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Review: Paranormal Activity 3

Hadi Ismanto

Mon Nov 07 2011

Paranormal Activity 3

DARK settings, suspense-filled silences and sudden surprises that get you jumping from your seat are some of the elements of horror movies that you may (or may not) love. While these movies have traditionally been associated with blood and gore, the genre is evolving – taking a more creative approach to keep cinema-goers on the edges of their seats.

If you Google “the scariest movie of all time,” you will most likely be directed to movies like ScreamSaw and the classic Psycho. Are you able to spot their similarities? Do you know what makes them really scary to watch? The blood, the gore and the stomach-upsetting slaying scenes have long managed to get audiences squirming to the corner of their seats – the corner furthest from the screen – and occasionally, covering their eyes and ears with their hands. Sound familiar?

But the question is: are audiences getting tired of this predictable style of horror movie?

The first Paranormal Activity brought a breath of fresh air to the horror movie scene. Since it came out in 2007, horror movies have not been quite the same. Instead of relying on gory scenes and sick killing methods to appease viewers’ thirst for horror, the Paranormal Activity films rely on the more creative element of surprise. This element is mostly produced by the movie’s cinematography, with the use the POV (point of view) throughout the movie’s duration.

The story

Paranormal Activity 3 is a prequel to the second installment, which is the prequel to the first. The movie tells the story of how two sisters, Kristi (Sprague Grayden) and Katie (Katie Featherston), come into contact for the first time with the “demon” entity that has been responsible for supernatural upsets throughout the whole franchise.


The story goes all the way back to the two sisters’ childhood, with their mother Julie (Lauren Bittner) and her new boyfriend Dennis (Christopher Nicholas Smith) included in the picture. When the supernatural experiences start to occur after their house is robbed, Dennis, a wedding videographer, decides to install security cameras in different corners of the house in an attempt to figure out who or what is actually causing the weird experiences.

What you see is what you get

The thing about POV style movies is that they make you feel as if you’re in them, and suddenly everything becomes very real in front of you. On top of that, Paranormal Activity 3 has a very real setting. Its story is not told in the jungle or in outer-space or places that you would probably never find yourself – but a regular house. With cameras installed in the living room, bedrooms and even the closet, audiences are sure to be able to relate to the familiar domestic setting presented. This is the scary part – letting your mind run wild imagining the same freaky phenomenon happening in your own living room or bedroom while you sleep.


If you love to have your heart pumping, but are not a lover of blood and gore scenes, Paranormal Activity 3 is the movie to go for. Though the film is closely tied with the first and second instalment, you don’t actually have to understand the whole story to enjoy the latest offering, though we would recommend it if you want to fully enjoy the plot revelations.

Paramount Pictures is providing Meld readers with ten doubles passes to see Paranormal Activity 3 at a time and cinema of your choice. Simply visit Meld’s Facebook page and be one of the first ten people to comment on the Paranormal Activity 3 post!