Written by Christopher Landon
Directed by Ariel Schulman &
I’m just as surprised as you are – PA3 is a pretty good movie. It opened with a $26 million dollar Friday and looks to hit the $5o million mark before the weekend is over.
Paranormal Activity digs in to the past of sisters Katie and Kristi (Katie Featherston, Chloe Csengery as young Katie, Sprague Grayden, Jessica Tyler Brown as young Kristi) to show us how their paranormal history started. It all begins with a box of VHS tapes recorded by their mom’s boyfriend, Dennis (Christopher Nicholas Smith) when the sisters were very young. Dennis begins to feel something strange is occurring in the house and begins obobsessively recording the family at night.
The film starts slowly, systematically training your mind to scan every part of every frame of film. Sometimes the mundane is just that, other times it isn’t. Kristi begins talking to Tobi, who is identified as her make believe friend. As the movie expands, so does Tobi’s presence.
There are some awesome big scares in the movie. I laughed a time or two at the reactions of the people sitting around me. Just as effective as the big scares was the slow, tension-building shots that were designed to created a true sense of fear from the opening scenes of the movie. The most unnerving scenes involved young Katie being terrorized. She’s flung across the floor and picked up by her hair in a one scene. I tightened up a few times during the intense scenes.
As the film progresses Tobi becomes as much a part of the home as anyone else. Terrified of Tobi, the family goes to the grandmother’s, but Tobi comes as well. Dennis begins placing cameras around this house as well and eventually dies on tape as Tobi literally folds him backwards and snaps his spine.
I won’t ruin everything for you. There’s an interesting angle as to why these things are happening and the scenes are skilfully crafted. This was certainly no A+ horror flick, but it is a marked improvement on the fist two films. This is just a genuinely fun and scary movie to see at the theater this time of year. The audience reactions were just as entertaining as the movie, so I hope you have a good group if you see it.
I went in wondering if this was going to ruin my morning and left with a surprised smile on my face. Now that this franchise has finally pleased me, let’s give up before I get wind of “Paranormal Activity: New Beginnings.”