Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)

             Jessica Tyler Brown
             Christopher Nicholas Smith
Directed by:  Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman
Summary: In 1988, young sisters Katie and Kristi befriend an invisible entity who resides in their home. (via imdb). 
Generally speaking, with sequels, and in particular, horror sequels, the law of diminishing returns leads you to honor the old adage of caveat emptor (let the buyer beware). You expect the story quality to be less and the jump scares and gore to be more. Luckily, the directors of this film, who also directed the critical hit Catfish (read that review here), did it smartly, and have released a very smart and true sequel. 
As with all sequels, there are a few continuity foibles and maybe it doesn't tie up all loose ends (spoiler alert - where's the house fire?), but it does enough to satisfy and deliver on the promise of more chills and scares.
Without spoiling anything, when you add children at risk or acting creepy in a horror film, it always seems to amp up the tension and the skin crawl factor. As with the other two installments, there are a number of scenes that will cause goosebumps in even some of the more hardcore horror fans. It's a lean movie, without any real slow or overly exposition heavy scenes, other than those that explain the use of professional video cameras in the late 80s, which weren't overly popular or affordable. There are a few moments that defy "why are they still recording this?" logic, but if you can let those go without focusing too much time to it, you'll enjoy the movie. 
I like that this, and part 2, aren't straight sequels per se, because they deal in a bit of the prequel world, especially 3, so it's not as cookie cutter as one would expect. All in all, I enjoyed it immensely, and found it to be a satisfying conclusion (for now) to the series. I would give it a 7 out of 10, bordering an 8.

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