PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 (2011)
Running Time: 83 mins. Rating: 3 1/2 Stars/5 Stars
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman
Cast: Christopher Nicholas Smith, Lauren Bittner, Chloe Csengery, Jessica Tyler Brown, Dustin Ingram
Knowing I’m about to watch one of the lowest-budget horror flicks imaginable with nauseatingly shaky camera shots, I prepared for the worst (I can already feel the motion sickness creeping up). But it’s true when they say the third time’s a charm — PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 effectively gives you everything you want, but with charming comedic moments. Although we’re all ready to get scared, it was a lot more dynamic with the cast and scenes this time around.
Set in 1988 California, Dennis (Christopher Nicholas Smith) plays a wedding photographer that loves to catch everything on film. He shares a new house with his girlfriend Julie (Lauren Bittner) and her two daughters, Kristi Rey (Jessica Tyler Brown) and Katie (Chloe Csengery). How do they start the ghost hunt? Well, Dennis wanted to film himself having sex with Julie when all of a sudden there’s this earthquake…
We soon find out that the ghost is in direct contact with the girls. Jessica Tyler Brown may be small, but she can seriously pack some suspense when she starts talking to her imaginary friend Toby in the middle of the night in that flowy white nightgown. Rather than having characters unconsciously walk around at night, this girl knows exactly what she’s doing the entire time and says she listens to him ‘to be safe.’ Too bad that puts everyone else in big trouble!
Dennis’ quirky friend Randy (Dustin Ingram) is probably the number one reason why this movie is worth watching. His enthusiasm drives Dennis to keep going with this ghost search. After they witness a babysitter literally fleeing from the girls’ bedroom, they’re literally on the floor laughing. “She got blown in the face!” Unfortunately, Toby doesn’t enjoy being made a joke of very much. No one likes a bully! Note to self: don’t call Kristi a ‘baby’ if she has a really tall imaginary friend with strange superpowers.
Can you believe you can stay entertained during a film with no soundtrack? Watching the digital clock tick by, you’re searching around the screen for something ‘paranormal’ to occur. Wait, for it, wait for it, no really. Wait for it. Dennis isn’t just a wedding photographer, he’s a handyman. To completely capture everything that happens downstairs, he puts a camera on top of a fan that pans the kitchen and the living room. I found myself biting my lip in anticipation for the camera to pan over and reveal whatever is happening. This is a scary movie that will scare you, but not in the ‘I’m so freaked out I can’t sleep’ kind of scared. It satisfies the horror fan’s thirst for terror and pleasantly entertains the normal folk. FINAL DESTINATION and SAW better watch out, there’s a new horror series in town!
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