'Paranormal Activity 3': What the Critics Are Saying


While called "almost identical" to the previous films, the third movie in the franchise is also praised for being “eerily effective” at providing a good scare.

Paranormal Activity 3, the third film in the spooky franchise, takes viewers back to 1988, when Katie and Kristie are just a couple of kids (played by Chloe Csengery and Jessica Brown) living with their mom Julie (Laurie Bittner) and her boyfriend Dennis (Chris Smith).

Directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (Catfish) have collaborated with returning screenwriter Christopher Landon for the prequel.

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Many critics compared the film to its two predecessors and didn’t find many differences in the tricks that were used. However, critics were quick to point out that the scares used in the first two films are just as effective in this third.

“Although there’s an undeniably repetitive aspect to the films, audiences probably won’t mind very much. And certainly this series, despite the fact that it thankfully doesn’t need to use gimmicky 3D, fairly demands to be seen on the big screen,” wrote The Hollywood Reporter’s Frank Scheck.

“The most ingenious idea is also wonderfully simple. In addition to the stationary and hand-held cameras previously employed, there is a jerry-rigged camera on a slowly swiveling oscillating fan that provides some of the scariest moments,” wrote Scheck.

FILM REVIEW: Paranormal Activity 3

Paranormal Activity 3 has no interest in art. It just wants to give you the willies with a minimum of gore and a maximum of camcorder dread, and it succeeds,” wrote The Boston Globe’s Ty Burr.

“Otherwise, Paranormal Activity 3 is almost identical to, and just as eerily effective as, the first two films in its alternation of cheesy ‘boo!’ tactics and genuine scares,” wrote Burr.

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“Like its predecessors, the movie is more clever than good, and if you feel as if you're being manipulated by the filmmakers, it's because you are,” wrote Bill Goodykoontz of The Arizona Republic. “That's the fun of these movies, something you know going in. The point is to manipulate you in the scariest way possible, and "Paranormal Activity 3 does a good job of that.

“Inexplicably, there are people who still haven't had enough of these movies. The first was a nifty novelty. Now the appeal has worn threadbare. Since they already know more or less what will happen and it's lame-brained, why do audiences continue to turn out for new Activities?” wrote Roger Ebert.

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