I started this review off by listing the things about this movie that don’t make sense and then I realized that there are far too many of them to list individually. Suffice it to say that as a purported prequel to the other two it doesn’t make any sense. The only similarities is that there are two girls who bear the same names as the women from the other movies and they, also, are being terrorized by some invisible thing. Any other events referenced in the earlier movies that you might expect to see don’t happen and the events that do don’t really fit into overall story arc. In other words: this movie makes it very clear that when they made the first movie they did not plan for there to be a Paranormal Activity 3 many years later so there are no cookie crumbs for you to follow back to tie this in.
More significantly- the areas in which the first movie succeeded are the same areas in which this latest one fails. For example- in the first movie they didn’t really try to explain what the demon was, why it was tormenting these people or answer any other questions you had about it. It was just there. No explanation, no deep back story- just this thing, scarring these people. That’s it. I think the biggest mistake that they made with this one was trying to explain the phenomenon we’ve seen in all these movies. Without going into detail let me just say that they fail rather spectacularly (see pevious “things that don’t make any sense”.)
On a final note what upset me probably the most about this latest (and I can only pray the last) installment of the franchise is that because it has nothing else going for it other then the same types of scares that we saw in the earlier movie it makes that movie (which was great) seem somehow less. It’s like Terminator 2. Remeber after that came out and you saw that melting effect everywhere so quickly that the novelty of the original movie wore off and it became a cheap ploy for movie makers looking for cool effects? Well this is the same kind-of thing. The first one, as scary as it was, seems to have lost it luster now that they’ve used the scare tactics to death. And instead of seeing a genuinely creepy movie you see just another sad installment in a franchise that should have been put out of its misery after the second one crashed and burned.
My advice? Don’t waist any money on this, don’t even watch it. And if by some miracle you haven’t seen the second one yet, don’t see that either. This franchise got as good as it was going to get in the very first movie and all future installments only serve to milk the cash cow, not to provide any worthwhile scares to the audience.