Sunday, October 23, 2011
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3... I saw the latest installment in the Katie-gets-haunted-by-an-evil-ghost movie franchise ('horror movie franchise' is overused) yesterday, and I must say, it was both scary and clichéd at the same time. Being a prequel, Paranormal Activity 3 expands more on the subplot of Paranormal Activity 2 (SPOILERS AHEAD) in that it focuses on how the grandmother of Katie and Kristi made a deal with a belligerent spirit that would haunt the two girls up to their adulthood. Basically, the grandmother was part of a secret coven, and her deal caused the souls of all females in her bloodline to be forever owned by the spirit. Paranormal Activity 3 provides no solution as to how that curse could be lifted.
Paranormal Activity 3 was scary...though not as scary as the previous film (and I only saw the last 20 minutes of the first movie). It’s pretty much obvious that the motif throughout all three flicks is having Katie (and Kristi) suddenly being dragged from her bed by the evil spirit into another room in the middle of the night. It was totally frightening when Katie literally gets yanked off her bed in the first Paranormal Activity film, but by the third flick, this moment lost its shock value. Paranormal Activity 3 does have a freaky scene where the spirit, cloaked in a white sheet to look like your standard cartoonish Halloween ghost, sneaks up on the babysitter in the kitchen after Katie and Kristi’s mom goes out of town for the night. And we see how violent the spirit can be when Katie, who's playing tag with her sister in one scene, runs smack into the invisible entity (nicknamed 'Toby' by Kristi...who’s the first one in the household to encounter this ghost) in her bedroom...and gets pulled off the ground by her hair.
Paranormal Activity 3 falls victim to several horror movie clichés...namely numerous scenes where one of the characters (Dennis: the boyfriend of Katie and Kristi's mom, in particular) moronically walks into darkened hallways and rooms despite knowing something is amiss; having little children chant Bloody Mary inside bathrooms with the lights out; and even the subplot where the grandmother practices witchcraft itself. The final scene in the grandmother’s house was appropriately filled with lots of dread...with me saying 'dumbass" out loud (well, not too loud) a few times when Dennis walked around the home in the middle of the night looking for his girlfriend and her two daughters (who had suddenly gone missing). You would think that he would at least grab some type of object to use as a weapon after the household fell deathly silent. But noooo...all he has is that video camera to film his demise with when he stumbles upon that darkened room where the grandmother’s witch buddies are loitering in—and all hell breaks loose for Dennis when he tries to get away and realizes his GF and her kids are part of one screwed-up family. No wait, I forgot to say 'Spoilers Ahead'.
Would I recommend that you watch Paranormal Activiy 3 while it's still in theaters, you ask? Sure, why not. Just remember to tell yourself, "It's only a movie, it's only a movie...a low-budget movie" while watching the film. That is all.