Tag Archives: Sprague Grayden

Review: Paranormal Activity 3

With the Saw franchise over and done with, Paranormal Activity finally has the holiday all to itself. If you’re like me, you were rather used to Saw’s Halloween splash, spending the holiday watching helpless victims get ripped limb from limb, blood splattering everywhere and a puppet ride around on a tricycle. No, it wasn’t quality filmmaking, but it was tradition and holiday appropriate. Well, no more settling necessary. The Paranormal Activity franchise has not only continued to deliver quality material, but now, with three films under its belt, shows it has the potential at being a viable and worthy long standing tradition.

Round three picks up just before the events of the first two films, in 2005. Sisters Katie and Kristi (Katie Featherston and Sprague Grayden) are in incoming baby Hunter’s freshly painted room. While there, Katie also takes the opportunity to unload some unwanted keepsakes, an old box of VHS tapes. Next year, Kristi’s house is burglarized and the only item missing is that very box of tapes.

Jump back to 1988. Young Katie and Kristi (Chloe Csengery and Jessica Tyler Brown) are doing the usual for girls their age – having tea parties, celebrating birthdays and getting dressed up for picture day at school. However, little Kristi also has another hobby, talking to her invisible friend Toby. While her mother, Julie (Lauren Bittner) writes the behavior off as mere child’s play, Julie’s live-in boyfriend, Dennis (Christopher Nicholas Smith), becomes obsessed with Toby and the strange and inexplicable bumps in the night. In true Paranormal Activity form, he arms up with video cameras and sets them up around the house, determined to find out what’s going on while they sleep.

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Review: Paranormal Activity 2

Thanks to its unique shooting style and plot, one of last year’s biggest surprise hits, Paranormal Activity, should have been a one-and-done deal. Luckily Paramount decided to give the concept another go-around and found director Tod Williams and writer Michael R. Perry, two guys who really knew not only how to keep the story alive, but expand it in a manner that introduced new elements while keeping the old firmly intact. Think this will be just a studio fast track effort to make bank on a stellar concept? Think again. Not only is Paranormal Activity 2 a well-made sequel, it’s just as good as the first.

Character development is powerful right from the start. After a text disclaimer thanking the family of the deceased and local police department, we meet baby Hunter just as he arrives home from the hospital. Thanks to the father’s multiple marriages, the gang has a unique dynamic. He and Kristy are clearly mom and dad to Hunter, but when it comes to his daughter, he is the primary parental figure, Kristy filling in more as a friend. They’re upbeat, loving and all-around likeable, making the sequence of events to follow even more powerful.

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