In the land of ghosts, everything here is situation paranormal and everybody is freaking out.
Paranormal Activity 3 steps back in time to 1988 when a young couple, Dennis (Christopher Nicholas Smith), his girlfriend Julie (Lauren Bittner) and her two young daughters, Katie (Chloe Csengery) and Kristi (Jessica Tyler Brown), all live together in a nice house when strange things start happening.
Kristi starts interacting with an invisible (and presumably imaginary) friend named Toby. This is when things go awry in many unusual and upsetting ways.
Things move around. There are unexplainable sounds. Weird symbols start appearing around the house. A shadow is seen lurking around. People start getting hurt.
If you’ve seen the first two chapters in this spooky franchise then you pretty much know how this one will go. With unseen forces at work, these innocent people are terrorized in many ways that would leave most rational people running for the door. It doesn’t make sense that they don’t, but they don’t.
Frankly, this is filmmaking genius but it’s more than a little tiresome upon repetition. They take a basic premise that allows the audience to buy into the fact that a guy has set up video cameras all over his house in order to capture such footage. After that, all it takes are just really basic movie magic tricks to provide the frights. Gary Sinise wasn’t really an amputee in Forrest Gump and there isn’t really a ghost on screen here knocking things off of dressers and dragging people across floors.
These magic tricks still work though. If you believe that what you’re watching is real – it is presented cinĂ©ma vĂ©ritĂ© style after all – then you’ll certainly enjoy all of the chilling moments as they unfold. Frankly, there aren’t that many. The video cameras mostly show people sleeping, walking around, making toast and doing normal people stuff. It’s only compelling because you don’t know when the malicious Toby is going to strike again.
Speaking of which, I don’t know if another sequel is already planned but I hope not. This one has been done to death already.
Paranormal Activity 3
Starring: Chloe Csengery, Jessica Tyler Brown and Christopher Nicholas Smith
Directed by: Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman
Now playing at: Grandin Theatres, Cineplex North Edmonton and Scotiabank Theatre