By Erik Luna
Sisters Katie and Kristi are plagued with an invisible entity, but how did it all start? That’s the topic in the new horror movie prequel/sequel “Paranormal Activity 3.”
The movie concentrates on the sister’s childhood memories, via old home videos that were recently found. It starts off with the stars of the previous films (Katie Featherston and Sprague Greyden) discovering that the old home videos had been stolen.
The movie takes place in Santa Anita, California in 1988. The first scenes of the home videos are of Katie (Chloe Csengery) celebrating her birthday with her mother Julie (Lauren Bittner), her mother’s new husband Dennis ( Christopher Nicholas Smith) and her younger sister Kristi (Jessica Tyler Brown). After Katie’s birthday scenes pass, Dennis and Julie decide to smoke marijuana and record themselves having sex, but they are interrupted in a big way.
Soon after, Dennis decides to put cameras around the house to see if there is anything weird happening while the family sleeps. He soon finds out that there is something strange going on with Kristi. She has been speaking with her imaginary friend, Tobi. Dennis decides to investigate and tries to get Kristi to talk to him about what is going on at night, but Kristi is hesitant to say anything. She says that she will get into “big trouble,” and soon after, things start getting paranormal.
The movie was not that different from the first two movies. It used many of the same techniques such as sudden scare tactics. Many of the scenes with the “demon” are sudden and tend to shock. The only real difference in this movie was its timing. It seemed to be sped up. It took a long time in the second movie for things to start getting paranormal, but in this installment strange occurrences started happening right away.
One of the main techniques that director Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman did to make this movie different than the others was to make the camera at night move. This was something that was missing in the previous “Paranormal” movies. The way they made this possible in the movie was both humorous and interesting.
The movie also used something that many horror movies tend to use as a scare tactic, children. Children in horror-movies are creepy and terrifying and that’s exactly why “Paranormal Activity 3,” was scary. The children were used to accentuate the ghost scenes that take place at night and this technique made it that more disturbing.
The acting was OK, seeing that the actors have to act like they are making home videos rather than reading a script, but the real stars of the movie were the children. Brown and Csengery make the film what it is and they basically carry the whole movie, which is an impressive feat for actress’ who are under the age of 12.
Another technique that was used to make the movie even more terrifying was the use of alternate scenes in the commercials for “Paranormal Activity 3.” While viewers are watching the movie, they are looking for the scenes they saw in the commercial, but are surprised by something else entirely. This technique was also used for “Paranormal Activity 2.” The movie, which earned $54 million it’s opening week, broke records for an opening horror-movie. It’s rated R and runs for 85 minutes.