Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Paranormal Activity 3: The Prequel to The Prequel... (Busby's Review)
Paranormal Activity is the movie franchise that the Blair Witch Project wish it could have had. Pretty crazy how a little low budget independent movie became one of the highest glossing horror movies of all time. Now I LOVED the first movie, it had you from the very first flame all the way to the last few seconds. In my honest opinion, the movie would have made Hitchcock proud. Now to be completely honest, they should have left it alone at the first one. It had, again in MY opinion, one of the best endings to a horror movie of all time. They could have just left it alone, but you know Hollywood, they saw a cash cow and had to run with it and they went and made sequels, which has now turned into a franchise.
Now, I was very surprised about the 2nd one, even through it had some flaws, it was actually good. So of course the studio had to keep the ball rolling because the money kept coming in. Paranormal Activity 3 is, just like the last one, a prequel. It expands on the story and mythology of the movies, and connects the dots on certain events that has happened.
This time around we go back to the late 80's (1988 to be exact), where we follow younger versions of the 2 main characters from the first 2 movies (Katie & Kristi). We get introduced to their mother Julie (Lauren Bittner), who lives with her boyfriend Dennis (Christopher Nicholas Smith) who is a wedding video editor. The younger version of Kristi claims she has an imaginary friend named Toby who she INSIST that is real, but of course nobody believes her. One night after Julie and Dennis were trying to film a sex tape, an earthquake happens. During the earthquake, the camera captures what appears to be an invisible figure in the room. After Dennis looks over the footage he figures there is some type of presence in the house, and OF COURSE he decides to put cameras all through out the house. If you follow the other movies you already know what happens next.
I have to admit for the 3rd time in a row, the movie got the job done. Directors Ariel Schulman & Henry Joost, the same directors who directed Catfish, did a good job capturing the essence of the Paranormal Activity movies. This time around the scares are a LOT more intense. They legitimately wanted the movie to fuck with you, and they made it clear from the very first scare. They even got creative and they placed a camera on top of the rotating motor of a fan and placed it in the living room. When it rotates you REALLY don't know what is going to pop up in the frame, and when something pops up you WILL know it. They even sike you out a few times, and even those will make you jump. One fake out jump scare in particular made the ENTIRE audience jump and/or scream, when you see it you WILL know it.
After those fake outs, the movie gets down to the nitty gritty. In my opinion, the scares are no different then the scares used in the first 2 movies, but they were a lot more intensified. You really NEVER knew when shit was about to happen, it not only happened at night, shit happened during the day too. Christopher B. Landon did a good job with the screenplay, he really did a good job connecting the dots of the mythology of the story and tied alot of loose ends together. The last 15 min of the film is when shit really hits the fan. It was pretty shocking watching it all go down, and it was shot really well. It really had the audience at the edge of your seat, because you REALLY didn't know how it was going to play out in the end. However, if you paid close attention to the first 2 movies and know the main storyline, you can see the ending coming a mile away, at least I did.
Now overall the movie was good, not better then the original but it was a few steps ahead of the 2nd one. I really do love this franchise, and I am generally surprised that they achieved to keep the ball rolling a third time around. When they do the 4th one (which is inevitable since this movie did quite well during the opening weekend) hopefully it is the LAST one. I REALLY don't want this series to end up like the Saw series and just go all over the place after the third movie. There still are ALOT of questions that need to be answered in the story (like where the hell are Katie and Hunter?), and a few other loose ends that needs to get tied up. But for now, this movie is a good addition to the continuing story of what happens when things go bump in the night.
Busby's Review: 3.5 out of 5