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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some people's favorite and my least favorite of the franchise...but I say see it either way!
First off, I should say that I LOVED parts one and two. The first two relied more heavily on very slow-building tension. These predecessors basically "taught" viewers how to watch these movies in the first 20-30 minutes by offering numerous subtle, relatively unimportant objects moving as if a spectral breeze had shifted them. This way when such production devices...
Published on October 22, 2011 by John's Horror Corner

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie, Lame Special Features
Okay, I LOVED this movie in the theater! It was scary and kept me on the edge of my seat all the way through it!

So I rushed out and got this on the very first day it was released and I eagerly watched it. It was just as good on my TV as it was in the theaters. I wasn't as scared cuz I knew what was going to happen, but I was excited to see that there was a...
Published on January 24, 2012 by zombie phreak


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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some people's favorite and my least favorite of the franchise...but I say see it either way!, October 22, 2011
First off, I should say that I LOVED parts one and two. The first two relied more heavily on very slow-building tension. These predecessors basically "taught" viewers how to watch these movies in the first 20-30 minutes by offering numerous subtle, relatively unimportant objects moving as if a spectral breeze had shifted them. This way when such production devices became important, the viewer had a trained eye--not unlike what was done with White Noise. These movies convey a style that is very unusual. So it came as no surprise to me that there was little middle ground in people's opinions of them; they loved'em or hated'em. I love'em. Why? Because my senses are all on full power; I'm all in; I'm practically concentrating on the screen and listening to every creak trying to sleuth out the next clue that something fishy is going on in that house. Some people may call this "work". I call it cool. [But people chatting during the movie are a much greater distraction than normal under the circumstances.]

This third installment was my least favorite, but I can totally understand why it may be others' favorite. While it still employed subtle moving objects, it did it less, instead relying on more mainstream devices to provoke scared jumps from the audience. It also borrowed more heavily from the Poltergeist movies than the first two--not that I minded. The characters' investigation into the strange goings-on was more methodical and plot-driven. The first two were more event-driven and investigated more out of fear and curiosity. The differences between 3 and 1 & 2 were subtle, but numerous, chief amongst them being that "the paranormal" functions as a character in this movie, rather than a mysterious "force" in the first two. As such, the actions of "the paranormal" were more blatant and felt more like "it" was doing something "to someone" whereas in 1 & 2 it was more like "something was happening" to someone in a haunted house.

The plot is simple. A family lives in a house. Weird things start happening. Step-dad starts putting cameras around the house. Things get weirder. And from there anything more would give too much away. But while the first two movies' endings left us largely to wild speculation, I will say that this one ends with something of an explanation of the paranormal activity.

It doesn't really matter in which order you watch these movies. However, each sequel (or in this case prequel) was designed to mold over the events of the previous installment. So watch them in order if it's convenient. I also demand you watch these with the lights off. It makes it easier to avoid distractions while you're concentrating on the screen.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Conceits notwithstanding, this is one scary, creepy film, April 30, 2012
By 
Scott Schiefelbein (Portland, Oregon United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Paranormal Activity 3 (DVD)
It must be said that the "found footage" sub-genre of horror movies requires the audience to suspend disbelief a bit. The idea is clever - you're watching something that allegedly really happened, which gives the movie a bit of documentary-style credibility. But you have to accept that at some point in the movie, you're going to shout, "put down the darn camera!" It's surprising that the "Scream" franchise hasn't mocked this trope yet.

Either you can get past this, or you can't. If you can, the "Paranormal Activity" series should be on your must-see list. The first two movies tell the present-day stories of Kristi and Katie, two sisters whose pleasantly suburban lifestyles are ripped asunder by a sinister spectral force. In "Paranormal Activity 3," we return to 1988, where the sisters first meet the poltergeist who will terrify them and their families a few years down the road.

The movie sets the stage by showing grown-up Kristy and Katie rediscovering old videotapes from when they were children - a gift from recently departed Grandma. These tapes are later stolen in a scene all too familiar with fans of the first two films. The movie then switches to the videotapes.

Young Katie and Kristi are enjoying Katie's birthday party, and we also meet their mom Julie and her boyfriend Dennis. (Oddly, there's never any mention of the girls' biological father - where did he go . . . hmmm.) Dennis, conveniently for the movie's conceit, is a videographer, so naturally his response to every development is his life is to tape it. During the birthday video, we learn that Kristi has a close relationship with an imaginary friend, Toby.

Toby, as you might guess, turns out to be more than imaginary, and he quickly proves to be one scary, demanding guy. To avoid spoilers, that's it for the plot summary.

Directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman know how to make a found-footage movie. Tension builds nicely as we strain to watch a seemingly innocuous scene - are the bedsheets moving? How about the lamp? Perhaps the creepiest scenes (before the final 15 minutes, which are terrifying) come with their use of a video camera set up on an oscillating fan base so the camera slowly pans from one part of the house to another - the directors' clever use of the "that freaking thing wasn't there a few seconds ago" trick will have you looking over your own shoulder the next time you're all alone in the house and hear an unexplained noise.

For a third installment in a horror series, "Paranormal Activity 3" exceeds all expectations. A spooky film that builds to a truly frightening third act, "3" succeeds in deepening the story created by the first two installments without wearing out our interest - the filmmakers know that we're here to get scared, not to get a PhD-level understanding of Toby . . . and scare you they do. Terrific stuff.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie, Lame Special Features, January 24, 2012
Okay, I LOVED this movie in the theater! It was scary and kept me on the edge of my seat all the way through it!

So I rushed out and got this on the very first day it was released and I eagerly watched it. It was just as good on my TV as it was in the theaters. I wasn't as scared cuz I knew what was going to happen, but I was excited to see that there was a "Extended Version!" I eagerly clicked on that and watched it with my girlfriend. However from what I could see, there was only one thing that was different. There's a scene where Dennis gets up in the middle of the night cuz he hears something and he grabs the camera. He goes to the window and something rattles the window. That's it. Not really worth the extra money if you ask me.

I only have one actual complaint about the movie itself. They use modern catch phrases in a movie that was set in the 80's. The phrases, "That just happened!" and "Seriously!?!" Those phrases didn't exist back then, so they shouldn't be in this movie!

Ever since the first Paranormal Activity movie came out I was waiting for them to put a commentary on one of these movies so I could hear more about this movie series and how the movies were made, but I have yet to get a Paranormal Activity with a commentary, or some interviews, or SOMETHING other than just the movie itself.

Sure there was a few extra "scares" where Dennis scares his wife in the style of MTV's Jackass, and a commercial that Dennis made for his little business of filming weddings. But that's it, that's all that's on this Blu Ray.

So if all you're really looking for is the movie itself, then you'll be very happy with this movie, but if you wanted some extra features on this disc, you're gonna be disappointed.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some people's favorite and my least favorite of the franchise...but I say see it either way!, January 18, 2012
This review is from: Paranormal Activity 3 (DVD)
First off, I should say that I LOVED parts one and two. The first two relied more heavily on very slow-building tension. These predecessors basically "taught" viewers how to watch these movies in the first 20-30 minutes by offering numerous subtle, relatively unimportant objects moving as if a spectral breeze had shifted them. This way when such production devices became important, the viewer had a trained eye--not unlike what was done with White Noise. These movies convey a style that is very unusual. So it came as no surprise to me that there was little middle ground in people's opinions of them; they loved'em or hated'em. I love'em. Why? Because my senses are all on full power; I'm all in; I'm practically concentrating on the screen and listening to every creak trying to sleuth out the next clue that something fishy is going on in that house. Some people may call this "work". I call it cool. [But people chatting during the movie are a much greater distraction than normal under the circumstances.]

This third installment was my least favorite, but I can totally understand why it may be others' favorite. While it still employed subtle moving objects, it did it less, instead relying on more mainstream devices to provoke scared jumps from the audience. It also borrowed more heavily from the Poltergeist movies than the first two--not that I minded. The characters' investigation into the strange goings-on was more methodical and plot-driven. The first two were more event-driven and investigated more out of fear and curiosity. The differences between 3 and 1 & 2 were subtle, but numerous, chief amongst them being that "the paranormal" functions as a character in this movie, rather than a mysterious "force" in the first two. As such, the actions of "the paranormal" were more blatant and felt more like "it" was doing something "to someone" whereas in 1 & 2 it was more like "something was happening" to someone in a haunted house.

The plot is simple. A family lives in a house. Weird things start happening. Step-dad starts putting cameras around the house. Things get weirder. And from there anything more would give too much away. But while the first two movies' endings left us largely to wild speculation, I will say that this one ends with something of an explanation of the paranormal activity.

It doesn't really matter in which order you watch these movies. However, each sequel (or in this case prequel) was designed to mold over the events of the previous installment. So watch them in order if it's convenient. I also demand you watch these with the lights off. It makes it easier to avoid distractions while you're concentrating on the screen.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I don't scare easy but this series really creeps me out. This one was almost as good as first one. I say B+, January 22, 2012
By 
Tony Heck (Belgrade, MT USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Paranormal Activity 3 (DVD)
"Toby is real." Katie and her husband are getting ready for thier new baby. Her sister Kristie drops off some boxes to be stored at thier place. When they open one and find video tapes from when the girls were kids they decide to play one. I need to begin by saying I don't scare easy. I can count on one hand the amount of movies that have actually scared me. The original "Paranormal Activity" is one of them. I laughed at "Blair Witch" but something about the first one really creeped me out. The second movie wasn't that creepy and only made me tense because of the first one. Going in I was already a little tense and the longer the movie went on the more tense I became. By the end I was in a little ball. Other then that embarrasing reveal there is really not much else to say. If you have seen the other movies you will know what to expect. If you haven't seen the others watch those first. Overall, very creepy and almost as good as the first one. I give it a B+
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If You Don't Want to See Results, Don't Videotape Your Home, February 5, 2012
By 
ChaCha (New York, NY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Paranormal Activity 3 (DVD)
There are only two ways you can feel about this movie; you will either really like it or you will want your money/time back - I'm of the former camp but I do understand why some have not liked this movie. Basically you have to be invested in the story and it's a good one. In PA #1 and PA #2 we have two sisters who slowly come to realize that there is something supernatural going on in their homes. It's alluded that something happened in their childhood, something they seem to have forgotten about or buried in their memories that might be linked to what is going on in their homes. Each installment of the Paranormal series has a reason why their homes are being video taped and PA #3 is no exception.

In PA #3, we are taken back to the sisters as little girls, living with their Mom and stepfather. In short time, strange things start to happen, loud unexplained noises, movement, and Toby, who is Kristi's imaginary playmate. The stepfather videos weddings for a living and knows a lot about cameras so he sets up a 24/7 surveillance of the house in all rooms. In the kitchen having a camera panning left to right you might think the most horrifying reveal might be dirty dishes in the sink but you get much more than that.

As always this PA movie has it's viewers trained to always be on guard. This is one of those movies that you might have to watch through little spaces between your fingers as you peek through your hands as they cover your eyes. I've glad I don't remember the trailer for this movie because I understand many viewers were upset that most of these scenes were not included in the actual movie.

Where this movie fails is that it's way too short and even though this is a horror film it's also a mystery and it sort of cheapens #3 in that you know so much is left out so they can make PA #4. All in all, this movie delivered in making me sleep with the lights on and steering clear of kids who introduce me to a playmate I can't see.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars AS GOOD AS THE PREVIOUS TWO, April 24, 2014
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3

It is in this film that we “discover how the activity began” with a young Katie and a young Kristi. When the first film was released I was all about it because it had been a while since the found footage thing had been done theatrically. When it was a success I knew a sequel would follow and when that did well I knew a third was coming. Seeing how the first two played out story wise I kinda had a feeling a prequel was on the way. I wasn’t sure if it would be the next film or not but I knew it was on the way. So when the third was actually released as such I was interested in seeing it.

Julie, her two daughters, and her boyfriend Dennis are your typical family in the late eighties. Julie loves Dennis and loves that her girls love Dennis as well. Dennis is a videographer doing mostly weddings but he starts to put his cameras around the house when things start to get a little weird. Strange noises and objects moving plus the youngest daughter Kristi is talking to an imaginary friend, Toby. That is normal for a young child but as things progress Dennis believes that Toby may be anything but imaginary.

I am not sure how I would rank this film amongst the others, it’s hard to decide since they all seem the same to me. I do find these films entertaining but none have really scared me. With that said this one falls right in nicely with the others except maybe for the ending which was the only new thing that surprised me a little. This film went on to be the highest grossing “PA” film in the franchise, I still think it is at this point. Like the previous two this was an entertaining flick which is all I can ask for.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dennis is great with the kids and my mother simply adores him..., October 31, 2014
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In my opinion, 3 is the best of the Paranormal franchise as well as a fine example of how the found footage method can be used to evoke a sense of shocking realism and just a dang good, stand-alone, supernatural horror movie period.

A family is terrorized by an evil spirit and it's all caught on tape... what else do you really need to know? The important thing is that the presentation is legitimately scary and when I say scary I mean "hair on the back of your neck stands up making you suddenly suspicious of the closed door to that spare room in the back of the house thinking it might not be a bad idea to leave at least one light on when you go to sleep" scary. The whole retro setting was actually a stroke of genius as it provided an opportunity for an entirely different (and better) cast who I continue to like having watched this movie about a half dozen times.

The ending of this film is the real kicker (I've already seen more than a few FF films try to copy it) as it represents a very nightmarish descent into a darker side of contemporary society which we desperately hope is nothing more than fantasy. When viewing please adjust the time slot to late at night, environment should be as alone as possible and it doesn't hurt if there's a storm blowing outside. :o)
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars My review., February 4, 2012
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I'm only reviewing the bluray itself, not the movie. I actually enjoyed this movie when i saw it in theaters. The trailer was missleading but the movie still delivered. Now after the movie had ended I had thought that there must of been two completely different cuts of the film to explain why they made a trailer with scenes that for the majority of the part were not in the movie. alas i was wrong. in this bluray you get the theatrical release, and the unrated version, along side the lost tapes which is pretty much a bunch of scenes where the stepdad just scares his wife in funny places, and his promo commmercial selling himself as a video recorder for special occassions. really. thats it. thats the special "lost tapes" that is all. so do yourself a favor and buy the single dvd version of this movie. it is still a good movie to watch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Same situation, different house, April 24, 2014
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First off, let me say that I loved the first movie in the series, however the successful formula is being reused over and over again and is quickly losing its effectiveness. If the first two movies were only marginally entertaining for you, then this is not the movie for you.
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