Paranormal Activity 3

Rated 2.0

More strange goings on in a suburban family, captured on videotape. The first movie in 2009 had good suspense and a persuasive atmosphere of dread; the second, surprisingly, was even better. But the third time, alas, is not the charm. The subject here is the childhood of the grown protagonists of the first two pictures, Katie (Katie Featherston in the first film, Chloe Csengery here) and Kristi (Sprague Grayden in the second, Jessica Tyler Brown here), along with their parents (Christopher Nicholas Smith, Lauren Bittner). There are some nice touches, like the creepy sweep of a camcorder strapped to an oscillating fan, but the found-footage premise is growing contrived and old-hat, and the movie’s bag of tricks is overused by now. Written by Christopher B. Landon, directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Shulman.