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Paranormal Activity 3 (Blu-ray)
Blu-ray/DVD Reviews

Paranormal Activity 3 (Blu-ray)

The franchise remains as creepy as ever with this origin story, though the high-definition picture quality removes some of its authenticity.

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While it might not be the best of the franchise, Paranormal Activity 3 earns real points for originality by taking viewers back to the beginning, showing off much younger versions of the girls Katie and Kristi as they first encounter the mysterious haunting presence. The gimmick of using ‘found footage’ remains, and while the premise may be starting to wear a bit thin, the third chapter still has more than enough thrills and chills to keep you scared long into the night – especially in dark rooms with all the lights out.

While the idea of using an origin story to help flesh out the background of its title characters is nothing new in the horror genre, Paranormal Activity 3 does it better than most, because as most genre fans know by now there are few things scarier than creepy little girls looking into mirrors. Fellow reviewer enjoyed the theatrical version when it scared audiences back in October, even recommending it over the second film. Check out a snippet of what he thought just below, or read his full review right HERE:

“The film was directed by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost, the same men that helmed the 2010 documentary Catfish. I enjoyed that film, but like a lot of viewers, I found myself questioning its authenticity. Was it truly a documentary about a suspicious internet romance, or was it a hoax? The fact that their follow-up project was a fictional film made to resemble a documentary only adds fuel to the fire. Amazing, how moviegoers – and filmmakers – have blurred the line between reality and fantasy. When my review for Paranormal Activity was posted in 2009, I received a number of comments from readers. Many were facetious, but a select few seemed convinced that the footage in the movie was real. One person even asked me where more information on the case of Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat could be found. Too bad we now know they’re just movies.”

I’m actually a fan of the franchise, and I enjoyed this one as well. While it’s not as intense as the others, it still never fails to make you flinch and jump whenever something freaky happens. To be honest, one of my only gripes isn’t with the film itself but the picture quality, which I’ll go into greater detail below.

Now with the film being on Blu-ray, naturally the picture quality is going to be great, which it is. Every frightening detail can be seen with perfect clarity. Now most of you probably won’t have an issue with this, but since the film takes place in the late 80’s and the footage we’re watching is supposed to be from an old VHS camcorder, the picture should look more a little more blurry / aged than it does here. While the crew tried to add some grain to the video, it’s still too “HD” for an 80’s video tape. The 5.1 DTS-HD audio is right on track, as every literal bump in the night and piece of dialogue is heard loud and clear.

It’s sad to say that as with previous releases in the series, there’s not much in the special features department. You can choose from the original theatrical cut of the film that runs at 84 minutes, and the headline-grabbing “Unrated” version that’s 93-minutes. There’s really not much difference between the two except a few extra scenes thrown in to help flesh out some more background to the family. The only real extra is the “Lost Tapes” feature where one clip shows off some random footage of the family doing stuff while another clip features a public access trailer for the father’s videography business.

If you’re a fan of the Paranormal Activity franchise, then you’ll probably enjoy Paranormal Activity 3. While not as satisfying as the other films, it still does what the series does best, and that’s scare the crap out of you. My only real gripe is with how the footage is presented, which is far too clean and crisp to have come from a ‘found’ VHS tape filmed in the 80s (trust me, I survived the era), but I guess that can’t be helped when you’re watching a high-definition Blu-ray. It’s a shame there weren’t more special features than what’s included, but fans should be used to that by now. You’ll definitely want to check this one out if you enjoy being scared, as it’ll give you all the paranormal activity – and creepy little girls – you can handle.

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01/24/2012

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NR

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Paramount Pictures

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About the Author: Chris Mitchell