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Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)

R  |   |  Horror  |  21 October 2011 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 72,150 users   Metascore: 59/100
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In 1988, young sisters Katie and Kristi befriend an invisible entity who resides in their home.


, (film "Paranormal Activity")
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dennis (as Chris Smith)
Jessica Tyler Brown ...
Kristi (as Jessica Brown)
Hallie Foote ...
William Juan Prieto ...
Hunter (as William Prieto)
Jackson Xenia Prieto ...
Hunter (as Jackson Prieto)
Paitoon Cheng ...
Eddie Medrano ...


In 1988, in California, cinematographer Dennis moves to the house of his girlfriend Julie to raise a family with her daughters Katie and Kristi. Little Kristi has an imaginary friend named Toby while weird things happen in the house. Dennis decides to place cameras in the house to capture images during the night and soon he finds that there is an entity in the house. Dennis's friend Randy Rosen (Dustin Ingram) researches the events and learns that his house might be a coven of witches and the children may be in danger. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


It Runs In The Family See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence, language, brief sexuality and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »



Release Date:

21 October 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Actividad paranormal 3  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$52,568,183 (USA) (21 October 2011)


$104,007,828 (USA) (30 December 2011)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (unrated director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The symbols that appear behind the pictures in Grandma Lois's house are simplified versions of the Pentagram of Solomon (inverted) and the Triangle of Solomon, symbols depicted in the "Lesser Key of Solomon" and used to summon and constrain demons in classical Goethic Theurgy. See more »


The vase of flowers on the dining table downstairs disappears and reappears randomly throughout the movie. See more »


[first lines]
Daniel: [documenting behind the camera] You'll be spending a lot of time in here. This is gonna be your room. There's some kind of animal being de-liced or something. Compression chamber, that's your crib. It's hermetically sealed. And this is your paint color. What color is that, hon?
Adult Kristi: Jamaica bay blue.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits. See more »


Follows Paranormal Activity 2 (2010) See more »


Come My Way
Written by Jack Dolgen (as Jack Selig Dolgen)
Performed by Jack Dolgen (as Jack Selig Dolgen) & Phil Korngut
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Long Live the Reigning King of "Gotcha!"
21 October 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Reigning king of the "Gotcha!" moment, Paranormal Activity is back – and though the premise may have worn thin, (how many compulsive videographers can one extended family have?) its minimalist scare tactics are as effective as ever. Scream for scream, the theater experience is without rival; hushed gasps, nervous tittering, and shrieks of surprise are empirical evidence of the films' effectiveness. Hence the backlash when Paranormal Activity hit home video: these movies cater to a crowd.

A prequel of sorts, Paranormal Activity 3 rewinds the franchise to 1988, illuminating the origins of the Presence that ran amok in parts one and two. Helmed by Catfish directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, the flick treads familiar territory, but keeps the audience on its toes. One of the major criticisms leveled against Oren Peli's original was its predictable cycle of daytime exposition and midnight scares. Rinse and repeat.

Screenwriter Christopher B. Landon, who also wrote the underwhelming Paranormal Activity 2, does a better job this time of pitching the odd changeup. With an omnipresent atmosphere of unease, no moment feels entirely safe. And it goes without saying that the freaky stuff is much more explicitly freaky. Rest assured the Rey family doesn't own a pool, let alone a cleaning robot.

Probably the single most brilliant technical addition to the Paranormal Activity repertoire is the oscillating camera. Panning ominously between kitchen and living room, the simple mechanic works like a suspense machine. Joost and Schulman certainly get their money's worth out of the gimmick, milking it for some of their whitest white-knuckle moments. Fashioned from a tabletop fan, the device is a perfect metaphor for the franchise itself: cheap, homemade, effective.

But for ingenuity and inventiveness, the original is still tops. For all its merciless suspense, Paranormal Activity 3 falls back on a few too many false alarms ("Gotcha!") and bad payoffs, and offers no real innovations in imagery. From Poltergeist to The Exorcist, it's easy to tell where the directors pulled inspiration, almost copy-and-pasting classic moments into the found footage aesthetic.

Then again, anyone expecting real innovation from the third Paranormal Activity film is barking up the wrong tree. Part of the fun is how loosely defined the abilities of the otherworldly antagonist are. It possesses, communicates, and manipulates. But wait, there's more! Paranormal Activity 3 plays like a grab bag of horror ideas and iconography. Like any grab bag, not everything inside is interesting.

For one, hand-held footage plays a more prominent role than ever, which strains the believability of some key sequences. Then there's hokey filler like the "Bloody Mary" urban legend, which squarely fills the vacancy left by the Ouija board on the Paranormal Activity blueprint. And who could forget Randy (Dustin Ingram) and his transparent, annoying attempts at comic relief?

Paranormal Activity 3 doesn't reinvent the franchise. It's not even the best Paranormal Activity film. It doesn't need to be. Its aim is to refine the series' mechanics and reinvigorate audience interest, and it succeeds. So what's next? Likely what keeps Paramount executives up at night is how to squeeze the supernatural saga for every penny it's worth. Long live the reigning king of "Gotcha!"

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So, is the grandmother...? Whispering_Ghosts
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