In 1988 sisters Katie (Chloe Csengery) and Kristi (Jessica Tyler Brown) seem to be enjoying a normal, happy childhood at home. But when strange things start going bump in the night, their father, a wedding videographer, decides to use his cameras to discover the source, especially since Kristi appears to having conversations with an imaginary friend. While the cameras do indeed reveal a flurry of supernatural occurrences, the family is unprepared for the terror that awaits.
Paranormal Activity 3 is a 2011 American supernatural horror film, directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman. It is the third installment of the Paranormal Activity series and serves as a prequel, mostly set 18 years prior to the events of the first two films. It was released in theaters on October 21, 2011. Paranormal Activity 3 was also Joost and Schulmans first horror film.
The film broke financial records upon release, setting a new record for a midnight opening for a horror film ($8 million) and the best opening day for a horror film in the United States ($26.2 million).
In 1988, evil begins to terrorize young sisters Katie and Kristi for the first time when an invisible entity resides in their home.
In 2005, Katie delivers a box of old videotapes to her pregnant sister Kristi, and her husband Daniel, which holds footage of young Katie and Kristi with their mother, Julie, and her boyfriend Dennis. A year later, Kristi and Daniels house is ransacked and the tapes are missing.
In 1988, in their house in Santa Rosa, California, Kristi begins interacting with an imaginary friend named Toby. Dennis notices that since Kristis friend appeared, strange things have been happening around the house. Dennis and Julie try to make a sex tape, but are interrupted by an earthquake. The camera shows dust fall from the ceiling and land onto an invisible figure in the room. While reviewing the footage, Dennis notices the strange incident. His friend Randy suggests that Dennis place cameras throughout the house to capture any other incidents. That night in the girls bedroom, Kristi wakes up and talks to someone off-camera. When Dennis questions her the following day, Kristi tells him it was Toby. After more strange occurrences, Dennis discovers a strange symbol in the girls closet, and later finds the same symbol in a book about demonology.
Dennis and Julie later hire a babysitter named Lisa to watch the kids, but she abruptly leaves after experiencing paranormal occurrences herself. When Kristi becomes ill, Julie and Dennis take her to the hospital. Katie is left home with Randy, and they play Bloody Mary in the girls bathroom. When nothing happens, Katie insists they try again. Randy is then attacked and discovers a large scratch on his torso. They try to leave the bathroom but a black figure moves past the door. The second time they try to leave, furniture is violently flung across the room. After Julie and Dennis return, Randy hurriedly leaves, stating that whatever theyre dealing with is dangerous. Dennis tells Julie that the symbol belonged to a witches coven that brainwashed girls of child-bearing age into having sons, and then force them to give up their sons; they would not remember anything afterward. Julie dismisses his claim, instead arguing with Dennis.
The invisible demon terrorizes Katie and Kristi, harming Katie until Kristi agrees to do what it asks. The next day, Kristi asks her mother to take them to her grandmother Loiss house in Moorpark, California, but she refuses. After Julie encounters frightening activity herself, she agrees to go to Loiss home. Dennis sets up another camera in their new bedroom. At 1am, they are awoken and hear disturbances. Julie goes to investigate; when she fails to return, Dennis goes to look for her. He calls for Julie and the girls but there is apparently no one there. Downstairs, Dennis notices a human silhouette behind a curtain, but when he looks there is no one present. He finds Satanic imagery on the walls, including the symbol from the girls room, which had been concealed behind paintings. Dennis enters the garage and discovers several women, including Lois, dressed in all black. He flees back to the house, with the women in slow pursuit. In the house, he finds Julie at the top of the stairs. As he approaches her, he sees that her limp body is levitating above the floor. Her body is thrown at Dennis, knocking him down the stairs. He gets up and sees Kristi, then hides with her in a closet. Something growls and bangs on the door, but eventually leaves.
Dennis and Kristi leave the closet and walk into the kitchen. In the window, Dennis sees the women outside in the garden, circling around a bonfire. They find Katie crying by the stairs near Julies body. Dennis approaches Katie from behind, but when he places his hand on her shoulder, Katie turns around and unleashes a demonic scream that throws him to the other side of the room, injuring his leg. Katie flees and Dennis tries to crawl toward Julies body. Lois stands in his way, and Denniss body is violently contorted, killing him. Lois then beckons to Kristi and Katie and says "Lets get ready". As they head upstairs together, Kristi calls for Toby. The camera goes static after low growling sounds and then cuts to black.Lauren Bittner as Julie
Chris Smith as Dennis
Chloe Csengery as young Katie
Katie Featherston as adult Katie
Jessica Tyler Brown as young Kristi
Sprague Grayden as adult Kristi
Hallie Foote as Grandma Lois
Dustin Ingram as Randy Rosen
Johanna Braddy as Lisa
Brian Boland as Daniel
Bailey Brown as Bailey
Principal photography began in June 2011 and ended in August. At the time during production, the film was under the name "Sports Camp". The film was directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (who both directed the documentary Catfish). Jason Blum, Oren Peli and Steven Schneider produced, along with Akiva Goldsman serving as executive producer. With a script written by Christopher B. Landon, the prequel was released on October 21, 2011. In some of the trailers, many of the scenes werent shown in the final cut, which angered many of the fans.
Once again using unique social media strategy after the success of the first two films, Paranormal Activity 3 created the "Tweet Your Scream" campaign on Twitter in preparation for the release.
The film has received generally positive reviews from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 68% of 117 critics have given the film a positive review, with a rating average of 6 out of 10. The websites consensus is, "While the jolts and thrills are undeniably subject to the diminishing returns that plague most horror sequels, Paranormal Activity 3 is a surprisingly spine-tingling treat." Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, gives the film a score of 59 based on 25 reviews. CinemaScore polls reported that the average grade moviegoers gave the film was a "C+" on an A+ to F scale. Conversely, Roger Ebert gave the film a single star out of four, stating that "the appeal has worn threadbare", but predicting that the film will fare well in the box office nevertheless.
The film performed even better than its predecessors, grossing $8 million from midnight showings, setting yet another record for a horror film. Its total Friday gross was an estimated $26.2 million, which was the best opening day gross for a 2011 film since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 in July. Bringing its total to $52.6 million, it set a new record for the franchise, a horror film (Paranormal Activity 2, $40.6 million). At the time of its release, it set a new opening weekend record for a film released in the month of October as well as the fall season (later surpassed by Gravity in 2013 with a weekend gross of $55.8 million).
Paranormal Activity 3 grossed $104,028,807 in the United States and Canada, along with $101,675,011 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $205,703,818, making it the highest grossing film in the Paranormal Activity series.
Paranormal Activity 3 was released on DVD/Blu-ray and video on demand/pay-per-view on January 24, 2012, and includes an unrated directors cut, "lost tapes" (deleted scenes), theatrical version, and digital copy. A one-disc theatrical version of the movie was released on DVD on February 14, 2012.
In January 2012, Paramount announced there would be a fourth film in the franchise. It was to be directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, the directors of the third film. Filming started in late June. The film was released on October 19, 2012. On August 1, 2012, the first trailer was released, teasing this film with the tagline, "all the activity has led to this".