Paranormal Activity 3Feature Film |
A prequel that reinvigorates the found-footage subgenre.
Prequels have an inherently bad reputation for being unimaginative cash-grabs. Yet Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, the directors behind the captivating and controversial documentary Catfish, have managed to craft a truly superb horror offering within the confines of the prequel structure. Paranormal Activity 3 focuses on the traumatic, but forgotten, childhoods of two sisters who have long been plagued by inexplicable and hostile phenomena. Here, their loving stepfather (the affable Christopher Nicholas Smith) is the protective videographer bewildered by what his cameras capture in the middle of the night. Of course, as a found-footage prequel, the ending is a foregone conclusion, yet Joost and Schulman breathe blood-curdling new life into these vilified subgenres through inventive setups and how'd-they-do-that special effects. One particularly inspired setup involves an eerie panning shot generated from a camera jury-rigged to an oscillating fan. The slow vacillation from one perspective to the next and back creates a hair-raising tension that's capitalized on with a frightening flare. Add to this the cast's raw and realistic performances that forge characters we root for in spite of our expectations of doom, and Paranormal 3 proves a stronger film than its predecessors.
|Paranormal Activity 3 Trailer|