and history that arose in the film , would have created far more depth and a greater atmosphere.
The majority of the horror components succeed tremendously. Putting aside the, long, tiresome build-up moments, the actual poltergeist in action parts are genuinely petrifying with a notch turned up from what you see in the other films. Though parts can come across amusing in the wrong sense due to the prolonged activities. Since we’re used to short snippets of objects moving around the room or flying about in various directions, these scenes drew away the elusive aspect of the antagonist whom the audience became too acquainted with. Ultimately, this dampens the aura and charm that the original films had and with a short running time of 1hr 24mins, it felt we were jumping from horror part, to horror part with no development on characters or story.
Without doubt, Paranormal Activity 3 will make you jump. Even with a fair amount of cheap thrills, and regardless of your beliefs, the underlying fact of documented poltergeist activity within the real world enhances the fear surrounding the film. The end scene is certainly the highlight, and you’ll struggle to find a cinematic moment that puts you on edge and prepares you for a shock for as long as the final conclusion does. It’s relatively familiar territory, but Paranormal Activity 3 manages to get away with scaring a full cinema for a third time with the same style and approach. Expect a fourth…