Thursday, October 27, 2011
Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)
I enjoyed both one and two in the franchise, finding them properly paced and effectively jumpy but as a whole I'm not necessarily a fan. That's not to say I don't like them, because I do, its just I appreciate them more for their technical plots and story buildup rather than have an actual love for the series. Where the first two relied on the subtly paced and what you don't see, the third takes the opposite approach and bares all. In the end it works rather well, this is by far the most terrifying of the series and I was in constant dread knowing that every time they were on camera something was going to happen, you just didn't know what. Which is a brilliance behind the writing, you've come to expect a certain set of rules to the ghost that's been stalking this family but they essentially throw away all previous behavior and throw you off with new bits of horror. Paranormal Activity 3 made more ploys towards the typical haunted house film (I saw that babysitter peak her head around the corner), where the ghost became physically violent and manifested itself in front of us for scares. The last fifteen minutes not only change how you see the spirit but how you see the series as a whole, it will literally alter your viewing experience. I immediately wanted to go back and watch the previous two films.
The film fells less realistic, as did the second, than the first despite having Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (directors of the documentary Catfish) there to give it that more realistic approach. Though it had its slow moments the first film's realism was based off the sense that everything was on camera, even the pointless stuff. The third is not so much; everything that is on camera is relevant to the plot and set up so it comes off more as a film than that cleaver found footage effect. As of last time the trailer is deceptive, I don't believe that one clip in that trailer makes it to the actual cut of the film. A lot of reviews are claiming this as the best film in the series, I'm less kind. I'll admit while it's the most dire of the series (I jumped...a lot) I'm still accrediting the first film for being the best. Simply because I prefer the what we don't see to what we do. Still that's not to prevent you from seeing the third installment, without a doubt it'll be the scariest experience you've had in theaters for a while.