**For anyone not knowing, SPOILERS will be included in this article as I’m reviewing all three films in one.**

So far, “Paranormal Activity” has had three films, grossed millions of dollars, scared thousands of people and has accomplished a lot since 2009 (2007 if you’re counting the initial first release and first edit of the film.) in its debut year. The film has inspired a whole new generation of “shaky cam” users when it comes to film making. Not only that but its also helped re-spawn “Practical Effects” over the use of “Special Effects” and as a film lover of old, I appreciate the effort it takes to use “Practical Effects” any day of the week.

Now, as for how the story goes, In 1988 the story begins as Katie and Kristi are haunted by an unknown entity known now as “Toby”. We still don’t know the name of the apparent “Demon” that’s truthfully haunting them. What we know now, we can finally piece together from three films. Starting from the beginning, which is “Paranormal Activity 3”.

It appears that Katie and Kristi’s father has either passed away or has divorced their Mother, Julie. The Grandmother, Lois appears VERY unhappy about Julie’s new boyfriend, Dennis. Claiming he’s no good for her and has no real income and is basically a bum. Julie of course defends this but, while all of this is going on, strange things begin happening around the kids. Kristi is the one who encounters “Toby” while Katie makes fun of her for having an “Invisible Friend”. Katie soon realizes that the friend is not actually invisible at all. Around this time Dennis and Julie are fighting about said spirit and activity until Julie sees it for herself in an interesting moment in the kitchen… mind you, she’s talking to her mom on the phone when this moment happens.

As it goes, Dennis finds out about this Coven that Lois belongs to. This Coven’s purpose is to have a woman of child baring age become brainwashed into producing a son and then forgetting about it. Which is interesting considering PA2 with Kristi being the main focus but, we’ll get to that later. While this is going on, Julie finally snapped and decided to take the kids to Lois’s house to be safe. Dennis doesn’t think it’s a good idea at all but, Julie fights with him about it. After they arrive at Lois’s house, she takes the kids to go play dress up where it’s revealed that Kristi is dressing up to become a “Bride” for “Toby”. Julie and Dennis immediately call off the dress up party and we pick up again later that night. Dennis awakens to find Julie missing and the girls missing. While hunting through the house he gets to the back entrance to find a bunch of women standing and I’m assuming, waiting for his arrival.

There’s a bunch of Satanic symbols on the walls as Dennis tries to run up the steps but is greeted with Julie’s floating dead body. It’s thrown at him and he falls down the stairs. He and Kristi find each other and he finds Katie who at this time is apparently possessed. She screams and he flies back. Lois appears and Dennis is basically broken in half. Lois, The Kids and “Toby” then go upstairs.

Now, in “Paranormal Activity 3” we also get Katie dropping off a bunch of VHS tapes to Kristi’s house while she’s pregnant with their son. This is 2005. We pick up in 2006 and this is where “Paranormal Activity 2” basically begins. The house is ransacked and only a necklace and the tapes go missing. The only room not touched is Hunter’s room. Kristi’s son, you know… the one she’s supposed to have forgotten about… all things considering of course.

The story takes a turn for the weird when Dan’s daughter Ali discovers “A human can make a deal with a demon for wealth or power by forfeiting the life of their first-born son. She also realizes that until Hunter, there had not been a male child born in Kristi and Katie’s family since the time of their Great-Great Grandmother.” In essence this explains why their family has always been “well off” and none of them know how the Great-Great Grandmother accomplished it. Around this time Katie and Kristi remember slowly about being tormented by a “Demon” as children although, they don’t remember all of the details.

Kristi is being attacked VIOLENTLY at this point and it’s becoming increasingly obvious that is affecting her drastically. At this point the German Shepard is attacked and has a seizure. Dan and Ali take the dog to the Vet and leave Kristi home with Hunter. She goes to check on the baby and notices a light flicker off. She turns the light back on but is dragged by an unseen force out of the room and halfway down the stairs before she is released. Kristi runs back upstairs into Hunter’s room but is violently dragged again back downstairs. This time she is dragged into the basement, where she stays for several hours. Finally, the basement door opens and Kristi walks through the living room.

The following day, Ali is home with Kristi, who will not get out of bed. Ali looks at the inside of the basement door and finds it covered in scratches. She also sees a word, “Meus” (Latin for “Mine”), scratched into the door. After hearing noises, Ali finds Kristi upstairs with Hunter, and Kristi aggressively tells Ali not to touch Hunter. When Dan arrives, Ali, who has watched the security tapes from the night before, begs him to view the footage of Kristi’s attack. After watching the tape, he immediately calls Martine, who prepares a cross that will pass the demon on to another blood relative; Kristi will have no memory of having been possessed. (The cross appears to be the one Micah finds Katie clutching, toward the end of the first film). Dan tells Ali that he is going to pass the “Demon” onto Katie so that Kristi and Hunter will be saved. Although Ali begs him not to because it is unfair to Katie, Dan sees no other way to save his wife and son.

That night, when Dan tries to use the cross on Kristi, she violently attacks him, and all the lights in the house go out. They turn the hand-held camera’s night vision on, and find that Kristi has disappeared along with Hunter. Furniture all over the house begins toppling over, and the chandeliers shake. Dan chases Kristi into the basement and she attacks him. He touches her with the cross, causing her to collapse to the floor. The ground rumbles and inhuman growls and roars are heard, until finally the shaking stops. Dan puts Kristi to bed and burns a photo of a young Katie (the same photo Micah later finds in the attic of his and Katie’s house).

Three weeks later, Katie visits and explains how strange things have now begun happening at her house. She returns home, where she finds that Micah has purchased a new video camera which brings us up to speed on “Paranormal Activity”. Now, something happens at the end of “Paranormal Activity 2” that I can’t mention until “Paranormal Activity” is done. This also takes place in 2006 obviously considering its damn near right after the events of “Paranormal Activity 2”. Katie is starting to feel the presence of the “Demon” who’s haunted her since childhood. Micah mounts cameras up so he can see the stuff going on in the house. The cameras capture several supernatural phenomena which remain minor at first, such as the bedroom door moving by itself during night 3. During night 5 however, Katie wakes up from a nightmare and it is revealed that something was whispering to her in her sleep.

Micah begins to taunt the demon and the phenomena worsens. during night 13, they are awoken by an otherworldly screech and a loud thud. They go downstairs to investigate and find the chandelier moving by itself. On night 15, Katie awakens and spends several hours standing by the bed staring at Micah while he sleeps, before going outside to sit on the backyard swing. Micah awakens and tries to convince her to come inside but she refuses… her voice dreamlike and detached. When Micah goes inside to get her a blanket, he finds the TV turned on in the bedroom, and is then startled by Katie, who followed him inside but says that he woke her up. Katie remembers nothing the next day.

Around this time Micah buys an Ouija board which Katie does NOT like. Micah is nowhere near taking any of it seriously well, they go out and he leaves the Ouija board on the living room table and the camera catches the stuff in the living room moving like wind is blowing, the board catches fire and then when it goes out, the winds die down. That night Micah places talcum powder on the floor and when they awaken they find weird foot prints on the ground leading up to the attic. When Micah enters again he’s holding the picture of Katie that was burned. Katie freaks out because she thought that picture was destroyed in a house fire.

The next night, a light turns on and off and the bedroom door slams shut. Loud banging is heard, as something is apparently trying to get in. They discover that the glass over a photo of them has been smashed, with Micah’s image scratched. Dr. Averies is abroad when Micah finally agrees to invite him, so Dr. Fredrichs comes instead. Upon his arrival, Dr. Fredrichs immediately has a sense of dread. He apologetically leaves despite their pleas for his help, stating that his presence is only making the demon angry. On night 19, a shadow moves across the bedroom door.

The paranormal activity starts to become physical; Katie is pulled out of the bedroom by an invisible force during night 20. Stressed and exhausted, the couple then decides to go to a hotel. Micah finds Katie gripping a cross so tightly that it bloodies her palm. Micah, angry at a situation he cannot control, burns the cross and the picture found in the attic. Just as he is set to leave, a suddenly apathetic, languid Katie insists that they will be okay now, her voice flat.

That night Katie comes out of bed and she stands beside it staring at Micah for approximately two hours and then walks downstairs. After a moment of silence, Katie screams Micah’s name, waking Micah who rushes to her. The camera records Katie screaming incessantly, while Micah tries to talk to her when he suddenly lets out a cry of pain. Katie’s screaming stops and a brief silence is followed by the sound of heavy footsteps coming up the stairs. After another brief silence, Micah’s body is violently hurled at the camera, knocking it over sideways and revealing Katie standing in the doorway. She then slowly walks into the room, her clothing soaked with blood. Crouching over his body, she sniffs Micah (who has evidently been murdered) and then slowly looks up at the camera with a sly smile. As she lunges toward the camera, her face takes on a demonic appearance just as the scene cuts to black.

An epilogue text states that Micah’s body was discovered by the police on October 11, 2006, and that Katie’s whereabouts remain unknown. Now, here is where we go back to the ending of “Paranormal Activity 2”. On October 9th, 2006 (the night after Micah’s murder took place.) Katie went to Kristi’s. She killed Dan while he was on the couch… not physically touching him of course. She then went upstairs and kills Kristi in Hunter’s room, hurling her against the camera and taking the baby. Katie leaves the room, cradling Hunter with a satisfied look on her face. The screen fades to black as Hunter’s crying dies down and turns into laughter.

The film ends with text stating that Ali was on a school trip and returned home to find the bodies of Daniel and Kristi Rey on October 12th 2006, and that Katie and Hunter’s whereabouts remain unknown.

This film franchise has definitely walked a path less beaten. The only one that took place currently was the first one. The second was a prequel and the third was a prequel of the prequel. I don’t think any other film series has done that. Yeah, there may have been linear breaks here and there but, two prequels back to back? Insanity. I do believe however for the series to grow and flourish, they need to move into the “present” with the next one. I think people will start tiring of the series if they already haven’t. With over $500 Million under its belt and only costing them barely $9 Million to make all three, expect this franchise to be milked completely dry.

I feel that the first five films will deal with Katie’s family and whatnot. Remember, Ali is still out there. Katie has Hunter and we don’t know if the Grandmother is alive or not. And after that one we’ll probably go the “Direct to DVD” route and get four or five more that way with the “Demon” going after Ali and her family or continuing with Hunter being tormented as an adult. Then again, it could be like “Saw” and we get seven of them theatrically. I personally love this series and wish it a ton of longevity. There are a TON of detractors of it that say it’s one of the worst they’ve ever seen. And that’s saying a lot. Apparently these people don’t watch cheaply made Horror films a lot? I digress. Either way, definitely see this whole series. When part three makes its way to Blu-Ray/DVD, watch it in the order intended. 3, 2, and then 1. You’ll understand a lot more of the series that way.

I give the series as a whole a 5 out of 5. I love all of them. Hopefully many more do and will in the future.

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