Paranormal Activity 3
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Henry Joost
|Produced by||Jason Blum
|Written by||Christopher B. Landon|
|Based on||Characters by
Jessica Tyler Brown
|Editing by||Gregory Plotkin|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Running time||84 minutes|
Paranormal Activity 3 is a 2011 American supernatural horror film, directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman. It is the third installment of the Paranormal Activity series and serves as a prequel, mostly set 18 years prior to the events of the first two films. It was released in theaters on October 21, 2011.
The film broke financial records upon release, setting a new record for a midnight opening for a horror film ($8 million), the best opening day for a horror film in the United States ($26.2 million), the highest opening for any film in October, highest opening for a film in the fall (September–October), and setting a record opening for the franchise ($52.6 million).
In 2005, Katie delivers a box of old videotapes to her pregnant sister Kristi, and her husband Daniel. A year later, Kristi and Daniel's house is ransacked and the tapes are missing.
The tapes hold footage of a young Katie and Kristi with their mother Julie, and her boyfriend Dennis, in 1988. 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. Dennis and Julie try to make a sex tape, but are interrupted by an earthquake. The camera shows dust fall from the ceiling and land onto an invisible figure in the room. While reviewing the footage, Dennis notices the strange incident. His friend Randy suggests that Dennis place cameras throughout the house to capture any other incidents. That night in the girls' bedroom, Kristi wakes up and talks to someone off-camera. When Dennis questions her the following day, Kristi tells him it was Toby. After more strange occurrences, Dennis discovers a strange symbol in the girls' closet. He finds the same symbol in a book about demonology.
When Kristi falls ill, Julie and Dennis take her to the hospital. Katie is left home with Randy, and they play Bloody Mary in the girls' bathroom. When nothing happens, Katie insists they try again. Randy is attacked and discovers a large scratch on his torso. They try to leave the bathroom but a black figure moves past the door. When they try to leave a second time, furniture is violently flung across the room. After Julie and Dennis return, Randy hurriedly leaves, stating that whatever they're dealing with is dangerous. Dennis tells Julie that the symbol belonged to a witches' coven that brainwashed girls of child-bearing age into having sons, forcing them to give up their sons; they would not remember anything afterward. Julie dismisses his claim, instead arguing with Dennis.
The invisible demon terrorizes Katie and Kristi, harming Katie until Kristi agrees to do what it asks. The next day, Kristi asks her mother to take them to her grandmother Lois's home, but she refuses. After Julie encounters frightening activity herself, she agrees to go to Lois's home. Dennis sets up another camera in their new bedroom. At 1am, they are woken and hear disturbances. Julie goes to investigate; when she fails to return, Dennis goes to look for her.
He calls for Julie and the girls but there is no answer. Downstairs, Dennis notices a human silhouette behind a curtain, but when he looks there, no one is present. He finds strange imagery on the walls, including the symbol from the girls' room, which had been concealed behind paintings. Dennis enters the garage and discovers several women, including Lois, all dressed in dark clothing. He flees back to the house, with the women in slow pursuit. In the house, he finds Julie at the top of the stairs. As he approaches, he sees that her limp body is levitating above the floor. Her body is thrown at Dennis, knocking him down the stairs. He gets up and sees Kristi, hiding with her in a closet. Something growls and bangs on the door, but eventually leaves.
Dennis and Kristi leave the closet and walk through the kitchen. In the window, Dennis sees the women outside in the garden, circling around a bonfire. They find Katie crying by the stairs near Julie's body. Dennis approaches Katie from behind, and places his hand on her shoulder. Katie turns and unleashes a demonic scream that throws him to the other side of the room, injuring his leg. Katie flees and Dennis tries to crawl toward Julie's body. Lois blocks him, and Dennis's body is suddenly violently contorted, snapping backwards, killing him. Lois then beckons to Kristi and Katie. As they head upstairs together, Kristi calls to Toby to come join them. The camera goes static and cuts to black.
- Chris Smith as Dennis
- Lauren Bittner as Julie
- Chloe Csengery as Katie
- Katie Featherston as Adult Katie
- Jessica Tyler Brown as Kristi
- Sprague Grayden as Adult Kristi
- Hallie Foote as Grandma Lois
- Dustin Ingram as Randy Rosen
- Johanna Braddy as Lisa
- Brian Boland as Daniel
- Bailey Brown as Bailey
Production on the film began in June 2011. The film was directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (who both directed the documentary Catfish). Jason Blum, Oren Peli and Steven Schneider produced, along with Akiva Goldsman serving as executive producer. With a script written by Christopher B. Landon, the prequel was released on October 21, 2011.
Once again using unique social media strategy after the success of the first two films, Paranormal Activity 3 created the "Tweet Your Scream" campaign on Twitter in preparation for the release.
The film has received a positive reception from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 68% of 110 critics have given the film a positive review, with a rating average of 6.0 out of 10. The website's consensus is, "While the jolts and thrills are undeniably subject to the diminishing returns that plague most horror sequels, Paranormal Activity 3 is a surprisingly spine-tingling treat." Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, gives the film a score of 59 based on 25 reviews. CinemaScore polls reported that the average grade moviegoers gave the film was a "C+" on an A+ to F scale. Conversely, Roger Ebert gave the film a single star out of four, stating that "the appeal has worn threadbare", but predicting that the film will fare well in the box office nevertheless.
The film performed even better than its predecessors, grossing $8 million from midnight showings, setting yet another record for a horror film. Its total Friday gross was an estimated $26.2 million, which was the best opening day gross for a 2011 film since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 in July. Bringing its total to $52.6 million, it set a new record for the franchise, a horror film (Paranormal Activity 2, $40.6 million), a film released in October and for any film released in the fall (Jackass 3D, $50.3 million).
Paranormal Activity 3 grossed $104,028,807 in the United States and Canada, along with $101,675,011 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $205,703,818, making it the highest grossing film in the 'Paranormal Activity' series.
Paranormal Activity 3 was released on DVD/Blu-ray and video on demand/pay-per-view on January 24, 2012, and includes an unrated director's cut, "lost tapes" (deleted scenes), theatrical version, and digital copy. A one disc theatrical version of the movie was released on DVD on February 14, 2012.
In January 2012, Paramount announced there would be a fourth film in the franchise. It was to be directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, the directors of the third film. Filming started in late June. The film was released on October 19, 2012. On August 1st, 2012, the first trailer for the movie was released, teasing this movie with the tagline, "all the activity has led to this".
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- Official website
- Paranormal Activity 3 at the Internet Movie Database
- Paranormal Activity 3 at AllRovi
- Paranormal Activity 3 at Box Office Mojo
- Paranormal Activity 3 at Rotten Tomatoes
- Paranormal Activity 3 at Metacritic