Most good ghost stories need an origin. Most of them need something that begins their mystique and horror. Oren Peli’s Paranormal Activity series has become a Halloween fixture for millions of people. In now its third iteration, the original tale of Katie and her haunting has gone back to the beginning, seeing what happened once upon a time. While I won’t ruin any part of the movie intentionally, I will say that the realism of this piece definitely was captured. Paranormal Activity 3 did a great job of showing that all good horror movies need a great story to creep people out, not just a cheap bag of tricks. While those tricks are present, the “found footage” technique continues to scare moviegoers.
After an opening weekend that brought in $78 million worldwide, moviegoers showed that they wanted to be afraid again. In an age where movies are made for hundreds of millions of dollars, the series has had its most expensive movie to date, at $5 million. It set several records for the genre and time frame of release. It had the highest fall (September-October) opening ever, the highest ever for a midnight release of a horror movie, the highest for the franchise, and the highest for the horror genre.
There are several critiques of the movie from moviegoers and critics. One claims that it is a bit unoriginal. However, the film is made in the same exact way as the previous two and has the same storyline. This would be expected. Rotten Tomatoes even says ‘While the jolts and thrills are undeniably subject to the diminishing returns that plague most horror sequels, Paranormal Activity 3 is a surprisingly spine-tingling treat.”
I definitely found myself very excited for the new things that happened and where the story has gone. While I have never been one that has advocated the pumping out of sequels repeatedly in any medium, I find myself already predicting a fourth in the series. This might be way too soon to say this, but I definitely expect it. It has performed very well at the box office, and I am sure that Paramount will be more than happy to green light with the types of returns that the series is getting. Anyway, I expect the fourth, mainly because the story is so well set up for another iteration. Personally, it feel like it will add a lot in, and it won’t feel forced.
Another major critique of the movie is that so much was cut from the movie that ended up being in the trailers and television spots. I definitely wanted more in the film, but I will be more than happy to wait for a DVD/Blu-Ray that has an hour of cut footage. It would make the purchase of the movie that much more worth it. While many might say that they felt like they were lied to by the publication for the movie, I say that there is always false advertising in movie build-up.
In essence, I definitely was scared, and I wanted to be scared. The movie did a great job of keeping me on my toes (as much as a Paranormal Activity movie can). I really enjoyed the backstory, and I can’t wait for a sequel. Some people couldn’t handle it though, where I saw the film. One individual yelled out “F*** this,” and left the movie before it even got to the climax. You need to see this. In fact, I’m probably going to see it again.