Tuesday, October 4, 2022


October 21, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

The producers of Paranormal Activity III might just as well have knocked on the doors of movie critics and yelled, “Trick or treat!” As it turned out, they have got both. A week before the Halloween weekend, they are being treated to some quite favorable reviews by several top-drawer critics. Mark Olsen in the Los Angeles Times remarks that directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman have brought “a newfound wit and invention” to the franchise” and have proved that they are “real filmmakers and not just stunt artists, more convincing at making a plainly fictional film that purports to be reality than a documentary of shaky authenticity.” Claudia Puig in USA Today suggests, however, that the filmmakers really haven’t strayed far from the original formula. “The genius of these films is how they inspire viewers to sit warily, their fear factor turned up to 11, when nothing much is happening. Yet.” And Ty Burr in the Boston Globe remarks that the movie “has no interest in art. It just wants to give you the willies with a minimum of gore and a maximum of camcorder dread, and it succeeds.” Nevertheless, the filmmakers will find themselves with quite a few rocks in their trick-or-treat bag. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times has left one of them. “The first [Paranormal film] was a nifty novelty. Now the appeal has worn threadbare,” he writes. “Let’s say you like popcorn during a movie. Paranormal Activity 3 is like eating the cardboard box.” Andy Webster in the New York Times merely describes the plot of the movie and leaves it to his readers to decide whether it’s their cup of tea. It’s certainly not the New York Post‘s Kyle Smith, who writes that the movie offers a formula that is “the horror equivalent of vaudeville comedy: a little patter, a little pie in the face, repeat.” Or in this case, “70 minutes of aggressive banality followed by 10 minutes of banal aggression.”