Oct 302011
Authors: Jason Berlinberg

As much of an annual tradition now as Halloween itself, the “Paranormal Activity” series is almost guaranteed to come out with a new installment each year.

Created with a minuscule $15,000 budget, the first “Paranormal Activity” movie utilized a home video look and jumpy shots to scare audiences with a style that seemed fresh and effective at the time.

It has been four years since then, and “Paranormal Activity 3” has just hit theaters, but it is weighed down by the same monotonous techniques that have been used since the beginning of the series.

“3” is a prequel that depicts how the previous two films’ main characters, Katie and Kristi, grow up in their demon-infested house.

Similar to, if not exactly like the other installments, “Paranormal Activity 3” utilizes the famed home video cameras to spook viewers with the demon commotion that occurs when the characters are asleep.

While the tried-and -true “Paranormal” formula works, its age is beginning to show.

As should be expected with a series that doesn’t change things up between installments, the formula of “3” feels noticeably stale.

The same techniques are used as before: the perfectly placed home video cameras record their way through the night and capture the actions of a demon doing something creepy, like shutting a door or breaking a light.

The film even goes far enough to use some of the same shots from the previous movies, something that “Paranormal” fans should notice immediately.

Less fun than its predecessors, but certain to still provide quite a few scares, “Paranormal Activity 3” is an okay way to hang out with your friends this Halloween.

Movie reviewer Jason Berlinberg can be reached at verve@collegian.com

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