Does Julie (the mom) die at the end of Paranormal Activity 3?

By all accounts yes, Julie is dead. So how do we reconcile that fact with seemingly contradictory moments from PA 1&2?

Katie says the following to Kristi in Paranormal Activity 2, as she and Kristi are discussing the past:

“Wanna know what I remember? I remember you crying… all the time. I remember you couldn’t sleep and had anxiety attacks. I remember you stopped talking for months. I remember weird people coming to our house and our mom was upset all the time. That’s what I remember. Whatever it was, it thrived on fear. The more we paid attention to it the worse it got. You need to leave this alone. You need to ignore it or you’re going to end up just like mom. Do you understand me?”

In the first Paranormal Activity, Micah at one point jokes to Katie that to keep the negative energy in the house down, they need to stop inviting over her mother. But if Julie is dead, who would he be talking about?

Are these plotholes, or are they hints that there is more to see?

More likely than not, these are bits of the story that have yet to be filled in.

As Rope of Silicon points out, we never saw the girls’ house burn down in the theatrical cut of PA3 – though that scene was in the trailer.  Speculation right now is that the house burning was part of a different cut of the film, as the date stamps indicate that it should’ve been in the movie. Perhaps we’ll see more about it later on in the series.

Reading between the lines of the first two films, it’s easy to assume that Lois and her coven would want to cover their tracks and dispose of the evidence – meaning burning down the house and hiding the video tapes of the demon’s presence (but not burning them, for whatever reason). As for the mother issue – speculation right now is that Kristi and Katie likely got memory-wiped and passed off to another caretaker. The “mother” referred to in the first two films could be someone working for/with Lois, an unsuspecting adoptive mother, or even Lois herself, posing as the girl’s mother. The girls may not even remember that Julie and Dennis existed (they never mention Dennis, for one thing). Hopefully the next installment will fill in that blank.

Were the Witches at the end of the film the same coven from the 1930s Dennis saw in the book? Did Lois make a deal with the demon?

The implication is that YES, the witches Dennis saw in the book were either younger versions of the women who appeared at the end of the film (or less likely: the next generation of females of the coven). At one point, when Dennis is quizzing Kristi about her imaginary friend, Toby, he asks her if the demon is “old – like grandma?” Kristi replies that it is indeed ‘old like grandma.’ At first this line seems trivial – something one would say to a five-year-old kid – but maybe not. There is clear indication that the coven Lois belongs to made a deal with the demon (back when she was young) and that the events we’re witnessing in these films have to do with the fulfillment of that deal – namely, providing the demon with a male heir from Lois’ bloodline. (Are the other women in the coven giving babies to the demon? We don’t know yet.) In PA2 Kristi’s stepdaughter Ali traces the assumed demon-dealings back to Kristi’s great-grandmother – Lois’ mother. This also opens up the possibility that Lois’ mom inducted her into the coven’s dark dealings the same way Lois has inducted her granddaughters.

During the final moments of the film, Dennis sees a shadowy figure in the windows of Lois’ house. The figure is distinctly female, and everytime Dennis goes to talk to it, he finds nothing is there. This same shadowy female figure is also seen in the Paranormal Activity 3 teaser trailer. So, is it the demon, a different spirit (perhaps Lois’ mother?), or does Lois herself have supernatural powers?

My guess is that Lois and her coven are something else besides human after their supernatural dealings. I mean, they are witches after all. There is also the fact that the deals with demons were made for wealth and/or power. Lois seems to be doing alright for herself on the wealth side (and even lectures Julie at one point about the need for financial security), so the assumption is that power was also part of the bargain. As for what powers these witches have (besides mind-wiping and conjuring demons) is again something that other installments of the franchise will need to explain.

What “ceremony” were the girls going to be a part of at the end of the film?

When Dennis, Julie and the girls first arrive at Lois’s house, the girls are playing dress up with grandma. Kristi in particular is wearing a wedding veil, and claimed that “Toby” was the husband to be. The wedding clothes upset Julie and she snatched the veil off Kristi’s head.

Now, depending on how you interpret the scene in PA2 when adult Kristi is dragged into the basement, and the word “Meus” (Latin for “Mine”) is scratched into the door, Kristi could’ve very well been married off to the demon that night – or the girls could’ve been “prepared” for the eventual time when they would come of birthing age (Katie referenced that she was haunted all throughout her teenage years during PA1, remember). Another possibility is that the girls were led upstairs to be mind-wiped of all the events they experienced through some spell. To be honest, with part of the story still unexplained (the teenage years of the girls), we can only speculate – though some kind of unholy bonding and mind-wipe ceremony is the most likely answer.

Why does the demon want a boy?

This is the big question hanging over this franchise: Why the demon want only a male heir (or more specifically his soul). Is it to possess him or sacrifice him?

Well, demon mythology is a long and convoluted thing, but the bottom line in terms of these Paranormal Activity films is: We don’t know yet. What we DO know is that there was a contract struck between some witches and a demon, and that demon has been waiting a long time to collect on the deal. Now that it has Hunter, we’re not sure what it plans to do with him – but we know that it can’t be good. If it sacrifices a baby for the sake of returning to Earth, that’s bad. If it possesses Hunter and tries to spread its demon seed using his body, also pretty bad.  Either way, the next films in the series will surely reveal the answer.

About those trailer scenes missing from the movie…

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