Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Baby Babble: Some Quick Pregame Thoughts on Paranormal Activity 3

Will the latest film in the still youthful Paranormal Activity franchise be able to replicate what its predecessors have done in the past? With less than 10 days left before Paranormal Activity 3 receives its major theatrical release across the country, I wonder if there will be enough audience interest to once again generate Activity at the box office, while also delivering something of worth. Personally, I really enjoyed both the first and second Paranormal films; however, I am weary about this prequel to a prequel where we already know the children will be safe.

Based off what I have seen in the trailers and TV spots and what I know of the story, I believe the chances that lightning will strike 3 times is pretty low. I love the idea, aesthetically, of an '80s period piece told through the home video technology of the time. On the other hand, outside of the date and time code, I don't see any real indication that a retro look has been fitted to this film. Moreover (and this is me being nitpicky), who the fuck could afford more than one video camera in the '80s, let alone multiple?!

As for the fear factor, there are some superbly creepy moments strewn throughout the trailers thus far, but unfortunately, there are also some moments that look way too big and overly manufactured for a Paranormal Activity film. In that sense, this is a sequel, so I suppose the ante must be upped, the scares bigger and all that stereotypical sequel jazz that comes with a sequel. 

The mathematical chances that Paranormal Activity 3 will be able to deliver some good scares and another story that isn't completely derivative is fairly low. In all fairness though, I was quite weary of the PA2, and I ended up enjoying that film quite a bit due to the smart direction the story took and a few likeable characters (specifically the character of Ali). Regardless of my skepticism for PA3, having Christopher B. Landon return as the writer and the team behind last years fantastic documentary, Catfish, are certainly promising pieces of this equation.

In the end, all of these pregame thoughts mean very little when it comes to the final product (I just like to read myself write), which will not be revealed to me until I make my way to the theater and see the film for myself.


  1. I've really enjoyed these films & look forward to this one, but could have honestly done without having them show all the various invisible grabbing of folks getting yanked around in the trailer, y'know? Hopefully it doesn't lessen the tension of the moment knowing that these bits are coming.

  2. Okay, so I will admit, that trailer was totally effective for me. I think my heart skipped a beat.

    But I agree, no indication of it being the 80s, really. I didn't see anything that really stood out as a period piece.

    "who the fuck could afford more than one video camera in the '80s, let alone multiple?!"

    Good point! Although I will say this. Their family throughout all 3 films have looked/are looking to be quite well-off financially just from looking at the houses they live in and where they live alone. Maybe their father works in film, I don't think we really know yet.

    I do wonder if the spirits that follow the family will get a full explanation as to why. I know, I know, it can lessen the spook/mysterious factor but that's my nit-picky side yammering. I wanna know.

    Especially considering the "Carol Anne" reference. Would be cool with a twist.

  3. Mob: I think it was the people flying around that bothered me the most in the trailers. The first Paranormal Activity would have had an incredible ending scare (Micah getting tossed at the camera) had it not been completely spoiled by the TV advertisements.

    Also, I hope those moments are too much for what is a moderately subtle style of filmmaking. Thanks for stopping by, homie!

    Ashlee: There are some moments that are creepy as all hell, but I hope there wasn't too much of an overexposure to the scare scenes in these trailers.

    As for the cameras, you are right, the family always seem to be blessed with a decent amount of wealth (which I think played into the basis for the haunting in the second film, if I remember correctly), so it is not much of a stretch for them to be able to afford multiple cameras. I don't let details like that bother me as there is a level of disbelief involved with executing a found footage styled film, but I felt compelled to mention it!

    Also, I love the Carol Anne reference! It's certainly a nice little retro touch that speaks to a specific time period.

  4. Word on the expense of cameras in the 80s. My parents and two other couples went in for a Beta camcorder together to capture birthday parties or whatever. Unfortunately, my first birthday party encountered the evil fast-fast forward-stop combo and was erased forever. If Paranormal Activity 3 is set in the 80s, there ought to be some Betamax references. The producers of the film should go back in time and fix that if they forgot to do it the first time.
    P.S., I like to read yourself write, too.

  5. Ha ha, thanks!

    Yeah, I like the idea of playing up the video equipment of the era, which could be a lot of fun if done right. It's a fact that both VHS and Beta tapes were fickle, and there was always that lingering chance that your tape could completely crap the bed, at any moment!


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