The horror director talks Holliston, Hatchet III, and his future in horror
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
The third installment in the found-footage series is set as a prequel to its predecessors. The film follows Katie and Kristi as young girls, showcasing how the demon came into their lives and how the activity actually started. The entirety of the movie follows the young girls as well as their skeptical mother and her filmmaker boyfriend, Dennis. What starts off as innocent fun, obviously turns into something sinister and unexpected.
We begin with Kristi and her husband, Daniel, as they prepare for the arrival of their son, Hunter. Katie comes over with some family memorabilia, which includes home videos. However, before the girls get a chance to watch them, someone trashes Kristi's house and steals them! Then, mysteriously, the audience is shown the missing home videos, allowing us to see how the paranormal activity all began.
The audience is brought into the new home of Julie(Lauren Bittner), Dennis (Christopher Nicholas Smith) and the two girls, played by Chloe Csengery and Jessica Tyler Brown. Dennis, a wedding filmmaker, decides to go around the house with a camera after hearing strange noises. It doesn't amount to much until one night, during a failed attempt to make a sex tape, the filmmaker catches something ghostly on film. This prompts the excited boyfriend to set up surveillance around the house.
While all of this is going on, Kristi has been carrying on an "imaginary" friendship with someone named "Toby." Uh, that's a pretty pansy-ass name for a big bad demon, if you ask me. BUT, it doesn't make him any less bad ass or violent. Dennis and Julie take note of Kristi's friendship, however, Julie brushes it off as an active child's imagination; Dennis is convinced that something more weird is going on, and he's right.
As in the first two films, the paranormal activity builds up from very small and subtle things to exaggerated and frightening. While the movie progresses, the audience sees that Kristi is becoming more resistant to Toby, which makes him angry. Once Toby becomes mad--everyone in the house is pretty much in deep crap.
There were a few insanely creepy scenes and I found myself gripping onto my couch and closing my eyes--which I barely ever do. During the film, I forgot that I was watching a movie and found myself reacting as if the paranormal activity was actually happening to me, which was why I was a total girl and started to close my eyes!
There is just something about little kids in horror movies that makes the film instantly creepier. The scenes where little Kristi would just go running by the bedroom door or run around the house scared me because little kids are just creepy! The sound of her feet hitting against the floor as she giggled made me very uncomfortable.
By the time that the pretty babysitter comes over, the activity has gotten more active and she finds that out first hand. Personally, the scene that freaked me out the most, was the scene where the revolving camera shows the babysitter sitting at the kitchen table with a raised sheet behind her. It was something so subtle but I found the timing and the way that the scene was set up to be very effective.
Eventually, the activity gets so bad that Julie actually starts to believe in Dennis. She and Dennis take the girls to the grandmother's house for safety, and that turns out to be a big mistake. Bitches be crazy!
At this point, so many weird and unexplained things happen and I found myself yelling at the screen for Dennis to just run and leave the weird little girls behind. We see the Micah-lookalike as he walks around the dark and empty house, searching for his girlfriend and her daughters, while mysterious things begin happening. One of which is when he opens a door and there's a room full of crazy old broads--UM FREAKED ME OUT! Not only do I hate children, but I hate creepy old people too.
As the last scenes begin to unfold and become more and more confusing, we realize that things aren't going to be good for Dennis, especially when there are a bunch of power-hungry witches who are after you. Once the movie ended in an obvious way, I found myself sitting on my couch with a confused look on my face. Uh, what the hell?
I enjoyed the film, I really did, however, I feel as though the filmmakers and writers are trying to make the series into something that it is not. The whole story with the witches making a deal with the demon just seems a little farfetched and I didn't like that part. Why can't this demon just be haunting the little girl? Just leave it as is and let it be.
Despite my gripe, I could overlook the ridiculous story because I went into the film with a lighthearted attitude. It's not supposed to be extremely enlightening and Oscar-worthy material; it's just supposed to be fun and scare the hell out of you. I don't think that the Paranormal Activity movies are watched for their storyline; the movies are watched for entertainment. The acting was also done very well, especially the two girls who played Katie and Kristi.
I recommend this one if you're looking for something fun to watch and you're in the mood to be scared. Don't be one of those jerks who goes into the film with the attitude, "Oh, who films things when you're running for your life, blah, blah, blah"--Just shut up. It's a movie. It's fun. It's not supposed to make sense. If he didn't film what was happening then, how the hell would we see it? So, get over it, eat your popcorn and just watch the damn movie. Thank you.
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