'Paranormal Activity 3': What's the verdict?
October 24th, 2011
06:15 PM ET

'Paranormal Activity 3': What's the verdict?

"Paranormal Activity 3" was no less of a box office success than its predecessors, but was it worth the cost of admission?

While critics seemed generally pleased with Paramount's return to the found footage horror flick, moveigoers were a little less sure.

The Los Angeles Times reports that while "PA3" stuck to its low budget - that would be $5 million - it was still "far and away the sharpest, most wildly aware film of the series," filled with "newfound wit and invention."

USA Today's review agrees, adding that this installment, which focuses on haunted sisters Katie and Kristi when they were children in 1988, was more successful in scaring up thrills than the first two.

However, the review notes, the "freshness" of the franchise's ability to terrorize seems to have faded some with this edition, and the movie also "falls back on well-trodden and rather silly territory involving a witches' coven."

Empire adds that as long as you don't arrive to the theater with expectations for innovation, then you'll be pleased with what you view. "It may be hokey," the magazine says, "but the scares still work."

However, moviegoer Jackie Yasso wasn't as impressed, tweeting that she "saw it & was disappointed that many scenes from the trailer were NOT in the movie :/."

iReporter Brett Martin also found that "the storyline is a bit weak," since "the characters are experiencing paranormal activity for the first time, but the folks who have seen the first two films are not." That, plus the fact that "PA3" largely sticks to the same found footage script as the prior two, made the movie feel a bit been there, done that.

What's your verdict?


Filed under: movies

soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Ashley Decker

    None of the scenes from the trailer were in the movie, and there were some really good ones! It's was almost like the trailer was from a different movie.
    And there was something missing, it just didn't build up the suspense like the other ones. And the 'reason' for the whole thing is doesn't work well at all with this series, and it's been done (a lot better) by other movies. See The Last Exorcism.
    it's a real shame because the other movies are so good. But it made 52 million at the box office last week alone, so maybe they'll do better with Paranormal Activity 4!

    October 29, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. DrinkH2O

    I don't really see the point of these kinds of movies, it reminds me of the Travel Chanel show Ghost Adventures, which i think is more of a comedy than a horror. Although I haven't seen Paranormal Activity 1,2, 3 and I doubt that I'll like it. If you ask me the name John Hopkins is enough to give me the chills.

    October 28, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dennis

    I liked the first two, but this one was by far the best. I never get scared by movies, but I was shaking after this was over. I watched it with my 12 yr old daughter, who was thouroughly scared. At one point during the movie, a teenage girl ran down the exit aisle and out the theatre, screaming the whole way. The whole theatre errupted in laughter. I loved the experience. Of course, the character named Dennis dies.

    October 28, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  4. Pauline

    what a load of rubbish !! one and two were better very disappointed and two idiots sitting behind us talked all the way throughout the film, but then it got scary, my daughter turned around to these idiots and yelled at them to shut up!!! Why do people go to watch a film but talk all the way through it???? I hate that and when they say oh watch this bit she gets pulled back. Spoiling it for those who have not seen it before grrrrrr

    October 25, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. KIMKAM

    VERY DISAPPOINTED That the scenes shown on the TV previews were not shown and what was up with that ending?? It totally leaves us hanging...doesnt really connect to the first two..Love being scared though!

    October 25, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ryan

    the only thing i wished he woulda done is put a camra on that closet door

    October 25, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. @Observer

    Your conservative stooge comments are getting old! You need a new line! I never have been a conservative, and funny, I've worked since I was 16. I have never been on welfare or food stamps. Your mockery of folks that are down on their luck just sucks. Liberal or conservative, folks are struggling. I am so happy that you are not in this position in your life, and you are so above it all. Yes, I'm a liberal, and proud of it. It beats the conservative way of thinking hands down. I want this country to progress, not become a 2 class society, rich & poor. The conservative's just want to take care of the rich, and if you are not rich, too bad! So keep spouting your crap. People are more intelligent than that!

    October 25, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • dear observer

      wow go eat something, I think your blood sugar leves may be low

      October 25, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  8. Samantha

    I saw it on Saturday and I actually found this to be the scariest of the series. I actually loved that the scenes we saw in the trailer (the girls playing bloody mary, the mom being pulled backward) was a good thing. The scares that took those places were more shocking since I wasn't like "Oh, that's when that happened." I also really loved the oscillating VSH video recorder as it added an element of suspense with regards to what's happening just off screen. I loved how it built the tension.

    October 25, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  9. starrfire

    Hey missy! Thanks for the info. I guess I can cross that off my list. I don't go to movie theatres ( you know why). I no longer have premium movie channels and just rent from Netflix. Have a good night, girl!

    October 24, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      Yeah- we know why. You're a lazy liberal sitting on her azz collecting welfare: AKA the hardworking mans money. Get a job, you liberal stooge!

      October 25, 2011 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  10. Missy

    Hey Starrifre- Don't waste your money. I watched it on HBO, or one of those channels. Honestly, If I had a video camera, I could make a scarier movie than that. It was a huge waste of my time. One of those movies that you think has to get better as it goes. The final scene was the scariest, but even that was pretty lame. Save your money!

    October 24, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. starrfire

    I've never seen any of those movies – is it something like "Blair Witch Project"? Wonder if it's worth renting from Netflix.

    October 24, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. MarksUniverse

    I loved it! Very scary. The footage with the camera sitting on the oscillating fan made my heart start pounding big time-lol. I hope there is another one next year!

    October 24, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. danika

    Not that great. Most of the screen they had on TV was not shown. The ending make it seem like there will be a part 4. which will suck too :)

    October 24, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. 4815162342

    It's great! Scarier than the first two. It's not for everyone...but I like how it built up tension- it's not just gore and in your face "scary".

    October 24, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Missy

    I just watched the first one over the weekend. It was undoubtedly one of the worst movies I ever seen. Thank God I didn't pay to watch it. I'd be really upset, then.

    October 24, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  16. K-Man

    I went and saw it last night. I was also disappointed that a lot of the scenes from the trailer weren't actually in the movie. Also the ending was disappointing. It kind of leaves with the question of "If this is how they were left, then how did they get where the are at in the first two?" Definitely need a number four as a fill in however I don't know how that will be accomplished when there isn't supposed to be anything weird happening between when they were kids to the time they were adults. It was ok but I definitely wish I would've waited for it to go to DVD instead of paying the cost of seeing it in theaters.

    October 24, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |

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