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Paranormal Activity 3: Is it the Treasure Most Critics Claim?

Let me begin by expresng my love for the first two Paranormal Activity films; I think both pictures were brilliant, quite frightening, and in a strange way, unique to the “haunting” sub-genre. While the first franchise installment played on the slower de of action, the immediate follow up delivered at a much more deliberate pace, and incorporated two taboo targets amongst the field of the macabre; animals and babies.

To summarize both films would be to mply state that we fans have got a great pair of flicks that manage an identifiable sense of continuity, and deliver frequent scares that stretch far beyond mple jump scares. Two excellent films (I still scoff at those who panned the second film, which could ealy be condered superior to the first) served as an elegant introduction to a brand new franchise that still looks to have an assortment of plot points to explore.

Enter Paranormal Activity 3, being praised by a large majority of cinematic pundits as the franchises bone fide powerhouse. After my first viewing, I’m a bit perplexed by the notion really. Don’t take that to mean I felt the film was bad, or even mediocre; quite the contrary, I definitely enjoyed PA3. The film boasts a few eerie moments, a legitimate scare or two and the introduction of Dennis (Christopher Nicholas Smith), who I’d honestly conder the finest male performer to lead a PA film thus far. The pacing is wonderful, and fans need not wait long for the jolts to begin shocking viewers.

I do however have a few problems with the picture. Of the three PA films to see release thus far, I felt PA3 offered the least tenon; there aren’t many moments in which the fingernails are embedded in the seat, from which your ass is hanging half out of in anticipation of the next big scare. Nearly every frightening, or shocking sequence is preceded by a distorted bass track that plays up to the point of reveal. I like the idea of directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman pulling a switcheroo with the jolts. Tradition tends to utilize a knock, knock, bang approach, meaning two taunts followed by the real shocker. Joost and Schulman throw that method out of the window: you may get the terror you anticipate upon the first knock, or perhaps, the fourth. That said, it doesn’t change the fact that the film relies on jump scares more so now than ever, and I prefer a bit more suspense in my horror.

Matt_Molgaard Wednesday 10/26/2011 at 09:06 PM | 85887
Hey Matt,

Glad you got round to your review, I've been looking forward to talking this film.

Firstly, let me start by saying I too, am a huge fan of the PA series. The first totally blew me away. I honestly went to the cinemas with my girlfriend expecting a crappy cheap no brainer horror and by the end of the film I was for the first time in years of watching horror, truly terrified. Same goes for the second one, absolutely loved it and was really impressed with the expanon on the series' mythology!

Secondly, Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman are in my top 5 all time favourite film directors. Sure their CV isn't that long but I think Catfish is wonderful piece of cinema and deserves all the praise it gets and more. Frankly for me, documentaries do not get any better than this film. The narrative these two guys create in this doco is genius. If you want to see the other guys' stuff, check out their te, see for yourself just how amazing these guys are! -

So going into this movie I really had high hopes. Not only another addition to my new favourite horror franchise but directed by idols! Here's my opinion of it after now seeing it twice: the best part about it is the direction. It's made extremely well, the pacing is perfect, the tenon the guys create is wonderful (and that moving fan camera is posbly the best thing I've seen EVER!). What makes this film a huge let down for me is the script.

Sure they have created more questions and expanded the mythology even more but now it just feels convoluted and plot hole ridden. I won't go into why as there are endless reviews on the net at the moment that point them all out but it's extremely frustrating to see just how messy this series has become off one film!

Even the actors (who I agree are brilliant, especially Dennis) don't get much to work with. I actually found the film quite boring and ealy the least scary of the three. Again, I really don't think this is to do with the direction, but more the script.

Overall, I didn't hate the film, but I most definitely didn't love it. If I was to rank them it would go 1, 2 and 3.

Hopefully Joost and Schulman get a much better script next film they work on (no matter what it is, horror or not).
joshk1986 Thursday 10/27/2011 at 11:40 AM | 85952
well said. Joost and Schulman are proving to be extremely talented; i think their futures are both very bright.

i like your overall assessment!
Matt_Molgaard Thursday 10/27/2011 at 03:23 PM | 85956