‘Paranormal Activity 3′: The Reviews Are In!

~By Quickjams on October 21, 2011

Critics are generally positive, although most point out similarities between latest entry and its predecessors.
By Kevin P. Sullivan


Paranormal Activity 3

Photo: Paramount

This Halloween is the third in a row that the shaky-cam, faux-documentary series “Paranormal Activity” has released an entry into theaters, and critics agree that “Paranormal Activity 3″ shares more than just a filming style with its predecessors.

While the critical consensus is generally positive, most reviews note how similar the new “Paranormal” is to the two that came before it. This could be seen as a good or bad thing depending on how you feel about the first two films. There are new scares filling out a quiet, homespun frame, but not much else.

Check out our roundup of the reviews, and be sure to read MTV News’ five reasons to check out “Paranormal Activity 3.”

As a Sequel
” ‘Paranormal Activity 3′ is a prequel, revealing that the characters in ‘PA1′ and ‘PA2′ had already been through the all-night video surveillance ordeal. At least in this film they are undergoing it for the first time, which is less than can be said for us. The formula for the films involves pallid characters, perfunctory dialogue and very long waits for something to happen.” — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

The Director
”Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost have fun with the archetypal image of a white-sheeted costume ghost, but mostly what they’re aces at is timing. They know just how to thread a handheld camera up the stairs, down a hallway, and into the scattered bric-a-brac of a middle-class children’s bedroom, settling at just the right moment upon a talking teddy bear that plays as a joke, even as a part of you momentarily thinks: Is that bear possessed?” — Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

The References
”Having been handed the entirely uninspiring challenge of fattening up the ‘Paranormal’ origin story (pop culture mythology in the making, or not), directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (the doofuses behind the 2010 is-it-or-isn’t-it-a-sham-doc-about-an-Internet-sham, ‘Catfish’) reach into their kit bag of plot elements from, and references to, a whole bunch of older horror movies that most of their target demographic likely hasn’t seen. A bit of ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ here, ‘The Shining’ there, ‘Poltergeist’ there, not to mention some Japanese stuff, and, of course, ‘Blair Witch’ itself, particularly at the end.” — Glenn Kenny, MSN Movies

The End
”As usual, the climax, in which the family makes the mistake of retreating to the sweet grandmother’s (Hallie Foote) house, replaces the air of mystery with an all too explicit explication for what’s been going on. But it does effectively fulfill its requirement of setting things up for the inevitable next installment. One doesn’t need a Ouija board to discern that it will probably arrive sometime around next Halloween.” — Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

Bottom Line
”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. 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.” — Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic

Check out everything we’ve got on “Paranormal Activity 3.”

For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.

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