Live by Night
The key question behind Live by Night isn’t so much “Why did they bother?” as “What went wrong?”
"Paranormal Activity 3" is a prequel, revealing that the characters in "PA1" and "PA2" had already been through the all-night video surveillance ordeal. At least in this film they are undergoing it for the first time, which is less than can be said for us. The formula for the films involves pallid characters, perfunctory dialogue and very long waits for something to happen.
When something does, it's often a sudden shock accompanied by a startling musical chord. Sometimes there are loud bangings and other noises. Sometimes the shocks are false alarms. The audience screams, and then laughs. At my screening, it also did a lot of talking. Usually I find that obnoxious, but this time I wish they'd spoken louder; the Mystery Science Theater approach might enrich this film.
What we have to accept in all three films is that a house is occupied by an Entity intent on being a pain in the butt and zapping us with Gotcha! Moments. These are cruel limitations for a supernatural being; one rather hopes the Other Side would produce more interesting company. When the origin of the Manifestations is revealed or hinted, the film closes soon after, as if the terminal scene explained the slightest thing.
This film involves the two sisters who were seen in earlier episodes as adults. Katie (Katie Featherston) and Kristi Ray (Sprague Grayden) share a two-level home with their mother Julie (Lauren Bittner) and her boyfriend Dennis (Chris Smith). The girls are aware of a presence in the house, perhaps an Imaginary Friend, although perhaps not so imaginary.
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