Review: "Paranormal Activity 3" Reminds me of Slayer's "Reign In Blood" — 5 out of 5 stars
Wed, 19 Oct 2011 12:17:21
Every new Paranormal Activity movie is like another album from Slayer. There are certain elements that will always be there—demonic palpitating sounds, characters quickly pulled by forces they can't control, one or two non-believers, traces of the occult, and a shocking climax. By the same token Slayer's Tom Araya, Kerry King, Jeff Hanneman, and Dave Lombardo never fail to include unforgettable thrash riffs, blinding solos, double bass madness, and purely, potent lyrical assaults.
However, just like Slayer's best work, there's always a twist or two that will unnerve even the most stalwart fan in Paranormal series. So, in that case, Paranormal Activity 3, is the series' equivalent of Reign In Blood. It's the darkest and most definitive Activity yet. Make no mistake about, Paranormal Activity 3 is the best installment of the series just like Reign In Blood was Slayer's triumph.
The clock rewinds to 1988, and filmmakers Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost, as well as producer and original visionary Oren Peli, uncover some of the secrets behind the activity in less than 90 absolutely terrifying minutes. There's a raw evil at the heart of this film, and it's conveyed brilliantly via a young Kristi [Jessica Tyler Brown] unwillingly striking up a relationship with "Toby". Finally, the unnamed antagonist of the films gets a moniker, and it's eerily fitting. That friendship becomes the catalyst for the entire film and the unraveling to follow.
When Brown speaks at a near whisper, "I won't be safe. That means I'll be in very big trouble, big trouble" if she shares Toby's "secrets", the unease reaches a high for the franchise. Watching this sweet little girl stand talking to seemingly nothing with such conviction isn't just impressive acting on her part, it's downright fucking freaky. Her sister Katie stares on confused, and the family structure especially between mom Julie [Lauren Bittner] and stepdad Dennis [Christopher Nicholas Smith] erodes with all sense of security.
Dennis outfits the house with cameras, most cleverly on an old school house fan, and recounts the demonization to follow. The big scares are better than ever, but it's the subtle moments where Paranormal Activity 3 enters the pantheon for horror flicks. There's a moment where Kristi exclaims, "Why don't you just ask Toby yourself. He's standing right next to you?"
Nothing that we can see is there of course, but due to a combination of Brown's performance and Joost and Schulman's atmosphere, we can feel it. As family friend Randy puts it, "This isn't Casper the fucking friendly ghost".
Dennis hints at the demon's origins and the finale reveals a tiny bit more, but you'll still be rightfully scratching your head and losing sleep at the end. Paranormal Activity 3 adds a Satanic subtlety that's incredibly effective to all of the traditions fans know and love really taking this South of Heaven.
Slayer would be proud.
Check it out: www.ParanormalMovie.com
Will you be seeing it when it opens at midnight on October 20, 2011?
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