For all the ragging that the Paranormal Activity franchise has received, the two films so far have done a number on me. More than most films, I think that the success of the Paranormal Activity experience relies on the audience you’re with. A few cackles or cell phone rings can completely take you out of the experience and ruin the movie. Others who aren’t as quick to give in to the movies are also met with boredom. I understand, and in the right context, maybe I wouldn’t have fallen for the found-footage films, either. But I did. Both times. In fact, the second — despite recycling many of the ideas from the original — may have been even more effective, as it brought in a slightly deeper mythology and, once again, meticulously built toward its frightful climax with a slow, eerie pace that lulls you into an almost catatonic boredom before jerking you out of your seat.
The Film Stage has unearthed the trailer for the third film, which arrives this October having supplanted the Saw franchise as the yearly Halloween tradition. The third film comes with new directors, Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman, who are the guys behind the phenomenal-or-boring documentary, Catfish, depending on your perspective (I really liked it).
It does once again mine the found-footage angle, and it appears that Katie Featherston will return, as the third movie looks to explore the childhood of Katie and her sister and look more into the origin of the supernatural force. So far, the franchise has cleverly avoided providing too much detail, focusing on atmospherics and often very effective jump scares. The trailer, I might add, also provides one fantastically chilling shot, too.