Films | PARANORMAL ACTIVITY – Movie Review


Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on October 21, 2011 | No Comments

PRODUCER – Jason Blum, Jeanette Brill, Oren Peli, Steven Schneider
DIRECTOR – Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
WRITER – Christopher B. Landon, Oren Peli
CAST – Chloe Csengery, Jessica Tyler Brown and Christopher Nicholas Smith

Candid camera horror is back with the third installment of Paranormal Activity. The franchise is a horror film telling through the footage of candid cameras the stories of sisters, Katie and Kristi, and their supernatural encounters. This time round it is the story of demonic experiences of the sisters when they were kids.

Kristi (Jessica Tyler Brown) talks to an imaginary friend Toby but her sister Katie (Chloe Csengery) refuses to believe her. Around the same time her mother’s live-in boyfriend, Dennis, (Christopher Nicholas Smith) installs cameras all over the house since they suspect something is awry. Little by little unexplainable things are caught on camera clearly showing supernatural presence. Things come to a head when Dennis finds a demonic symbol in the girl’s bedroom and reads about shamanic cults recruiting young girls through various practices only to claim their firstborn, a nod to the story of the second installment. Violence in the household increases and so does the intrigue. The film ends on a surprise note that is unpredictable and hence scarier.

The film is uneven, in its chills and thrills taking a while to build up. Things fall, explode, bang, crash with glee. Every shock trick is used but with a common sense and manages to bring enough spook. Every paranormal activity is made up of a surprise and takes the story forward, two important factors that make this horror flick scarier than the previous one.

The camera is used pretty much in the same manner as in the earlier films, installed to check on invisible forces. Characters still run with their cameras when running for life. However, unlike the earlier versions is role is limited. No flickering of battery, no ending of tapes at critical times and so on. It largely becomes more convenient as an experience to watch and get thrilled.

The children put in some lovely performances especially little Jessica Tyler Brown. As the vulnerable Kristi who speaks to ghosts and is being emotionally manipulated to ‘do something’ for them she puts in a tender and convincing performance. So does Chloe Csengery whose reactions, full of energy and shock are believable. Julia, the girls’ mother (Lauren Bittner) is a realistic performer and brings a much-needed naturalness to the film. Christopher Nicholas Smith is mostly present through his voice, he being the one capturing the hand-held footage.

The film largely stays indoors as is the general practice of the franchise. The length of lengthy shots of camera capturing footage at nights is reduced greatly. The recordings of every night aren’t compulsively shown and the film avoids tediousness and slack pace that comes by default with the concept. In all it makes for a decent spookfest.


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