Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

October 21, 2011

Who (s)cares?

Filed under: Their Films — Rajeev @ 10:32 pm

October 21, 2011

Cast: Christopher Nicholas Smith Lauren Bittner, Chloe Csengery, Jessica Tyler Brown

Directors: Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman

Paranormal Activity 3 is neither as genuinely chilling as the first film, nor does it pack as many cheap thrills as the second one did. A few jolts aside, this is largely a disappointment.

The film is essentially a prequel, backtracking all the way to 1988 to reveal what it is exactly that’s been haunting sisters Katie and Kristi, who we met in the previous films as adults. In this film, they’re little girls living with their mother and her boyfriend, and possibly an otherworldly presence. When the man of the house becomes concerned about odd sounds and movements in the night, he places a camera in the girls’ room, one in the bedroom he shares with their mother, and a third on a table fan that pans between the kitchen and the living room.

To be fair, many of the same tricks from the previous films are repeated this time too: doors open and shut on their own, lights go on and off, strange reflections appear in the mirror, and dark figures appear in the hallway. These very happenings spooked us when we watched them for in the first time in the 2007 film, but now these feel like sloppy seconds…and thirds.

The best thrill in Paranormal Activity 3 is delivered late in the story, and involves the mother of these girls who has been so far disregarding her daughters’ and her boyfriend’s concerns. She leaves the kitchen to go into the living room area, and returns almost instantly to find the kitchen suddenly threadbare – no furniture, no utensils. I won’t tell you what happens next.

Much of this film involves just waiting around for something to happen. It’s a long, tiring wait. I’m going with two out of five for Paranormal Activity 3. There’s no novelty left in this idea; I was bored, and chances are you will be too.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)


  1. Frankly I’ve never quite understood the fascination of the American movie-goers for the Paranormal trilogy.. As someone who likes watching good horror movies, I found the P. Story I to be very funny – no thrills [except for the very last scene] but that inexplicably turned out to be a big hit. If someone really likes to watch good horror, watch Jack Nicholson in “The Shining”.

    Comment by Kunal — October 22, 2011 @ 4:32 am

  2. Sir really 2 out of 5 is best rating for PA3.nothing much in the film so scary as in PA1.I kept my eyes shut and ears close in PA1.so compared to it I was very normal in PA3.

    Comment by varaprasad_cj — October 22, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

  3. Sir I have always agreed and connected with your choices,perception and reviews but I have to say what makes me write this comment is sheer opposition for your 2 of 5 rating for pa3.my biggest confusion is u dishing out 3 stars to movies like clash of d titans and captain America calling them cheesy but fulfilling ,so why not pa3.it’ keeps grip on every scene till d end which I believe d second part failed to do.I am very much aware u don’t get spooked easily as u told while critiquing pa1.but I’m sorry to say u hav misguided ur followers by giving this movie a star less.hope in future like all other genres u give horror a chance too.p.s:your review on crazy stupid love was on d similar lines of cheesy,fun weekend watch movie.yours respectfully,Mudassar Adenwala.

    Comment by Mudassar adenwala — October 23, 2011 @ 2:38 am

  4. hello pa3 is the best in all three parts i don’t think rajeev masand watched the movie and gave ratting how you can give 3.5 star to rocket singh and 2 star to PARANORMAL-3 please do fair ratting because we are following your decision sir thank you

    Comment by aadil zariwala — October 23, 2011 @ 12:27 pm

  5. Hi Mr. Masand,

    You are no more the versatile charming movie critic that you used to be.

    Please read this version: ‘Paranormal Activity 3’ scares up huge $54M debut – http://sg.entertainment.yahoo.com/news/paranormal-activity-3-scares-huge-54m-debut-154505711.html

    You are no more the common mans representative who wanted to read your reviews before he spends his money to watch a decent movie.

    Now I think you represent movie bosses and also I think age has caught up with you and you can’t write good reviews any more since your mind is not working properly.

    Please remember, you are no Roger Ebert.


    Comment by Keith — October 24, 2011 @ 7:47 am

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