Plot: This movie takes us back in time, to when Kristi and Katie were children and the mysterious supernatural presence first appeared to them. The girls live with their mom Julie and her boyfriend Dennis, who runs a wedding video business of the home’s dusty old garage. When the family hears some odd noises, their nerves are jangled, but Dennis has a plan to put the situation at ease. He will use some of his cameras to monitor parts of the house and in the process, capture whatever is making the noise and put an end to the suspense. But when the camera sees Kristi talking to something off camera, it rattles Dennis a little, but Julie assures him that kids have imaginary friends all the time and it is just a phase. The situation slowly escalates, with Kristi’s behavior getting more and more odd, such as climbing onto tables at night for no apparent reason. Katie also begins to experience strange things, especially when she tries to get Kristi to stop talking to Toby, her imaginary friend. Is this all just a coincidence and if not, what is behind this unknown presence in their house?
Entertainment Value: The found footage juggernaut Paranormal Activity rolls on with this third installment, which travels back in time once again, so we can see how this whole supernatural mess began. This movie follows the pattern of the first two for most of the duration, with spooky events prompting the installation of cameras, then a slow escalation of eerie encounters. These scenes mirror the kind of stuff we’ve seen in the series to this point, down to the dramatic screens that make sure we know which night are seeing unfold. But toward the end, this sequel takes a hard turn and goes in a new direction. This switch in approach is sure to divide fans of course, but I was glad to see some kind of fresh narrative elements involved. I also appreciated that once again, the lore is flesh out a little more. I like the premise involved in the series, so getting a little more of that backstory was a bright spot. But despite the attempt to liven up the finale, this is still the same formula we’ve seen in the first two movies, with little else done to put new paint on the premise. So the same recommendation holds up, fans of the series and found footage genre will likely find this a fun watch, but it won’t win over any new fans in the process.
No nakedness. The guys in this series always try to get some on camera lovin’ and Dennis almost makes it happen, but no dice. A little blood, but it is infrequent and minor, with no on screen violence involved. The usual “dragged around by an invisible demon” stuff happens, but that’s all. I did appreciate the ghost under the sheet sequence however, it was a nice touch. The dialogue is forgettable, lacking the drama and dysfunction from the first two movies. A little creepy kid talk, but not much and the real bright spot is the grandmother, who briefly throws shade on Dennis. But a couple of quick, fun exchanges just aren’t enough. I appreciated that the finale mixed things up a little, so I can score one point, but otherwise, this one follows the blueprint laid out by the first two movies, down to the letter.
Overall Insanity: 1/10