Jump Cuts: “Paranormal Activity 3”

“Jump Cuts” reveals the thoughts that swirl through my head as I watch famous (or infamous) movies. This time it’s Paranormal Activity 3, the 2011 prequel that continues the story of Katie’s eternally tormented family, this time taking us back to 1988 and the weird events that first befell her and sister Kristi and their mother and her live-in boyfriend.

1. Same story idea, different house, retro twist.

2. The third entry in the series is definitely scarier than the disappointing second film.

3. If this is supposed to have been shot on video in the ’80s, shouldn’t the aspect ratio be full frame? And wouldn’t it look more pixelated compared with modern HD footage?

4. The characters are less annoying in this movie than in the two previous Paranormal Activity flicks.

5. If you want to make your young children feel unsafe about living in any house, even with your family right there, show them this movie.

6. Five songs are listed in the closing credits, but other than “Happy Birthday,” I don’t remember hearing any of them.

7. While watching this movie, I kept thinking of Satanic songs that I listened to by Mercyful Fate back in the day. They would be apropos for the soundtrack.

8. Speaking of the soundtrack for any Paranormal Activity movie, they have an easy licensing deal since it’s just a drone.

9. Wow, a movie in which a shadowy demon named Toby is actually creepy.

10. And hey, a movie which makes you realize that a Teddy Ruxpin doll looks creepy too.

11. I don’t recall any McMansions looking like this back in the day. And the fashions shown could be less generic and show a little more ’80s pizzazz.

12. I remember editing 1/2″ videotape with old tube television monitors and bulky editing decks. Back in the ’80s.

13. Speaking of the ’80s, this was how I dressed (below, at left). Notice the actually murky quality of a VHS video still as compared with the superior video quality in the trailer above.

Attending my high school class’ all-night graduation party in 1987
with my best friend Stephen Montagna (at right). Yes, I
was a metal dude back then. Still am, just look different.
(Image ©2012 by Bryan Reesman.)

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