When PARANORMAL ACTIVITY came out a few years back, I had an OK time with it. Only worth watching once, the scares were genuine and it somehow breathed new life into the “mocumentary horror” genre that hadn’t seen any real action since 1999’s THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. For all the hate the movie received post release, let’s not forget that for those who checked it out in theaters who really wanted to be scared, it worked… for the most part. Not worth a revisit, of course, but still a solid good time. A year later PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 came out, thus dethroning SAW as the go-to franchise of the Halloween holiday, making a shitload of money at the box office, and delivering one of the most boring turds of the year. While the way the film was part prequel, part sequel, and how it tied the original characters into the new story was interesting, the scariest thing about the flick was the pool cleaner, and the best actor was the K-9. I was more than done with this franchise and thought it was bullshit when a part 3 was announced for this Halloween. But with the release of the first teaser trailer, I gotta admit… PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 looks pretty f*ckin’ cool!
I know, the words I just spoke are blasphemous and somewhat hypocritical based on all the previous hate I’ve given PA2 and mocumentary horror films as a whole, but the teaser trailer managed to suck me in and intrigue me and even gave me the heebee jeebees, and for a trailer to a movie that I have already written off to do that… well, it deserves some mad props! If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, scroll on down below and check it out first—I’ll wait here. Ok, you’ve seen it—looks cool, right? There’s the whole Bloody Mary thing going on (!), there’s glimpses into the sisters backgrounds, and it looks like we’ll finally be able to find out what the f*ck happened all those years ago. Not that I really give a f*ck, but the fact that they decided to go there for PA3 is cool. Better than I had hoped, and a helluva lot better than if it were a straight-up sequel, one that either follows the lame teenage girl around in the aftermath of PA2 or (worse yet) a haunting of another family entirely.
Going the prequel route and kickin’ it in the ‘80s when the crazy shit started to happen in the first place, an origin story, if you will, is (again), a f*ckin clever way to go for part 3. So props to that. Then there’s the replacement of the PA2 directors, of which couldn’t direct themselves out of traffic. Ok, that was harsh, but f*ck it, PA2 was a movie about boredom, waiting for something to actually happen, and the movement of a goddamn pool cleaner for f*ck’s sake—not a horror movie. But now with PA3, directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, hot off their success of CATFISH, are at the helm and you know what, this has me excited too! While I haven’t even seen CATFISH, I’ve heard a ton of positive things about it, and because it’s the same similar style of “mocumentary horror/thriller”, I think they’ll be more than able to pull PA3 off, and give us the sequel that PA2 should have been.
Not only that, but I haven’t even talked about the coolest thing PA3 has going for it: the little kids! There’s something about creepy little kids that creeps me the f*ck out, and if these two little girls get possessed or chased down by a demon or what have you, then I’m so there. PA2 had the little boy and that could have been creepy, but besides being dragged out of his crib at night, that kid didn’t do shit. But these two? They play f*ckin’ Bloody Mary in the bathroom for f*ck’s sake, you know that shit is gonna freaky-deaky!
Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but I’m thinking PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 is looking pretty damn good. There’s a cool prequel/origin story thing going for it (a creative way to crank out a sequel so soon), the directors of CATFISH are in the house and lookin’ to spook audiences again with their documentary-style horror angle, and there are two little girls who have the potential to creep us the f*ck out. Add that shit together, throw in Bloody Mary herself, and the fact that there’s nothing else coming out this Halloween, and it appears to me that PA3 is gonna rock the Kasbah. Sure, PA2 sucked balls, but I gotta believe these directors will be able to recreate the same scare factor that Oren Pelli created with PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and who knows, maybe this will be the one film where the part 3 is actually the sequel in the series. Either that, or I’ll look like the biggest asshole in 2 months when this shit hits theaters and ends up being the end-all be-all turd burglar of movies. Either way, I like my odds, so I guess we’ll all just have to wait and see.