I just came back from the premiere of Paranormal Activity 3. What did I think of it? I was very, very, very, very disappointed. I came into this movie expecting to be scared. I was not. The movie was ridiculously predictable. Every scene, I said to myself, “In the next five seconds, that door will slam shut” or “In the next ten seconds, a shadow will appear in the upper left corner”. And surprise surprise, I was right every time. Finally, near the end, when the stepdad goes up to his daughter when she’s shaking back and forth near the mom, I said, “He’s going to touch her shoulder and she’s going to jerk around and attack him. No wait, too predictable… Just before he touches her, Grandma will burst from the left”. I was wrong to give this movie the benefit of the doubt… The girl did turn around and attack her stepdad.
The reason I put the word “spoilers” in quotation marks is that I doubt anything that happened in this movie is able to be spoiled; common sense should be enough. This movie was so cliched, it clicked in my mind as more of a parody than a real movie.
In the theater I was in, about three quarters of the people screamed at each scene while the rest laughed. I must say, I am disappointed in those who screamed. Does this movie REALLY scare anyone?!
Apparently 3/4 of the audience. It is that same 3/4 that screams at every predictable boo scare in hunted houses, and hides their faces during scary movies. They pay the bills so that we can enjoy more intense horror movies. Without them there wouldn’t be a market to fill.
Bummer, although by the time a Part 3 of anything comes around I’ve given up on it. The original nearly gave me a stroke, Part 2 was so-so, and I probably won’t see 3 until I can see it free on cable. (Which may not be too long to wait, looks like.)
Thanks for the heads up, though–I was actually considering seeing it.
I am strongly anti horror movie- in particular, I do not like things popping up and scaring me.
That said, my boyfriend wanted to go, so I went last night. I, the horror movie pansy, was ready to cower, cover my eyes, and shriek. . . but yeah, that didn’t happen at all. And I mean, I am really, really a pansy when it comes to horror movies, so that really says something. There was a large group of women behind me who were LOUDLY screeching the entire freaking movie, though.
The lamest part to me, above everything listed in the OP, is how blatantly they set up the next movie. The whole start of the movie was totally pointless, except to show that the
girls live AND the one does end up pregnant with a boy. And, as you remember, the witches like to steal baby boys, sacrifice them, and make a flock of Tobies.
i just saw this last night. i had the opposite reaction of the OP, it scared the crap out of me. i actually had nightmares after seeing it, which is unusual for me, as i generally enjoy horror films. it’s up there with the first one, for me. i found the second movie very meh because they didn’t really do anything we hadn’t seen in the first film.
a couple of reasons for my reaction:
the bloody mary scene. growing up in the late 80’s/early 90’s, this game was a sleepover staple, and it has always freaked me the fuck out and still does to this day.
the scene where we slowwly pan over to the living room and there’s a child sized figure standing silently by the stairs. then we pan slowwly back to the kitchen and OMG the tiny ghost figure is now standing directly behind the babysitter. i dunno, something about a figure draped in a sheet, completely still and silent is extremely creepy. reminded me of the first halloween movie.
the camera on rotating fan thing was a great tension builder, all in all. [/spoiler]
our theater had both screams and laughter, i did a lot of both. i don’t think that’s a bad thing, though. i had fun laughing at myself during the filler scenes and being genuinely creeped out during the scary stuff. good times. i like seeing these types of movies in the theater cause the audience participation is usually fun.
Sorry for the zombie-like resurrection of the thread, but I was waiting for the DVD on this one, and I just watched it a few hours ago…
I know, I know, a lot of it is kind of predictable, especially with the now-familiar setup and the blatant sound cues that precede every incident. That being said, I thought that there were a couple of brilliant decisions and a couple of really awful blunders in this one.
The camera mounted on an oscillating fan; as mentioned above, a GREAT tension builder. I found myself almost craning my neck to see what was moving just into or out of frame, and it of course allowed for pretty seamless cuts so they could set up the dramatic shots when the camera pans back. I think it was a genius method of reintroducing tension despite the aforementioned familiar cues.
Almost NONE of the shots used in the commercials and trailers that I saw show up in the film. The two girls playing “Bloody Mary” and then the shadowy figure in the corner as they leave the bathroom? Not in there. The scene where Julie says “we’re getting out of here” and suddenly gets yanked out the door? Not in there. The “mirror knock” trick? Not in there. The scene where Kristy tosses a glass of water on Toby, revealing his presence to Julie? Not in there. Now, for some movies, that would be cause for complaint: “Dammit, in the trailer Natalie Portman and Keira Knightly are naked and making out and IT WAS NOWHERE IN THE MOVIE!” But one of the things I really hate about horror movie trailers is that they tend to show the very best parts of the movie right there in the trailer, so everything else is a letdown and you spend most of the movie just waiting to see the scene that you already know is there. So I was actually kind of glad that wasn’t the case here.
Blunders: The back story about the coven, although nicely hinted at, seemed to erupt fully-blown and a little too over-the-top. Yeah, creepy women gathered in the dark worked, but I kinda wanted him to pan back to the outside view and see that they were suddenly not there or that it was really just Kristy or something like that. Why? I don’t know. Maybe I was just feeling that the “creepy” jumped up to “straight out horror” vibe a little too quickly.
Along with that thought, I felt that things ramped up too quickly. Julie goes from total disbeliever to total believer thanks to an incident so dramatic that there’s no way to deny that something supernatural is happening, so there’s not so much of the “hmmm…I could have sworn that door was open a minute ago…” stuff going on, which was part of what I thought made for the most effective scenes in the earlier parts of the series.[/spoiler]
Cuckoorex: Julie goes from total disbeliever to total believer thanks to an incident so dramatic that there’s no way to deny that something supernatural is happening, so there’s not so much of the “hmmm…I could have sworn that door was open a minute ago…” stuff going on, which was part of what I thought made for the most effective scenes in the earlier parts of the series.
I don’t think she was so much a disbeliever as she was in denial. She had to be aware something was going on and why it was going on.
Spoiler (still can’t figure out how to do spoiler boxes so I’m doing it the amateur way):
I thought they did a good job with the end. The women appearing from nowhere: you couldn’t tell if they were alive or dead. I didn’t think after all this, they could have pulled off an “is this all imaginary?” ending.
One thing I could not really figure out is how it tied in with the story of the fire from the first movie. When Katie talks about the fire where the family lost all their stuff but nobody was hurt. Obviously she blocked out the part about her stepfather’s death, but was the fire supposed to be at her grandmother’s house? There were flames in the background, but nothing that indicated the whole house burning down. Perhaps the coven purposely set the house on fire afterwards, to destroy evidence of their activity.
The ubiquitous ads for part 4 got me to sit down and watch the first three movies back to back in a single night. I rather liked all three. I also thought the fan was a great tension builder. Very clever.
I really liked how the three movies go backward in time. Part 3 happens first, then part 2, then part 1 is most current. Looks like part 4 will be several years after part 1.
We already know the girls survive and that Kristie has a boy. Grown up Katie is the star of the first movie, and grown up Kristie (and her baby boy) is the star of the second movie. The whole start of the third movie is scenes from the first two movies; sort of a “previously on Paranormal Activity…” setup like you get at the start of serialized dramas on tv.
In the first movie, Katie talks about how she first experienced “something” when she was 6 (the third movie), then again at 13 (not seen), then the third experience was in “the present” of the first movie. She doesn’t remember any of the details, only that something clearly odd had happened and she was scared all the time.
In the second movie, Kristie mentions the fire when she finds the picture of Katie.
In the third movie, Dennis explains about the witch coven, and how they take the girls when they first reach puberty and brainwash them to forget what happened and they take their male children.
Presumably, when you tie all this together, the fire Kristie mentions probably happened when Katie was 13, seven years after the action of the third film.