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Monday, October 31, 2011

Quick Review: Paranormal Activity 3

Here we go again. Like so many movie franchises, the quality continues on a downward trend in "Paranormal Activity 3." The orginal featured a woman named Katie being haunted, the sequel told the story of her sister Kristi, also haunted, and this one...well, there are no more siblings, apparently. So this time we have a prequel, going back in time to 1988, when young Katie and Kristi lived with their mother and her boyfriend. This means camera equipment is much less sophisticated. Think VHS tapes. Yet the boyfriend conveniently has a "business" (based in the garage) filming wedding videos and such, so he's got cameras to place all around the house. The same basic plot is in place -- a nice, happy family lives a nice, happy life until strange things begin to go bump in the night. Only this time it's less interesting, less intense and missing much of the humor and charm of the original. The idea that someone in danger (or trying to rescue someone else in danger) would be sure to carry his clunky VHS camera with him is ridiculous. And things are left open for another installment, which seems highly likely considering that PA3 is yet another cash cow, with a cheap budget and huge box office. The problem is, unless the filmmakers find another family in the present to scare, or have someone look for the infant from PA2, their only other option is following this same family further into the past. Sony Betamax next? My grade: D-plus.

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