‘Paranormal Activity 3′ Review

Published 4 years ago by , Updated December 12th, 2014 at 9:59 pm,

Paranormal Activity 3 Ghost Paranormal Activity 3 Review

Paranormal Activity 3 doesn’t reinvent the series’ wheel but it definitely refines an already effective format.

It’s hard to imagine that it’s only been two years since our own Kofi Outlaw was among the first film reviewers to screen the original Paranormal Activity – back when the film was only in limited release. At the time, it was unclear whether the found-footage horror flick (which was actually shown in 2007 at the Screamfest Film Festival) would ever see a full-scale release. However, fueled by fan “demand” (literally) the original Paranormal Activity haunted the box office to the tune of $107 million domestically – on a production budget of just $15,000. As a result, it was no surprise when the sequel, Paranormal Activity 2 scored an astounding $41 million in its opening weekend.

Now, the franchise is back once again with Paranormal Activity 3 – a prequel that fleshes out the story of sisters, Katie and Kristi, who are tormented by an other-worldly presence. This time, however, the movie’s producers recruited a fresh filmmaking duo, Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, to handle directorial duties. The pair rocketed to fame after critics, moviegoers, and even network news outlets debated the validity of their 2009 documentary Catfish. Do the sophomore feature filmmakers continue Paranormal Activity‘s successful run or has the found footage series run out of scares?

Fortunately the directors have a batch of new tricks at their disposal (as a result of the 80s timeframe) – as wedding videographer and man of the house, Dennis (Christopher Nicholas Smith) comes up with inventive ways to capture the bizarre events occurring in the family’s house. A panning VHS camera (attached to the base of an oscillating fan) offers some of the film’s most tense moments – and definitely improves upon the often static images of the prior installments in the series. The retro backdrop also provides a number of cathartic, and unintentional, laughs – such as the appearance of a fancy “cordless phone.”

The filmmakers have, over the course of the prior movies, managed to deliver a relatively intriguing over-arching mythology – one that is further developed in the third installment. Obviously, as with all these movies, the story isn’t the central focus but it’s good to see the producers and writers at least attempting to weave a somewhat coherent through-line.

Chloe Csengery Jessica Tyler Brown Paranormal Activity 3 Paranormal Activity 3 Review

Chloe Csengery and Jessica Tyler Brown in ‘Paranormal Activity 3′

While the adult versions of Katie and Kristi (played by Katie Featherston and Sprague Grayden, respectively) are present in the film, the Paranormal Activity 3 story (as mentioned) is actually a prequel to both the 2009 and 2010 plot lines. Instead of forwarding the narrative beyond the events of the prior films, the third installment focuses on Katie and Kristi as children (played by Chloe Csengery and Jessica Tyler Brown, respectively) - when they first encounter the paranormal presence that later defines and terrorizes their adult lives. As with the last version, this film isn’t likely to address many of the questions left in the wake of Paranormal Activity but it still manages to deliver a compelling addition to the series mythology.

Anyone expecting a change to the franchise formula (such as the often maligned jump from The Blair Witch Project to Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2) or a significant up to the Paranormal Activity 2 ante, may find the storytelling, scares, and visuals of Paranormal Activity 3 to be mostly “more of the same.” The third film definitely features a few moments that could be considered “larger” in scale than prior films; however, the majority of the runtime is still a waiting game that could be underwhelming for certain filmgoers. In general, anyone who has tired of the series’ formula won’t find a fresh variety of scares in the third installment – but that doesn’t mean that the film isn’t a worthy follow-up for moviegoers who still crave the subtle and creepy anticipation that dominates this series format.

As mentioned, 1988 Dennis has far fewer resources than 2006 Daniel Rey (the father in the second installment) – as a result, instead of a high-tech multi-camera montage, the Paranormal Activity 3 set-up is limited to two static shots as well as the aforementioned panning camera. The limitation actually forces the filmmakers to be much more creative, and showcase a lot of variety in what is actually shown in each of the three rooms – instead of relying on a lot of different rooms. The result is a much more “in-your-face” experience – as the cameras are situated lower to the ground (not mounted high above the action) – and audiences will become intimately familiar with what should (and shouldn’t) be happening in each room.

Paranormal Activity 3 Found Footage Paranormal Activity 3 Review

The next generation of found footage hardware: VHS Tapes

Also, unlike the prior installments (which featured adequate but mostly stilted acting), Paranormal Activity 3 has a solid cast of performers that manage to make good on the scares – as well as inject believable humor into the mix. It’s only fair to point out that this round of actors, specifically the adults, already have significant filmographies behind them – as the producers are no longer concerned with casting unknowns to maintain the impression any of the footage might actually be real.

That said, obviously these aren’t Oscar-worthy performances, but all five of the “main” characters – Katie, Krysti, and Dennis as well as mother, Julie (Lauren Bittner), and family friend, Randy (Dustin Ingram) – deliver surprisingly likable performances in their respective roles. The adults inject plenty of humor and intriguing overarching exposition and the young girls successfully carry the creepier moments of the movie – since they’re often the ones being terrorized by the paranormal “activity.” As a result, compared to prior installments, the world created in these 80s VHS tapes is much more fleshed out and authentic – with real people, not just caricatures and demon fodder, reacting to the increasingly dangerous series of events playing out on screen.

Paranormal Activity 3 doesn’t reinvent the series’ wheel but it definitely refines an already effective format (and ups the ante by adding a few spikes to the rubber). While it’s still unclear where the franchise will go from this point forward, for the time being, the third film will no doubt deliver on (and possibly exceed) expectations. Non-fans of the series won’t find any marked changes to rekindle their interest but anyone who enjoyed either Paranormal Activity or Paranormal Activity 2 will probably consider this film to be scarier, funnier, and ultimately more entertaining than its predecessors.

If you’ve already seen the film and want to talk about various plot details without ruining them for others, head over to our Paranormal Activity 3 spoilers discussion.

If you’re still on the fence about Paranormal Activity 3, check out the trailer below:


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Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick - and let us know what you thought of the film below:

Paranormal Activity 3 is now in theaters.

Our Rating:

4 out of 5

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  1. 4 out of 5? That’s pretty encouraging. So would you say that the greater ‘creativity’ you talked about, plus what seems like a better-rounded cast this time around, make it a better film than the previous two? Or does it still rely a lot on the mythology from the first two films to be interesting?

    I’ve seen the past two, I’ve found them pretty okay but I wasn’t too sure if this third one would just be much more of the same.

    Other than that, nice review :)

    • It’s closer to “more of the same” than it is something dramatically different. It’s at least on par, if not a bit more interesting, than the prior ones (in my opinion) – largely because of the cast and a few cool uses of the camerawork. It doesn’t really beef-out the mythology too much, so if you’re looking for answers, the film is still pretty thin.

      If you thought the other two were “pretty okay,” you probably won’t be blown away by #3 – but you’re not likely to dislike it either.

      Does that help?

      • Thanks :) Well that makes it something nice to see, because I was pretty positive about the previous two. It not fleshing out the mythology too much is fine with me, if it means that it can work as a stand-alone (even though I’ve seen the last two).

        But well, since it appears to at least be just as good – may just give it a try if I’m free. Thanks!

  2. Movie was a wast. The preview was much better. Almost nothing in the preview happened in the movie. Save your money.

    • Terrible movie…nothing frm the previews was in the movie

  3. Nice review ben! Gonna check this one out on Saturday

  4. Question, I know that its a prequel, but is it a “parallel prequel” like the second one where even though it was a prequel it advanced the storylines like a sequel? (Like how PA2 showed what happened after the first one?)


    I saw the film last night and loved it. I disagree with Ben when he says that it doesn’t provide answers; I think it provides some deliciously vague answers and opens up huge possibilities. They could even leave this as a trilogy and let the viewer decide what happened to Katie and Hunter based on what the third film informs us.

    A great deal of what follows is my speculation so please take it or leave it. It also contains lots and lots of spoilers, so read at your own risk.

    Some critics have held up as a plot hole the fact that Katie and Kristy apparently don’t remember the events of 3 during the first two films. In my humble opinion the disappearance of the box of tapes answers that one. The ghost (or demon or whatever it is) takes action to stop them from watching the tapes and remembering.

    There’s even a possibility that the very act of videoing the activity was a bad move, as the reappearance of the box of tapes could be the catalyst for the events of Paranormal Activity 2. Nothing happens at grown-up Kristy’s house until Katie brings those tapes round. Does the ghost live in the video footage? Whooo, scary thought since a lot of us have some of the films on DVDs at home!

    The chilling ending where the girls are going upstairs, possibly to engage in some sort of sick ritual involving a “marriage” to the demon, and possibly even being deflowered by it, suggests all sorts of horrible things about the coven and their intentions.

    Maybe the girls have been possessed in some dormant way ever since the events of 3. They kind of remember that weird stuff happened when they were kids but clearly they don’t remember the details. Perhaps they were raised by the grandmother after their mother died and endured a whole childhood of being periodically possessed or in trances Perhaps they were systematically abused in the most dreadful way by this demon and its human accomplices every night but remembered nothing of it the next day.

    One has to join a few dots to come to an answer from all this and I’m interested to find out what other people have come up with. Here’s my theory:

    The coven exists to find a host for the demon to inhabit. It has to be a boy, because somewhere in the past a deal has been struck where the first born son of the family has been forfeit. For whatever reason no sons have been born into the family since, so the coven’s job is to try to provide one. There was mention in 3 of the coven waiting until the girls were old enough to conceive before doing whatever they do with them. It’s a sickening thought and I hesitate to put it into writing, but there’s a pretty strong suggestion that young girls are being raped here, possibly even by the demon itself. Ugh. That’s very dark stuff.

    So anyway, at some point it’s established that Kristy is going to carry the host baby. We don’t know whether Hunter is Daniel’s baby or if something akin to a demonic virgin birth took place and Daniel just thinks he has a son. But after reading some books, Daniel finds a way to pass the activity onto a family member, namely Katie. The demon isn’t happy about that and so it possesses Katie and uses her body to go and get Hunter anyway. I suppose Katie then raises Hunter and he grows up to become the demon in human form. Maybe he then takes over the universe or something, I don’t know.

    That’s what I’ve been doing with my brain since I saw the film. How about everyone else?

  6. Not what I expected. A big disappointment!

    Spoiler*** The scenes in this movie are totally different from the trailer, which makes it hard to watch, as you expect to see what the trailers shows.

    First off, the date and time stamp shown in the trailer is the first giveaway. In the theater version, it only shows the time stamp throughout the entire movie.

    Second, the MAIN scene of the two girls doing “Bloody Mary” is NOT portrayed as such. It is played by one of the girls and a guy.

    Third, no priest, no fire, no girl jumping off the ledge and no fire. The theater version ends at grandmama’s house. Ehich leads to alot of unexplained questions. In the first two PA’s, the adult Kristy and Katie talk about a fire, this is not answered in the actual movie. Also if the grandmother was in on it, she did ask the mother, Julie to have a son. Which also leads to the first born son in the family theory.

    I hope there is a PA 4, maybe all of our questions will be answered.

    Overall it was okay. Too many boo-scare-you scenes. Definately more frightening scenes in the first two. Oh, and too much dialogue.

    • I thought it was a stroke of genius to have hardly anything from the trailer show up in the film. Good point about the fire, though, that seems to be a plot point worth including.

      There was a bit fairly near the end where we kept cutting to the mother in bed and there was a sort of hissing or rushing sound which could have been running water but sounded more like rushing gas from a pipe. While I was watching it I was expecting there to be a gas explosion coming up.

      It seems like maybe the fire was the original reason why they went to stay at the grandma’s house but they later cut it differently and just made the incident with the contents of the kitchen enough for them to decide to leave.

      Perhaps we’re supposed to assume that the grandmother and her pals burned the house down afterwards? Why they would want to do that I don’t know, but I suppose getting rid of any evidence of their involvement might have been a motive.

      I think the “boo” moments were great; I loved the moments where there were gasps and even screams in the cinema followed by laughter from everyone in the audience.

      • Chris –

        I’m in the same boat as you. I understand why people might feel mislead but… with so many trailers just acting as a sizzle reel for all the “best” parts of their respective movies – it was nice to actually see a film where none of the scares were shown ahead of time.

        Especially since the end of the first film was ruined by the various TV trailers.

        • Heather –

          As I mentioned, “I understand why people might feel mislead” but obviously there’s a difference in the scenarios you’re setting up here (I wouldn’t have paid to see anyone’s wedding video). The movie they showed was still a Paranormal Activity film and delivered jump scares as well as tense moments – I would think the opposite would be true if each of the set-ups just resulted in things you’d seen in the preview.

          Paranormal Activity 3 delivers the exact same brand of horror film as the prior installments. In the end, I respect why you might feel misled. I guess we just disagree on the way the film was marketed.

          • No, when you advertise and show “previews” of something and then show something else it’s call false advertising. The last 2 movies were very successful and created quite a following of people who were curious to see the next chapter of the story-including myself. I really think they blew it with this third movie and just may have ruined their following for any further sequels. Just like if you went to a restraunt and ordered something from them menu, based on the description, and then they brought you something else. Not sure how they can get away with showing previews for a movie that clearly was not going to be on the screen. Creative marketing or not-it was just wrong.

            • Really?

              Pam and Heather…. What type of movie was advertised? Was it a comedy? Sci Fi Action?

              No the advertised movie was a scary movie……

              Now did you see a scary movie? Or were you shown a Western?

              I bet you two are a hoot at a restaurant. I only bring this up Heather/Pam as I’m sure when you order something off the menu it looks NOTHING like the picture in the menu when they bring it to you.

              You ordered steak you got steak. Was it a steak with onions that you ordered and got a steak with onions? Or did you order a steak with onions and got meatloaf?

              They advertised a SCARY movie. You got a SCARY movie.

              So no it is not called false advertising. There was nothing misleading about the trailers. You got sisters and their family dealing with some scary stuff happening in their house and to them.

              • Re: the menu-
                This is a dumb analogy because the whole point of a trailer is to assemble pieces of the movie into an appetite-whetting visual experience. No one expects their food to LOOK like what’s on the menu — we know that stuff isn’t even food!

                A better menu analogy would be ordering the steak & potatoes from the menu and getting a cheeseburger & fries. Hey, it’s still steak & potatoes, right?

      • The hissing noise that you mention to be a gas leak was actually the TV. In the mirror you can actually see the TV turn on to the black-white scratchy like in the Ring. I didn’t notice it initially but after a few cutbacks to the mom sleeping you can see it in the corner. I think the demon used it to keep the mom from waking up and hearing the screams.

      • ZWell if the grandmother and cover burned down the house to hide the murder of their parents. They also stated earlier in the film (by the research assistant character) that this coven would brain wash the victims into not remembering the events that happened. Also the scene in the trailer in which the little girl would knock on the closet and it would knock back wasn’t in the actual film as well as the little girl throwing water on the demon as the mother sits with her at her easel.

    • Off topic:

      The biggest trailer to movie let down I think was “Predators”, where Brody has like 10 tri-laser sights on him and the movie had only one.

    • Actually there was alot of point about the difference, the trailer was what we expected to happen, the film was what ACTUALLY happened. The girls get brainwashed etc at the end which was stated about halfway through so they don’t remember it, the parents will have been put back into house and house will have been set on fire by Gran because she needed to explain how the parents were dead and tht explains why Katie and Kristi were brought up by her. So in actuality the film was a stroke of genius cause it answered alot more questions than anyone seemed to notice.

    • Ok, I agree about the scenes from the previews missing. I was not happy. But as for the fire, I believe that may have happened while living with their father. They were living with their mother and mom’s boyfriend. Since mom is now gone I am sure grandma sends them to live with their dad. Just my thoughts

    • Ok, I agree about the parts missing from the movie. I was not happy. But as for the fire, I believe that may have happened while living with their dad. They were living with mom and mom’s boyfriend in this one. I will bet now that mom is gone they will be went to live with dad and paranormal activity 4 will be born. Just my thoughts

    • Totally agree with all that! Thought movie started off well then finale scene was far too short and left too many unanswered questions. Hopefully 4th movie will act as a part 2 of the 3rd movie and show the fire etc.

  7. The trailer said the last fifteen minutes would mess up your life. No, it messed up the movie. I thought there was some great scares, and creepy moments until the end of the movie. In my opinion, what makes something or someone scary is the mystery. You reveal the face it stops being scary. The first two paranormal activity movies left the mystery, which made the ideas more believable. You went home scared of the dark. How are you supposed to be frightened of a bunch of old ladies? The idea for paranormal activity started with trying to make it feel as if these were found videos at a murder scene. The idea to make the events seem as if they really occurred. This was a great formula. It was working. The ending deviated from this course. The old saying is true, “less is more.” There was no reason to over explain the reasons for the haunting. We got the idea in the first two movies. The imagination creates most of the fear. Nothing was left to the imagination by the end of this one.

  8. Paranormal activity 3 was the BIGGEST LET DOWN EVER! Am I the only one who noticed ALL the parts taken out?!! The trailer that I saw on t.v. showed a ton of stuff that failed to appear in the movie…….1st thing is the scene where the two little girls were playing bloody marry in the mirror, then when they leave a ghost figure is in the bathroom. NOT IN THE FILM. 2nd thing is the part when the mother is talking to the little girl in the girl’s bedroom while she’s painting. The little girl throws a cup of water on the ghost to show it’s real and it starts to wreck the room. NOT IN THE FILM. 3rd scene is when the little girl seems to be possessed as she jumps off the ledge of the staircase. NOT IN THE FILM. 4th scene is when the mom is pleading to leave the house then she gets picked up and thrown by the ghost. NOT IN THE FILM!!! I honestly feel I should get my money back because it was FALSE ADVERTISEMENT! Not one scene from the trailers appeared in the film.

    • some of these parts wont be shown on the movie,thats the way how paranarmal always do,and it chouldnt be a mistakes,do you think they staffs all missed it out,its impossible
      if you saw the trailers of Paranormal activity1/2,they were all like that,i think its just a new idea to make the movie more interesting.

    • Well since thats what they did with parts one and two i figured that they were going to do the same with this movie. Once it comes out on DVD I’m pretty sure all the parts that were left out will be on the alternate ending. If they played everything on the trailers it would give everything away. Now with this ending and plot it keeps you thinking and wonderinng. So now when the dvd comes out everyone will go out and buy that so one they make double for their film and so they find out.

  9. If you all want to see the stuff in the trailers that weren’t in the movie, stay home and watch TV. If you want to see a new Paranormal Acrivity movie without having moments ruined for you by the previews, go to the movies. There’s plenty of different things in that version to satisfy.

    • I agree with you. Nicely put. :) Now everyone stop complaining about the lack of trailer scenes.

    • This is bull…trailers sell the movie. If you saw something like Harry Potter and completely different from trailers, you’d be pissed. They deviated so much in the movie from the trailers. Should be ashamed. The movie was lame. It was so NOT scarey. Non-climatic ending.

  10. This movie so scary for me but I want to watch this movies. ^.^

  11. If you liked the first two you’ll definitely like Paranormal 3. What was up with grandma at the end?

    • @ Ryan

      SPOILER **
      The Grandma is part of the coven. Thats why there were a bunch of old ladies inside that shed. They were going to follow Dennis to kill him. But somehow Katie turned into a monster and wounds him. Later on Dennis crawls up and the Grandma stares at him. His back is completely broken afterwards and dies. She then takes the girls upstairs to get “ready” for the marriage ritual for Kristi and Toby.

  12. That movie was a huge dissapointment..
    the only scary part is when the ghost go over katie.. Rest was crap.
    Nothing in the trailer happend in the movie. Nothing scary happend. the mom wasn’t concerned at all.

    If you go to the movies to see something a trailer have advertised with then you should be garantiet that the movie would live up to your demands. This movie was even more boring than anything i have ever experiented. I am chokket that it could be so bad.

    Loved nr 1 and 2. They got some scary stuff.. but rlly? Her duvet moves a bit and thats it? Uhhh!. .. Rlly? Not worth 1 euro to go see.

    • ok, let me get this straight.. you seen a trailer at home from your tv that was clearly titled “Paranormal Activity 3″….. “3″! meaning its the 3rd installment to the franchise.. it doesn’t take a damn rocket scientist to piece together “ok so 2 followed the same formula as 1 did, so im sure 3 is doing the same” if you were that clueless to not use logical thinking, then i hope you feel like you wasted every single penny you spent that night. I hope that if and when they make Paranormal Activity 4 they do the same exact thing to you again.. and again, and again. Even a monkey can figure out, fool me once shame on you, fool me 3 times shame on me. Now for people who like going in not knowing whats going to happen, and have been following the series since the original Paranormal Activity, we sure as hell got our moneys worth.

      • By that rationale, there’s no point in even HAVING a trailer, because we already know what to expect — more of the same.

        Also, as a fan of the first 2 movies, this one sucked. Not scary. Not rational. Trying too hard to stick with the “found footage” thing, and it didn’t work. At all. Especially not the end.

  13. The reactions in here are pretty interesting. I hate movie previews and think that the way they have developed over time into complete plot outlines of the movie advertised is a horrible marketing blunder, but some of what people have said about wanting to see exactly what they have basically seen already in these previews (which I read as, “have had ruined in advance”) makes the actions of most marketing companies understandable.

    The greater mass of people will watch the preview for “Independence Day” over and over again before release date and laugh at Will Smith saying, “now that’s what I call a close encounter!” yet still laugh in the theater when they hear him say it again in long form. It is no wonder that most production companies use these poor preview forms — they have had to diminish their standards to appease the lowest common denominator of viewer, because such people want their McDonald’s fries to be of a homogeneous taste the world ’round. If you alter that taste at all — if a real chef infiltrated the restaurant and added flavor — legions of consumers would complain. What is sad is that the mediocre outnumbering in the market force a lack of variation. The ‘Paranormal Activity 3′ marketing people can’t even get away with a little trick without people preaching “false advertising” and asking for their money back in a distorted tense of consumer rights. It’s a good thing that not everyone listens to the fans.

  14. I am a HUGE creepy/scary movie fan. I’ve watched about every movie that’s out there. I also don’t tend to get scared in most of them UNLESS they are based on a true story such as The Rite. However, this third installment literally gave me a panic attack in the movie theater. I have to say that it is the best out of the three and the scariest GOOD moie that I have seen in a while. It still has the whole waiting game tactic but it is defiantly worth the wait!

  15. Well, I saw Paranormal Activity 3 today… I can understand that the trailer might be different to the version actually shown in cinemas however; couldn’t they have shown parts of what I saw today for the trailer and actually shown the action packed movie dipicted in the trailer for the film they charged me for ????
    I’m hoping the fire will be explained in a forth Paranormal Activity (only because it was mentioned in 2 and shown in the trailer for 3) and that is the reason they decided to leave it out of 3. After watching the trailer I was hoping that 1. Going to watch it on the big screen would have me wetting my pants with fear by the end and 2. After paying over $50.00 for tickets, drinks and popcorn for two it would be totally worth it by the end.
    Great movies but I have to admit I was hoping for a lot more to happen in PA3.
    Oh, would also love for them to explain how the tapes survived at all; did the mother actually die ? It also mentions that the grown woman got the tapes from their grandmother, WHY did the grandmother keep the evidence for them to see and remember ?? And as for the fire, if it was at the grandmother’s the very last tape surely would have been in that fire. If the fire was at the girl’s house all bar the last tape would have been distroyed.
    Still a lot of questions for me so BRING ON PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 !!!

  16. I went to see Paranormal Activity 3 yesterday.
    The movie wasn’t bad. Overall I liked it. …
    BUT it was a LIE. And I do understand the benefit of NOT-KNOWING what’s going to happen, which many previews fail in, but false advertisement is WRONG anyway u look at it. Many of you people are horror fans and would have probably gone to go see it anyway, just like me. But admit it…how many of you couldn’t wait to see some of the things that were previewed?

    False advertisement is very unprofessional and I HOPE it’s not going to be a trend for future movie trailers.

    There are a least 17 scenes/events that appeared in the Previews that DIDN’T HAPPEN in the movie.

    This list isn’t really spoilers because they are from the movie trailers.

    (Let’s just keep are fingers crossed that another version is going to appear on DVD, which contains the lost previews). However, $1.06 is the only money PA-3 is getting from me ever again, from a Redbox Kiosk. I own the first 2 Paranormal Activities, but because of false advisement I will NOT buy the 3rd.

    Things that DIDN’T HAPPEN in the movie:

    1. The Knocking Game, when Kirsty knocked on the Mirror Door and something knocked back – DIDN’T HAPPEN
    2. The part where they compared Kirsty to Caroline on Poltergist – DIDN’T HAPPEN
    3. The part where Kirsty Jumps from the stairwell in her room – DIDN’T HAPPEN
    4. The part where Katie and Kirsty’s mom watching the videos of paranormal activities – DIDN’T HAPPEN
    5. The part where Kirsty throws water to prove that the demon is standing next to her mom – DIDN’T HAPPEN
    6. The temper tantrum the demon throws for getting water thrown on him -DIDN’T HAPPEN
    7. The Demonlogist who visted the house – DIDN’T EXIST They cut him completely out of the movie. >:-(
    8. The name Hunter written on the closet wall backwards – DIDN’T HAPPEN. Instead there was some symbol that pointed to witchcraft.
    9. Multiple dinning room camera’s to show the “no-show” demonlogist. – DIDN’T HAPPEN. There was only 3 cameras in the movie around the house and the 3rd was made halfway thru the movie.
    10. Of course the COOLEST PART when the demonlogist gets bashed up on the table -DIDN’T HAPPEN
    11. The part where Kirsty disappears and is later found hiding in the car – DIDN’T HAPPEN
    12. The part where Katie and her Stepdad were in the bathroom and they heard an explosion – DIDN’T HAPPEN There was a scene in the bathroom but it was with her stepdad’s friend.
    13. Wall lights smashing in order of elevation – DIDN’T HAPPEN
    14. HOUSE FIRE – DIDN’T HAPPEN (hello plot-hole)
    15. The Sensible mother trying to convince her boyfriend to use get out the house and drive – DIDN’T HAPPEN
    16. Mother gets dragged in the bedroom after suggesting to get out the house – DIDN’T HAPPEN
    17. The part where the girls said Bloody Mary in the Bathroom Mirror- DIDN’T HAPPEN

    • False Advertisement? Really?

      Was there an advertisement for a scary movie?

      You got what was advertised.

      Did you pay money and have an enjoyable movie experience?

      Did you get ‘worth’ out of what you paid and what you saw?

      I cant really comprehend this mind set. While I understand your desire to see some of (or all) the stuff in the trailer, if it was a scary movie that was advertised and a scary movie you paid for and it was a scary movie you saw how is it false advertisement?

      Now if it ended up being a brightly lit comedy film with some slapstick thrown in I could see the…. rant.

      As not to single you out this goes for all the others in this thread also…

      King, Bootz, Eddie etc…

      It was advertised as a scary movie. You got a scary movie. You people are laughable.

      • I could understand the value of making a scary movie that is different from the scary trailer. It adds to the general moviegoing experience, audiences have no idea what they’re in for, etc. But the bad idea, was to make the trailer so much better than the movie.

        The trailer had things happening…a figure appearing in the mirror when the girls played Bloody Mary (creepy stuff!), the fire (excitement, and clear tie-in to the first two films), the mother seeing the water thrown on Toby and thus believing in him (validation of audience’s fears, slight climb in exposition), and so on.

        I like the PA movies for their subtlety. I enjoyed 3, but to be honest, I enjoyed the trailers much more.

    • Agree…I was wondering what happened to all that stuff as well. I didn’t really like the movie. Whoever reviews it to 4 stars is getting paid to say that. Rather boring.

      • Why didnt you like the movie? Just because what you saw was not in the movie?

        How did that take away from what you saw?

  17. This movie was nothing like the preview/trailer almost all of the parts in the trailer were not even in the movie.

  18. Although nothing from the trailer is in the movie, i think its the best one out of the 3!! Totally awesome!!

  19. I have to rate this movie a 4 because it was good BUT not nearly what I expected. This movie actually leaves viewers MORE clueless than what we were before. What made me so pressed about seeing this movie in theaters was the previews. I saw the movie at midnight and was pissed that NONE OF THE SCENES FROM THE PREVIEWS WAS IN THE MOVIE! It may have been 2 minor scenes from the previews in the movie but where was the scene of Katie and Kristi doing Bloody Mary in the mirror? Or Kristi jumping off the ledge then running back up the stairs laughing? Or the Priest being attacked? How about Kristi throwing the water on “Toby” revealing he’s standing there to her mother? or How about the House fire that has been talked about through out the series? This movie had more and better unexpected and funny moments but it still failed to deliver any type of concrete explanation to WTF is going on within that family especially the end, it was just creepy and weird! All in all it was a good movie but honestly like the other two I could have just waited for Red Box!

  20. This movie is so freaking stupid. I laughed the whole movie. XD don’t see it (:

  21. I was thinking that maybe these scenes in the trailer that never happened in the movie would end up being in the dvd, if they work it out the way i think they might it would be a great idea, the paranormal activity movies are kinda a one time watch thing, because after that first watch they just dont have the same effect anymore (to me at least) but if they add in all this stuff in the dvd it would be almost a new movie, giving a whole new reason to buy the dvd including all new scares. Either that or it will have a “found footage” option showing all those scenes in shorts which you can choose to watch

  22. Wow, some people are really angry about the stuff in the trailer not being in the film. I’m finding it hard to understand why. Certainly the tone of the film and the basics of what the film was about were there in the trailer. Even if they hadn’t been, though, claims of “false advertising” aren’t really very credible.

    This was a pretty clear example of trailer footage not making it to the cinema, but if you watch trailers for a lot of films (and TV shows too) you’ll see the same thing happen. Sometimes it’s more subtle, but you’ll see it now that you’re looking.

    I love that people have theories and ideas about the ending and other plot points. They’ve left enough loose ends untied to fuel a sequel, but also left it so that it’s possible for us to work out possible endings in the unlikely event that there’s no “4″.

    Also, the bit with the sheet has been haunting me ever since I saw the film. Such a simple idea so brilliantly executed.

  23. This movie was a hit due to FALSE ADVERTISEMENT, and trusting fans. I consider this to be the most disappointing prequel I have ever seen. The trailer showed the 2 little girls summoning Bloody Mary, and made it seem as though SHE were the original source of the terror. This was BLATANTLY misleading. I am angry and offended. The Paranormal Activity series has lost my respect completely. I don’t know a person alive who hasn’t chickened out during a game of Bloody Mary, and that was an AWESOME premise for the movie that was brazenly NOT THERE AT ALL.


    • If you like the “Bloody Mary” thing as a central premise for a film, you could do a lot worse than seeking out a copy of “Candy Man”, which is basically that idea but with the words “Candy Man” replacing “Bloody Mary”.

      The “false advertisement” thing regarding the trailer for “Paranormal Activity 3″ has run its course without picking up any credibility or traction along the way, so there seems little point in repeating it unless you paid for a ticket and the cinema showed you “Bambi” or something instead.

  24. Reading the notes here, it’s clear that “most” people didn’t like the movie especially due to every trailer items was ommitted. I agree. I saw the movie and was so disappointed. Wasn’t scarey at all. There were kids at the theater and they were sooooo non-scared. It did have a few jump factor moments but they were few. There was alot of wasted camera time watching the living room do nothing…bedroom do nothing…the occassional “oh…that’s missing now”. Big wow…whoever reviewed this past 2 stars are getting paid to say so. First two movies were SO much better.

  25. Okay, I found THAT trailer on line, I never saw that one on TV. Wow, why wouldn’t they have kept those parts in, they would have helped the movie for sure. I think it is a mistake they cut them, esp. the part where Hunters name is in that little closet, tying in PA2. Oh well, I’ll still go to PA4, if they write one but less IS more and they better not cheap it out with an exorcism or show us a demon. That would ruin it all for me.

    • But Hunter was already connected by ‘blood’. Why would you need more? To me that would suggest the demon knew Hunter was coming so why terrorize them now taking away from the movie.

      Or you would have to explain why Hunters name was in the closet/cubby hole written by his future mother?

  26. I guess what I am saying is I was looking for more connections and answers from the first and second movies, that symbol thing I got right away and thought “oh no, we’re gonna go to devil worship.” Then the ending…when he opened that door, when it showed what was inside (I’m trying not to give anything away here) it almost made me laugh. It’s just too bad, it went so formulaic.

    • I will be honest with you… I have not even seen 3 yet however knowing what I know from 1 and 2 and from reading here the connection was done quite well.

      Not of course in addressing what happened to Hunter (another movie?) but as to why what happened to the sisters happened.

      The only (IMO) unanswered questions regarding the first two would be (again IMO) is where is Hunter and who or what has him.

      I consider that a moot point as a deal was made and collected on. Sad for the little boy etc but hey they got what they wanted.

      As for being formulaic, there only appears to be so many ways it could have gone? What other way (just asking for opinion) do you think it could/should of gone?

      • Number one Aknot you need to actually SEE the movie, then you will understand what most people are saying here. By the “feel” of the comments I am guessing that most of us really liked PA1&2 and really wanted this one to be better than it was. As far as where it could have/should have gone…ah my friend that is what the writers are paid for. I would have much preferred them to hold off and come up with a better script and ending, come on it looked like a bunch of seniors broke out of the home. Is your Gramma REALLY scary? Is she?

  27. I have to disagree with this review. I loved 1 & 2 and really disliked this one. It became more Hollywood and less believable in any sense. The ending was just cliche and straight from about 50 other old horror movies. I was so disappointed because 1 & 2 were amazing IMO.