Over the past few years, it has become the norm for horror fans to creep into a dark movie theater on a crisp October night in the weeks leading up to Halloween to view one of the most exhilarating and utterly terrifying horror series in recent memory.
This year, Paramount Pictures released Paranormal Activity 3, which serves as a prequel to the two movies before it. The first two movies are based on documented footage that displays supernatural and very unusual events in the homes of seemingly normal people.
Paranormal Activity 3 uses the same method of filming, giving a realistic touch for the viewer by displaying a first-person point-of-view from a handheld camera used by the characters in the film. Through the lenses of these cameras, the viewer feels the creepy realism and overall terror that the characters in the movie could have really felt.
In the first two Paranormal Activity movies, Katie and Kristi were sisters who had been experiencing very odd happenings in their own homes. The first movie of the series details the unusual and downright freaky experiences of Katie and her fiancé, Micah. The second film, which serves as a prequel to the first, shows the same type of mysterious and unworldly occurrences, only this time in the house of Kristi and her family.
In Paranormal Activity 3, the childhood of the two girls is the setting. Along with their mother, Julie, and stepfather, Dennis, the girls experience the paranormal in their own home with very few answers as to what is happening.
Upon moving in with his new wife and family, Dennis begins to notice these strange happenings, such as objects moving by themselves or lights turning on, that often come with no explanation. Like other characters in the movies before, he sets up surveillance cameras in an attempt to capture some explanation for who, or what, is making these things happen.
What he catches on tape is exactly what is causing movie-goers across the nation to lose sleep after seeing the movie. For those who have seen the previous two films before it, the third movie will settle the self-inflicted discomfort and horror with more information about why these people experience such terrifying things in the supposed comfort of their own homes. Just kidding.
Paranormal Activity 3 easily is the most terrifying of the series and is almost guaranteed to send ghostly shivers down your spine. The striking realism of the movie will haunt viewers and will only cause more sleepless nights, partly because they too fear the unexplainable paranormal activity in the film that will unravel even the bravest of horror fanatics.
The series is quickly becoming a part of modern Halloween tradition, since a new installment has been released in each of the last three years. It remains to be seen whether a fourth movie will be released next year, as the movie, like the previous two before it, does leave the viewer with unanswered questions that could be answered with another film. It all adds to the mystique and the haunting anticipation that movie-goers force themselves to watch.
Whether you are a fan of the inexplicable, the Paranormal Activity series, or the horror genre, or if you are just looking for your annual Halloween scare, Paranormal Activity 3 lives up to the hype as one of the most terrifying movie experiences of the last few years and maybe of all time. If you have the courage, be sure to check out Paranormal Activity 3 in theaters, but only if you want to risk losing a night of sleep.