The original Paranormal Activity film was shot on a budget of just $15,000 and struggled at first for full-scale release. In the end it smashed the box office in wonderful style and earned over $107 million domestically.
There was bound to be a string of sequels due to the way Hollywood works it’s magic and now the third offering of the franchise offers a prequel to the story.
But, as we all know, sequels can be the downfall of the strongest of franchise…
Katie and Kristi
This prequel offering follows the two sisters from the first films being tormented in their childhood. The film has a new batch of ideas to use due to the fact it is based back in the 80’s.
This of course means the cinematography relies heavily on VHS camcorders and luckily enough the sister’s father figure ( Christopher Nicholas Smith ) is a Wedding Photographer!
This gives the film an excuse to have an abundance of video cameras set up around the house in different situations. It works quite well…
As I mentioned above, this film traces back to the 80’s and shows us what happened to Katie and Kristi when they were little girls ( played by Chloe Csengery and Jessica Tyler Brown ).
Their mother has moved in her new boyfriend ( the wedding photographer ) and life as a family is looking pretty darn good!
The youngest of the two sisters, Kristi, develops a relationship with an imaginary friend. The other family members think nothing of this as it’s not unheard of for kids her age to invent these types of friends.
But after a while Kristi’s friend starts to seem VERY real and the household begins to take note of very strange happenings.
The film travels in very much the same direction as the first to films whereas we know something is not right and the spooky stuff starts to build towards a shocking climax.
Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman were brought in to direct this third installment of the franchise and I think they did a pretty good job overall.
They were the directors behind the the documentary Catfish but this is a totally new turn of direction for them. These two implicitly understand that we’ve been through enough tricks in these movies and are looking for something new.
They’ve moved away from the simple doors creaking open and loud booming noises and they’ve managed to give a little bit extra to the audience in this film.
I felt they tried a lot harder to give the evil entity a face in this story instead of just leaving us see vague outlines of shadows at the side of a camera shot.
I didn’t get much of that ‘edge of your seat’ feeling from Paranormal Activity 2 but this film was a different kettle of fish. There was an uneasy undercurrent that went along with the build and it made for a much darker and anxious story line.
I liked the way the film got a lot deeper into the overall story line of the evil that haunts these two girls throughout their life – it gives us a few more answers than the first two offerings.
The actors were all cast very well and I especially liked Dustin Ingram who played Christopher Nicholas Smith’s assistant. He had a nerdy quality that brought a great deal of humor to the film and the scenes he was used in were very good.
The only drawback I had with the film was the look and feel of the house. The film was supposed to have been shot in the 80’s but the house looks like a rather expensive house with furnishings you’d find in modern day set ups.
Not as good as the first film but a lot better than the second offering – if you like the Paranormal Activity franchise you’ll definitely like this one!
Well worth watching!