IMDb > Paranormal Activity 3 (2011) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb
Paranormal Activity 3
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Reviews & Ratings for
Paranormal Activity 3 More at IMDbPro »

Filter: Hide Spoilers:
Page 1 of 31:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [Next]
Index 306 reviews in total 

100 out of 137 people found the following review useful:

Different movie than the trailer...

3/10
Author: jmcb002 from United States
21 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I thought I went to go see Paranormal Activity 3... you know, like the one in the trailer with a seance gone brutally wrong, house on fire, jumping girls from the upper story, medium coming to rid the house of bad spirits, closet ghost knocking games, crying girls huddled in cars, mom being flown out of bedroom, and water being thrown on a ghost to reveal that its shape is actually there. But no, I ended up seeing a crappy excuse for producers thinking they are being creative and edgy by changing it from the trailer and making it a story about satanic women rituals. I've already seen that horrible remake. I wanted to see a Paranormal Activity, not "The Wicker Man / The Last Exorcism".

I hope someone sues the creators for false advertising by not making ANY scenes from the trailer into the final cut. That honestly makes me mad. The Paranormal movies were made on the premise of being about a haunting of demons; adding in the "cult" aspect just changes things. We were drawn in on the fear of the supernatural, not satanic women. I want to see the movie from the trailer, not what they decided was the best and scariest cut for theaters, because that version was terrible.

Was the above review useful to you?

88 out of 131 people found the following review useful:

Couldn't believe this.

3/10
Author: DarnMacs from United Kingdom
20 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am not a professional critic, nor am i a critic in a general circumstance. But after watching this film it really inspired me to create an account on this site to express my views and opinions.

Well i understood the story line of this film and thought it could be a great concept, going back to before all the shenanigans of the first and second paranormal activity to when Katie and Kristi were children who are influenced highly by a spirit called "Tobi". Which in turn gave me great expectations for this film, i was terribly mistaken.

The first hour of this film is filled with nothing more than the usual scare tactic employed in the last 2 films which does work to a certain degree but also grows old very quickly as its all be done before in the last 2 films. A slight mix up was the camera attached to a fan trick, which i did find a good idea although even that wore thin. Also took away from the fear aspect of the film was the comedy factor which they seemed to incorporate which personally i believe has no place in the PA films. I also thought that the scene in the kitchen was a ridiculous play on the scene in the 2nd PA, could have been a bit more creative there.

After the first hour passed i believed the film was beginning to pick up and bit and actually had me frightened for a short period of time. Before i continue after this is a SPOILER!!. Why this film turned into somewhat of a cult film was beyond a joke. It completely took away from the main isolated fear aspect that the film was famous for. The ending was completely ridiculous leaving and unbelievable amount of questions unanswered.

1. Where does it show you anything to do with the house burning down?

2. Why weren't any of the clips in the trailers in the actual feature?

3. It never explains what the entity actually is?

4. How did the mother actually die in the film? And where does it show that she is actually dead at the top of the staircase?

5. Why does the ghost haunt the children although it is meant to haunt the first born son?

6. Where did a cult ever play a part in any of the other films?

All in all this film was a complete let down, and i wouldn't recommend anyone to pay any amount of money to go and view this, even just to understand the story its not worth seeing, as it does not answer any of this.

P.S as well as all of this, the reaction of the people in the cinema watching this took away from the fear as a lot of laughs were had.

Was the above review useful to you?

65 out of 99 people found the following review useful:

Only if you liked the first two.

8/10
Author: Dan Franzen (dfranzen70) from United States
23 October 2011

Of Paranormal Activity 3, I can tell you this much: Chances are, if the first one didn't do much for you and you found the second one to be kind of blah and repetitive, there's no way you'll like the third one. That's a fact. The setup and premise are familiar, even if the characters are not. So as such, I can understand someone's not liking this one much at all. But. I personally found the first and second ones to be pretty scary – even when, in the second one, I knew stuff was going to happen. It has to be a good film when you're surprised even when you expect something, right? So, right or wrong, I loved this movie. It gave me what I was seeking, and more.

Whereas the second film was set shortly before the first one, this film takes a look at the childhood of Katie, the protagonist of the first film. You may recall that as the first movie progressed, Katie became convinced that something was after her specifically – but she couldn't imagine why. This movie attempts to resolve that issue. And you sort of have to give credit to a movie that resolves some things while leaving other threads dangling just enough to make one wonder what the hey is going on.

It's 1988. Young Katie lives with her younger sister Kristi, her mom Julie, and Julie's boyfriend Dennis. Strange things are afoot in their house, around the same time that young Kristi begins communicating with an imaginary friend named Toby. Is it a normal kid phase, or is it something more sinister? As with the other films, cameras are placed around the house to capture anything odd that may happen during the night. (In a clever bit of ingenuity, Dennis takes apart an oscillating fan and places a camera on it so that he can pan from living room to kitchen and back.)

What makes a movie like this work for me is the same thing that made The Blair Witch Project work (and its sequel not work at all) – it feels voyeuristic, as if we were simply peeking in on some family's everyday lives. Reasons are given for the constant filming (Dennis tells Kristi, for example, that he's "testing" his new camera as they have a tea party.) We're automatically drawn to the video footage. What will we see? We're now ready for something – will it jump out at us? Will furniture be overturned? Or something even worse?

The mood is another huge selling point. People react as you'd expect them to. Dennis is obsessed with finding out what's causing those noises and other disturbances; Julie thinks he's completely off his rocker and becomes more testy as time goes by. People who also experience the occurrences, like a babysitter and a friend of Dennis, are stunned to the point of not wishing to discuss the matter further, hurriedly leaving as soon as possible.

Now, I can't say that everyone, even those who love to be scared, is going to love this as much as I did. For me, since we see almost everything through the lens of a camera, the terror – and the anticipation – are grossly heightened. When that door is opened, what will we find? It's not going to be pretty, but unlike a standard horror film where one can simply slough off a shock as being too fantastic, here we're so easily drawn in by and engaged with our surrogate family that we feel as terrified and mystified as they do.

Paranormal Activity 3 won't answer everything that the first two may have left unsolved, but it does offer hints as to why, in the present day, these events are still occurring to Katie and her family. We see a part of that genesis, and it's not really what I expected. I was unsettled and thankful I hadn't seen the movie at night. Okay, that might be a little hyperbolic, and when some of you actually watch the movie you'll laugh at me for being skittish. I don't care. I enjoyed the movie, and that's all I'm concerned with.

Was the above review useful to you?

70 out of 111 people found the following review useful:

This Stunk

1/10
Author: predator1 from New York, NY
21 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SPOILERS

there are at least 4 scenes in the trailer that aren't even in the film 1 the two girls doing bloody Mary 2 the cup of water thrown on the demons shape 3 the house on fire 4 the mom being tugged down the hallway or bedroom 5 the little girl jumping from the balcony of the staircase

I guess the producers just think people are stupid and will go anyway (which they will) and they will be saving this stuff for the "never before seen footage" on the DVD

SAVE YOUR MONEY

Was the above review useful to you?

43 out of 63 people found the following review useful:

Herculean Waste of Time

Author: dr-riegel from United States
22 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

My sons and I are avid movie goers and especially like scary movies. We saw PA and PA2 together. We saw the trailer for PA3 and were ready for what looked to be a solid scary movie with some tying up of loose ends with the plot. What we found was a tired rehash of the same plot with a few new characters. The pivotal scenes from the trailer were completely absent from the movie. 1) the knocking game at the closet 2) Kristi walking along and jumping off the ledge of the girls' bedroom 3) the film of the mother watching this in horror 4) Kristi throwing water on "Toby" to show him to her mother 5) the paranormal investigator who comes to the house and has his head slammed into the table 6) the lights exploding one by one down the staircase 7) the house burning down 8) the mother being thrown back when she says she wants to leave All the scenes from the trailer that made me excited to see the movie, inexplicably absent. This movie would have been much better with these scenes added. Instead, the movie ends terribly. What could have been a real blockbuster ending, tying the three movies together, was actually a complete dud. These guys and their franchise will never see another dollar from me.

Was the above review useful to you?

41 out of 65 people found the following review useful:

So scary

8/10
Author: Kristine (kristinedrama14@msn.com) from Chicago, Illinois
23 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Never so quickly have I seen a franchise get whored out in Hollywood. A couple of years ago the world was hit with Paranormal Activity, making you wonder what happens when you're asleep. It's the most successful independent movie ever, with a small budget of fifteen thousand and making over a hundred million is just incredible. But with big hype comes a lot of back lash. I personally loved that film and it's one of my favorite horror movies, taking the simplicity of what's in the dark fears from our childhood and making our imaginations go crazy. Since the film was a huge success, Hollywood naturally called on a sequel. Paranormal Activity 2 was released a year later, pretty much claiming the Saw franchise money. Paranormal Activity 2 was an alright film, it wasn't as scary because we knew what to expect and with bigger budget the effects could be a little too over the top at times. Paranormal Activity 3 was advertised and I was thinking that this film was a mistake, but I was just curious where they were taking the story so I saw it opening night and this film blew me away. What a scary movie and so perfect to add to the franchise making me want plenty more.

In 1988, young Katie and Kristi live with their mother, Julie, and her boyfriend, Dennis. Kristi begins interacting with an invisible friend named Toby. Dennis notices that since Kristi's friend appeared, strange things have been happening in the house. While reviewing some footage later, Dennis notices a strange incident with presence being shown on camera. He invites his friend Randy over to view the footage, who suggests that Dennis place cameras throughout the house to capture any other incidents. After more disturbed nights and strange occurrences, Dennis discovers a strange symbol in the girls' closet. He finds the same symbol on a picture of women in a book about mysticism. Dennis explains to Julie that the symbol belonged to a witches coven that brainwashed young girls into having sons. Thus explaining more about the two previous films.

A couple of flaws with the film being that one being based in 1988, the film sure does look very crisp with it's picture. Wonder where the guy got his video, obviously not Wal Mart. Secondly, there are still some questions left unanswered, maybe due to the overwhelming success of the first film the writers had to do what they could with Katie's story. Only explanation being in this film is that the cult brainwashes people, so maybe Katie and Kristi had a different story in the previous films due to the spell. However, this film scared the heck out of me, which takes a lot. The beginning does start off a little silly to me, since again, you know what is going to happen. But not even 25 minutes into the film, it does pick up again. The last fifteen minutes had me frozen to my seat. A lot of people are complaining that the trailer has completely different scenes than from the movie, I personally like it that way because it keeps the film fresh and has you guessing. The "bloody Mary" scene in the film is much more scary than in the trailer in my opinion. Paranormal Activity 3 really did raise the bar and I'm so glad. The characters a likable and the effects are actually top notch and done effectively. There's a scene with the babysitter where the demon is wearing a blanket and is standing right behind her, believe me you'll have such major goose bumps from that scene. If you like scary movies, you're going to love this film, I can't wait for the fourth one and I'm glad that we finally went back to the basics of a good ghost story. Though my suggestions to the characters: stop filming the demon! That's obviously ticking him off.

8/10

Was the above review useful to you?

48 out of 80 people found the following review useful:

Long Live the Reigning King of "Gotcha!"

Author: Colin George from United States
21 October 2011

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!"

Was the above review useful to you?

47 out of 79 people found the following review useful:

Delivering The Scares

7/10
Author: MBloodT from Philippines
23 October 2011

To be honest, I never liked Paranormal Activity movies. It's about people who lived in a house with cameras and there are evil spirits haunting them then all of the events are caught on tape. The idea is interesting but the execution always end up being unsatisfying. Paranormal Activity 3 is the very beginning of the series. It's not actually a prequel. It's more of a backward trilogy to make the ending of the rest of the Paranormal Activity films mysterious. Although, the twist is a little bit predictable but Paranormal Activity 3 has a decent story to tell with these found footage. And it really has the scares. Finally, this series has a genuine scare.

Paranormal Activity 3 reveals all the mysteries of the first two movies. Unlike the first two, instead of watching the lives of these people and wait for the spirits to come out, this one really tells a story through the videos. The story is not anything new though but the execution is decent. The second Paranormal Activity narrates almost everything in the story. Here you don't need it, you just have to look at the video footage to know the story.

Aside from its storytelling, Paranormal Activity is all about the scares. They improved the scares by moderating the slow burns and keep the objects floating. The ghosts aren't quite invisible like the first two. Here, it's campy. You can see its shadows. And of course, there's a lot of threat from the ghost. The scares are more than just jump scares. It has more terror and gumption to the thrills which is kinda fun. The cameras are well shot. Everything is well made. But the twist remains predictable for some reason.

Paranormal Activity 3 is not earning the fear anymore. It's now earning the scares. It's great to see Paranormal Activity with exact scares than wait for more than five minutes to be scared. It's not the scariest horror movie of the year but it's the best part of the series and also the most decent horror of the year. I still wanna see the parts on the trailer that wasn't show in the actual film but Paranormal Activity 3 is satisfying enough in its short runtime. Decent enough as a found-footage-horror-film.

Was the above review useful to you?

115 out of 215 people found the following review useful:

The Demon Cometh

10/10
Author: Fields201 from United States
19 October 2011

I am over thirty years old and I have seen a lot of horror films (including the first two Paranormal Activity films) and if you asked me what the scariest film I've ever seen is, I will search through my memory banks and pick out a film and say, "Well that was scary if that happened in real life." But not really putting the film in the same category as "hold your breath and walk out feeling drained because it scared the heck out of me" type of film. Finally, I was able to see a film that legitimately scared me, and it happens to be a third film in a franchise. Who says sequels are always bad?

The film is back to being a prequel, focusing on Katie and Kristi when they were little kids. They have a skeptic mom, and a dad who looks suspiciously like Micah from the first film. He's a videographer and he likes to record things all the time (like the first two movies) and after an earthquake erupts, he discovers that an invisible figure emerges from the dust. So naturally, he wants to keep recording to find out what it is, and what he discovers is that its an invisible friend named Tobi who has some connection with the little daughters.

Upon watching Paranormal Activity 3, it felt like there was a board meeting after the second film and they listened to all the bad-mouthing, spoofs, and also took in an account of what scared people (prepare for an homage of the kitchen scene of the second film) and culminated all of this together into an Alchemy Pot and born what could be the scariest film to date. The theater I saw it with was screaming at all the scary parts, especially when the demon terrorizes the little girls; all the way up to a tension filled ending that left many not wanting to look at the screen. The filmmakers knew how to use timing and tension to generate the scares, and that's really the fun of these movies. It's the tension building and the creative payoff on what they provide for scares. My friend said it best where she said, "It was like a roller coaster ride that I couldn't get out of." It's really that intense.

The only thing that sucks is that some of good parts in all the trailers didn't make it to the final cut. I'm hoping for an extended release on the DVD like they did with the last film because it will make it that much more exciting. Seriously, forget your complaints from the last two films and give this film a go. There is a lot of fun to be had, and it's a great way to celebrate Halloween this year.

Was the above review useful to you?

24 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

If you enjoyed the first two, you will enjoy this

9/10
Author: James Jomez Allenby from UK
30 October 2011

As I said in the title, if you enjoyed the first two films, this is well worth seeing. Yes it does re-hash some concepts from the previous two, yes there are some laughs, you may be left with some un-answered questions, and yes, a lot of the scenes from the trailer aren't in the actual film.

But you know what, if you want to see a masterpiece in inventive horror, watch a DVD of The Exorcist. If you want to watch something that will scare the crap out you psychologically, watch The Ring or The Shining. This film is exactly what it says on the tin, the third installment of a pretty decent series of films.

So some of the frights have been used before, they still made my heart skip a beat when they were on a big screen. And the scenes from the trailer weren't in the film itself, so what, the scenes that made up the film itself were done well. I'm guessing if you're still reading you're a fan of the first two films, if that is the case, ignore the iffy reviews and go see.

If you want to be anal about trailer scenes, plot holes and "what is the answer" questions, wait for the DVD.

Was the above review useful to you?


Page 1 of 31:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [Next]

Add another review


Related Links

Plot summary Plot synopsis Ratings
Awards External reviews Parents Guide
Official site Plot keywords Main details
Your user reviews Your vote history