x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Paranormal Activity 3

The third in the series, this better than most third instalments, but is still 'just a sequel'.

Paranormal Activity 3
Directors: Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost
Starring: Katie Featherston, Sprague Grayden and Lauren Bittner

The "found footage" franchise Paranormal Activity gets a third film, with the original director Oren Peli taking on a producer role and bringing in the directors Schulman and Henry, who caused a big stir last year with their documentary Catfish. Set 18 years before the events of the first film and told through recorded footage, the story follows a pair of sisters who are visited by an entity which begins tormenting them. The girls and their family must survive the events despite facing an invisible tormentor. As the formula has worked three times now (there was a Japanese spin-off in 2010 that was released in the UAE last Thursday), it is not unimaginable -especially in today's film industry – that a third film would be attempted. Despite being better than most third instalments, which is historically the point where a franchise derails entirely, Paranormal Activity 3 rarely feels like a "new" film, opting instead to frame old tricks in a new setting. In its defence, the ability to keep you on the edge of your seat is still there, with the tension derived from the low-tech aesthetic providing genuine chills. However, despite these strengths, you leave with the cold realisation that this is indeed "just another sequel" that should have been better from the new directors.