Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)
In 1988, a young family come to the conclusion that a supernatural force is at work in their home and set up CCTV to film their experiences.
Predictably similar to the earlier movies in the series and the multiple ‘blair-witch’ clones with their grainy CCTV viewpoints. You can sum the film up with the following: “Young family harassed by a spook who throws things around”. Basically, think Poltergeist (1982) but from the cam-corder perspective.
Nevertheless, this film does what it sets out to do. It makes you jump and delivers the shock sequences with some panache. I really liked the way the actual motion of the cameras built-up tension – although it’s a good thing the film is so short for danger of becoming nauseous – and there is a great scene involving a ‘white sheet’ creeping up behind the babysitter as she sits at the kitchen table, which the audience see in rhythmic shots. Additionally, there is a very cool set-piece in the bathroom where a game of ‘bloody mary’ goes pear-shaped.
The performances are standard for this sort of movie and the two little girls at the centre of it all are more than a bit creepy. However, I was a little surprised at the screen time given to Teddy Ruxpin! In many respects, I thought the script could have been a lot better, some of the dialogue is just unbelievable. This is especially the case during the scenes between the mother and her camera-happy boyfriend. Furthermore, the plot is rather confusing and the taglines/advertisements used for the movie don’t really bare a strong resemblance to the finished product that I saw on the cinema screen.
Towards the end of the film I lost what was going big-time and didn’t really understand why certain apparitions were appearing nor did I manage to link the events in this ‘prequel’ to the first and second movies in the series. There is a ‘twist’ ending which sort of comes out-of-nowhere which I presume was added to increase the body count of the film from the markedly poor zero.
But, if you want cheap shocks, you can’t really go wrong with this film.
hotdog rating: 5/10