Paranormal Activity 3: False Advertising

Paranormal Activity 3Disclaimer: this blog/blawg is not designed to disparage the just-released Paranormal Activity 3. The movie’s quite good and in many ways, better than Paranormal Activity (2007) and Paranormal Activity 2 (2010). Rather, I take double-frown-y face issue with the misleading marketing. Or should I say…OUTRIGHT LIES.

Paranormal Activity 3We’ve all seen the commercials. Those of us with TVs, anyway. (If you don’t have a TV, you’re dead to me – and being dead you should probably audition for Paranormal Activity 4.) The commercial shows a grade-school young Katie and Kristy, the two doomed sisters, in a prequel segment, reciting the “Bloody Mary” incantation into a dark bathroom mirror. When the lights go back on they scream and leave the restroom without washing their hands or flushing, and a mysterious shadow appears in the mirror. That did not happen in the movie. A re-worked version with Katie and her step dad’s baby-sitting BFF did, though.

Paranormal Activity 3Then there’s the part in the movie’s trailer that showed Kristy jumping off the one-story bedroom balcony in the middle of the night, only to coming running back upstairs to do it again. Didn’t happen in the movie.

Then there’s a specialist who is called in to help solve the issue of Kristy’s invisible friend. He is assaulted by an unseen entity right before the shocked parent’s gaping mouthed faces. Didn’t happen in the movie. Neither did the part where Kristy, attempting to prove that the invisible “Toby” was standing right next to her and her mom by throwing water on him/her/it, and the wet demon reacts by hurling stylish furniture around. (I don’t care what layer of Hell you come from, that kind of behavior is very unbecoming.)

Paranormal Activity 3Then there’s the house on fire (didn’t happen), Kristy hiding in the car (didn’t happen), a picture of the demonic Toby drawn on the inside of the girl’s bedroom closet (didn’t happen), and dad running upstairs with his video camera just as mom was yanked out of the bedroom by an unseen yanker and hurled through the door. Didn’t happen.

What did happen: plenty of jump or “tinkle a bit in your pants” moments, most of which borrow profusely from Poltergeist (1982). (There’s even a line in the trailer – but not in the movie – that refers to Carol Anne, the Poltergeist’s demon-beleagured little gal who probably worshipped Satan behind her parent’s backs.) No soundtrack, just unnerving background noises and two impressive shock moments, one of which is a nice pant-filler.

You already knew some of the backstory, which is the premise of Paranormal Activity 3. And that is grandma was a witch. Don’t give me that look – it’s not a spoiler. Grandma, who pops up once or twice in the beginning, urges her daughter to have another kid, and to make it a boy this time. (See PA 2.)

Paranormal Activity 3I see a big red flag, which might swamp the storyline of Paranormal Activity 4 (the end of PA 3 totally leaves the lid up.) First, Paranormal Activity had a video camera obsessed boyfriend who couldn’t even take a steamer without filming it. In Paranormal Activity 2, the husband, also a video camera freak, set up cameras all over the house so he could watch ghosts take unholy steamers. In Paranormal Activity 3, the prequel (set in 1988), the step-dad (hmmm, part of the story arc?) is a wedding videographer.

See where I’m going? As each film moves backward, in order to tell evil grandma’s tale, they’re gonna have to rely on Super 8 film or View-Masters™ (plastic binocular slide shows) to convey the plot as consumer-grade video cameras did not exist that far back. Then again, with grandma being a witch, maybe she filmed her wrong-doings using…MAGIC.

Paranormal Activity 3We’ll just have to wait another year to see. Until then, my complaints with PA3 are few but valid (no possessed pool cleaner, not enough four-letter words, no nudity). But for the most part, it’s a solid value for your demonic dollar.

2 Responses to “Paranormal Activity 3: False Advertising”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    this is true none of dat happened 😡

  2. bloody mary is not real you stupid guys you want scare us i did not sleep for a year or a 2 so stop

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