Paranormal Activity 3

Chris Smith

Directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schilman
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 2
Community: star rating
5 2 0
October 21, 2011

Is this really the best scare flick Hollywood could come up for Halloween? A second sequel to a surprise cheapie hit in 2009? Seriously? Oh wait, Paranormal Activity 3 is a prequel. I'm sorry. It's 1988. And the sisters, Katie (Katie Featherston in PA1) and Kristi (Sprague Grayden in PA2), are just pre-teeners, played respectively by Chloe Csengery and Jessica Tyler Brown. Kristi talks a lot to Toby, her "imaginary" friend.  Mom Julie (Lauren Bittner) is concerned, but stepdad Dennis (Chris Smith) is a wedding videographer so he knows how to set up cameras around their SoCal house to catch any mischievous ghosts in action. If you can't fill in the rest of the plot, you haven't  seen the first Paranormal Activity or any movie at all. PA3 is shoddy goods with any hint of orginality sucked out of it. Have something pop out in the dark. Wait for a scream. Then drag out the next surprise for an eternity. Repeat cycle. I expected better from directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, who scored so high with Catfish last year. But one of their gimmicks is a doozy: Stepdad straps one camera to a slowly moving fan, which will have audiences craning their necks while producing a meager payoff. I fully expect Paranormal Activity 3 to be box office gold. But it's barely worth two stars, let alone two cents. As for future followups, I offer this plea: STOP!

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