If you like scary movies, Paranormal Activity 3 may be just the movie for you. This good old-fashioned ghost movie takes the storyline back to the very beginning of the franchise.
Cast with unknown actors, the horror prequel focuses on the two sisters who were seen as adults in the previous films. The girls share a two-level home with their mother and the mother's boyfriend. The girls are aware of a ghostly presence in the house that the adults, at first, are not.
The boyfriend, who is something of a VHS video expert, has cameras set up all over the house—running all the time, day and night.
The suspense builds as we watch the “surveillance” video looking for subtle changes and waiting for a ghost to appear. There are long stretches where nothing happens, but the payoff always ends up being a nice series of clunky videotape spills, chills and thrills.
There was a time when the Saw horror films of gore and dismemberment ruled this genre. The Paranormal Activity franchise has changed all that. Most people can relate to the “things that go bump in the night” experienced by these characters and understand that the monster you fear is often worse than the monster you see.
With this being a prequel, we know how it is going to end. The characters are experiencing paranormal activity for the first time, but the folks who have seen the first two films are not.
The sudden shock and odd musical chords add to the fright, but the long, silent wait for something to happen dragged the film down resulting in a three out of five rating on the flick-o-meter. The first film was somewhat groundbreaking, but the “Boo” factor is getting to be a bit old with this installment.
OPENING OCT. 21
Paranormal Activity 3: R, 1 hour, 23 minutes.
The Three Musketeers: PG-13, 1 hour, 50 minutes.
Johnny English Reborn: PG, 1 hour, 24 minutes.
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AMC Theatres La Jolla 12: 8657 Villa La Jolla Dr., La Jolla, CA 92037
Landmark La Jolla Village: 8879 Villa La Jolla Dr., La Jolla, CA 92037
Reading Cinemas Town Square 14: 4665 Clairemont Dr., San Diego, CA 92117
Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas: 12905 El Camino Real, San Diego, CA 92130