This third installment of the Paranormal Activity franchise answers a lot of questions for fans of the series but it leaves questions too. I really appreciated the effort in plot development this time around. The first two installments felt like they were the same movie. This one at least has a different edge. Not too different though. You are still sitting around staring at a door moving for five minuets. In some ways it works in other's the director must be laughing at us.
This story takes place in 1988 well before the first two, technically making this prequel. The main protagonist in the movie, like always, is documenting everything via camera. Now they explain it by having Dennis, our hero, obsessed with making movies and editing video tape. Dennis starts to investigate when daughters Katie and Kristi, the girls from the first two movies, start acting strange late at night. Kristi starts talking with an "invisible friend" named Toby who is constantly attacking the other members of the family. Especially Katie.
This movie expands the Paranormal Activity story with Witchcraft, adding to the Demonology aspect. Now the Demon has a name, Toby, and is an actual entity that can be controlled and/or reasoned with. This is something new. I think the movie does this really well too. Katie does a really creepy job interacting with Toby and getting the audience interested.
These movies are surprisingly really interesting. The story goes places that you really don't expect it to go. That might have something to do with the old switcheroo that this movie played when it showed the TV spots a few weeks before the premier. I distinctly remember a completely different storyline in the trailers. Anyway, the over-arcing storyline is actually really decent and keeps you engaged while creeping you out with slow moving furniture. No gore or anything like that really, just a lot of jump scares and loud noises.
I would suggest watching these movies in marathon format, on a really large scale television, with surround sound. There are so many things that these movies do with sound. You're going to want to have that extra little bass just to build some suspense.
Did ya know...
The symbols that appear behind the pictures in Grandma Lois's house are simplified versions of the Pentagram of Solomon (inverted) and the Triangle of Solomon, symbols depicted in the "Lesser Key of Solomon" and used to summon and constrain demons in classical Goethic Theurgy. In the static at the end of the movie, there is a frame that shows Dennis' and Julie's bed on fire. This is presumably the start of the house fire that is referred to in both Paranormal Activity and Paranormal Activity 2. Towards the beginning of the film, Julie takes a picture of young Katie standing in the driveway shortly before a group picture is taken. The photo being taken appears in both Paranormal Activity and Paranormal Activity 2 as an indication that the demon has started haunting them.