Paranormal Activity 3 review by Melissa Orcine - Cinema Paradiso
‘Paranormal Activity 3’ again uses the cheaply-produced found-footage horror phenomenon that has dominated the box-office. If the first ‘Paranormal Activity’ had the evil entity haunting a twenty-something couple, the sequel an entire family, this time it goes back – way back – to 1988 as when Kristi and Katie where little girls living with their mom and wedding videographer step-dad (hence the technology all over the house).
All ‘Paranormal Activity’ movies are related through Kristi and Katie and in the third movie, we meet the supernatural entity that has been terrorizing them as kids. For Kristi and Katie, they call him ‘Toby’ and from being their imaginary friend that they speak and play with, it becomes a frightening foe that will not let up.
Directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman of the documentary ‘Catfish’, the film makers re-use the old legacy of the first two ‘Paranormal Activity’ poltergeist tropes: doors being opened and shut, furniture being moved, creaking sounds. But they put a new camera effect by placing it on a rotating electric fan, panning from kitchen to living room, intensifying the spotting the difference by way of ghost by the audience. Creepy.
The morale of ‘Paranormal Activity’ movies is that the entity Toby is camera-shy and he does not want to be photographed. Once people do, it unleashes its wrath tenfold on the ghost voyeurs. Why inhabitants of the haunted houses don’t pack and leave is a mystery, but Toby is persistent and when it latches onto a favorite, it never seems to let go.
With the prevalence of cameras on almost everything these days, it’s no surprise that we would want to document every movement, every thought, every sound. ‘Paranormal Activity’ movies say that if we really want to capture anything – supernatural or otherwise – you will. But be ready for what you see and the consequences right after. ‘Paranormal Activity 3’ raises the stakes by casting young children as the victims of Toby the evil entity. To place a camera before them is already unsettling but to have Toby terrorize them too? That screams heart attack of lo-tech proportions.