I think, us, humans had an inherent fear of the unknown. Not exclusively for fear though, probably thrill, and expectations that eventually led to excitements. Those kind of feelings that trick your heart into beating just a shy faster. Bottom line, the unknown fascinates us. That “x” variable, the missing parameter of an equation. Sure, “Paranormal Activity 3,” as a third installment of a very predictable narration device has lost its novelty from the first installment but it was still an effective one to be enjoyed. But, it has to be understood that I’m somewhat praising this movie not because I had coming to theater expecting to be swept off the ground by a sheer quality of story telling and such, it was rather because I had coming to theater to be entertained and I was. Entertained, I mean.
This movie is actually a prequel, although I, and I guess most of the audiences, didn’t care about it so much. It follows a now familiar plot of the series, which is a night (and day) recording of the supposedly haunted house, and a found footage afterward. The principal casts of this movie were related to the first two movies of this series, but understanding is not required. In fact, this movie could be enjoyed independently even without any involvement or experience from the previous two movies. In short, plot is not important.
I had made a point to see “Paranormal Activity 3” with a crowd. Not because this movie is so scary I chickened out and doesn’t want to watch it alone but because watching a predictable horror film with a crowd is so much fun that watching it alone is not a viable option anymore. Like I’ve said, it is the excitement (fear, probably included for some) that makes it fun.
Just like its predecessors (no surprise there), the movie cuts between footages from the cameras, installed in various room of the house, often alternating between night and day shots. For me, personally, what makes watching this movie fun and worth the admission fee I’m paying for is when the footage shifted from day to night. It is then that the crowd around me shifting uneasily, accompanied by nervous laughters, or false bravadoes, expecting that something is about to happen. Here, I think, even if you are very much prepared and have seen more than enough horror movies that absolutely nothing could scare you anymore, you won’t be able to ignore the excitements around you. And you just couldn’t help but to feel excited as well. They are contagious and that’s why I have to suggest you should see this movie with a crowd. The more, the merrier. Even if nothing happened, the sigh of reliefs is still a joy.
In term of scare, however, none of the scene from this movie could top the scene from the first Paranormal Activity when the woman in the footage just stood beside the bed for hours as the footage was fast forwarded. Now *that* is a very truly effective scare. The oscillating camera is a very very effective device to amped up the expectation, though. But just like hunting, it is often the thrill of the chase, and not the prize that matters. I may not entirely agree with how the series pan out at the end, and the idea of a fourth installment is a bit far fetched but for the time being, while there’s still a drop of milk to squeeze out, “Paranormal Activity 3” may still have a few healthy drops.