The best scene in the trailer, the “Bloody Mary” scene, isn’t even in the
mostly disappointing Paranormal Activity 3 in the same way
Here’s the thing: I really liked the first two Paranormal Activity flicks. They were simply executed things-go-bump-in-the-night-on-video-camera movies that milked their basic conceit for all it was worth. The first one was a refreshing change of pace from the then current state of the art and the second managed to replicate the thrills of the first one with just enough twists to make it feel fun all over again. The third film goes back to 1988 to show us how everything came to be, but this time the thrill is gone. The third time is not a charm, it’s a bore.
If you’re totally absorbed in the mythology of the series and have been waiting all this time to see how a demon came into this family’s life, then you’ll probably come away satisfied, but if you just want to have the piss scared out of you like before, then save your money. There’s nothing much new to see here. That’s not to say that Paranormal Activity 3 is poorly executed. It’s not. It’s fine, but it has about as much impact as another episode of a waning sitcom.
The cast is appealing enough and it milks the voyeurism kick even a bit more than the first couple of films, but it’s all so familiar and you already pretty much know it’s not going to end well for anyone if you’ve already seen the other two films. The only pleasure is in seeing exactly how it all plays out, but it’s a very modest pleasure at best.
That’s not to say the concept has reached the end of usefulness, but this particular story arc has. Rather than a third slow burn that takes 45 minutes to get cooking, this one should’ve hit the ground running. It should’ve shuffled the deck by being a non-stop scare-fest. Instead it was just more of the same. Maybe you’re ok with that. If so, then by all means run out and see it. If you’re looking for more, then look elsewhere.
Filed under: Review