November 3, 2011

Review: Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)

"Apparently the trailer for this movie is itself haunted, because all of the scenes in it seem to have vanished like ghosts..."
Now that the long month of October is over, and we've shooed away the creepy kids, we can get back to normal as far as reviews and such go.... and what better way to start it all back up than with what may be the most anticipated horror flick of the year, Paranormal Activity 3.

There's not much to say about this movie that other sites and everyone on Twitter already has; PA3 is creepy as hell. If you liked the first two, this will please you on an equal level. We liked the first one, loved the second one (which seems to be a minority opinion), and really liked the newest installment in the series... for the most part.
We would have liked to have seen this scene from the trailer in the actual movie...
PA3 is a prequel, showing Katie And Kristi as kids, and showing us how all of the "Paranormal Activity" truly began. There are some great scares throughout the movie, most effective of them (for us) being the kitchen gag... pants were shat, that's all I'm saying. The sheet ghost gag was a close second, but no shatting occurred during that one.

This scene was nowhere to be seen either...
We liked PA3. It was good. Our problem with the movie though, and one that distracted us enough to make us not completely love it, is that 80% of what you see in the trailer, was not in the film. No girls playing Bloody Mary, no closet knocking, no water on the ghost gag, no house burning, no medium or seance, no girl jumping from her stairway ledge, no wife being thrown on the bed... we waited for those moments, and they never came.

Some people defend the omission of said scenes, claiming it made the movie better by not knowing what we'd see. Fair enough, I can understand that. The problem is though, it feels like the old double dip to us; a ruse to urge fans buy the "Special Edition Director's Cut!," which is inevitably coming somewhere down the road, and that's not fair. You don't offer someone a ham sandwich and give them a granola bar instead. Maybe we wanted ham. Who the hell doesn't love ham?!?

They could have at least told us that the trailer scenes weren't in the finished movie...
PA3 also threw a few plot devices our way that we had a hard time swallowing. With two small children in the house, and with repeated "incidents" and attacks on them, their parents decide it's best to stay put like nothing has happened? I mean the Dad was more wrapped up in unraveling the mystery of the "presence" than he was in keeping his family safe. He keeps his wife in the dark about some fairly serious goings on, and in my small opinion, used his kids as Ghost/Demon bait. Don't take your family and leave, just stay and antagonize!

Then again, leaving would do no good, as we found out later on in the film... which brings us to the ending.

This is the scene from the trailer that really got us geeked to go see PA3... nope, not in the movie.
The end of PA3 brings a twist to the story that is both good and bad. It's good in that it's interesting and explains a lot, and is pretty disturbing. It's bad in that it all happened very quickly, didn't give us much time to absorb it, and kinda made us roll our eyes. Had the twist been revealed and been left to marinate a bit before the movie abruptly ended, it would have been more effective.

This one was in the movie, and it was good.
Hitchcock said it best when he said (and I'm paraphrasing here) "If you show two people sitting at a table, and suddenly a bomb goes off, it will shock the audience. If you show the audience the bomb, let them know it's there while they watch the characters at the table sit and talk unawares, that will build far more terror in them because they know the threat is present." Again I paraphrased that quote, and most likely butchered the hell out of it, but the point is clear. At least to us it is.

I'm sick of saying it, so let's just pretend this one was in the movie. (It wasn't though.)
Had the movie we watched been the movie advertised, it would have scored a better grade. As it is though, PA3 is exactly what PA 1&2 were, just with a different spin and a twist ending that ties all 3 of the movies together. If you thought the first two movies were creepy, you'll find this one to be just as much so. If you didn't... well you probably aren't reading this review anyhow.

I guess we can wait to see if the omitted scenes from the trailer are included on the DVD release, but it's truly sad that we have to.


... and let it be said that the best part of this trilogy has definitely been Katie Featherston's rack. Sprague Grayden, Johanna Braddy, and Lauren Bittner are no slouches either, they just don't have "The Featherston Curse" in their shirts.


  1. I agree with your point that they should have added more of their trailer scenes in the movie (I was looking forward to them as well) but I didn't like this one as much as I did the first and second. It seemed to have a lot more cheap fake thrills (characters jumping at the camera), the whole pot smoking/sex tape scene seemed to campy for me, not like the original PA theme and ***SPOILER ALERT FOR OTHER COMMENT READERS*** demon baby? Really? Normally I can't sleep after seeing these movies (I know, I know I'm a pansy) but this one just kind of angered me. I will buy it to complete the series, and maybe the director's cut version will be better.

  2. Actually...Dennis technically wasn't the kids dad. He was Julie's live-in, it's a little more believable that he would sort of use the kids as bait. Also, I'm sure he didn't tell Julie because he didn't wanna get her all worried and scared...because she's pretty hot and Dennis is smart enough to know that a hot girl who is scared and worried about her kids won't give it up as easily. Just sayin'.

  3. Yeah Deviant, it is more believable and I should have father figure instead of Dad.

    And guys will do shady things for some lovin', that is for sure.