I'm guessing that I've already lost the attention and respect of anybody reading this who is a fan of these movies, and that's fine. The fact remains that there is not a single thing about this series that works for me. It's terrible. It's slow and boring as all holy hell, and there is not one thing in this ENTIRE TRILOGY that functions as a proper scare. And I don't understand how anybody could think otherwise. Are people so easy to scare? Because I can bang pots around, too. Where's my movie deal with sequel opportunities?
Here's the setup: It's going to be security footage from a 7-11. It's going to show the hot dog warming rack. Of course, it will only show the warming rack for 10 seconds, since it's going to have to cycle through the other cameras, too. So for 10 seconds we'll get the front door with nobody coming in, since it's the middle of the night. Then for 10 seconds we'll see the clerk standing behind the counter, reading a Maxim and scratching his ass. Nothing happening there either. Then it's back to the hot dogs. After about 15 minutes of this establishing of normalcy, we'll start with the scares! Every few minutes...the mustard will be slightly neeeeearer to the hooooooot doooooogs! OooooooOoOOOooo!!! They're gonna get eeeeeeeaten!!! With muuuuuuustaaaaard!!!
Of course, this inching forward of the ghostly mustard will only happen about every 10 minutes or so. Most of the time, it'll just be the clerk doing nothing, but every once in a while he'll look over his shoulder and very unnecessarily slowly walk around the store before going back behind the counter. But see, that's the beauty of it, by showing NOTHING for 90% of the movie, we establish that when something DOES happen, it's super-duper important and scary and terrifying and oh-my-gosh-I-just-peed-my-pants.
The third film is actually a prequel that focuses on when the sisters were little girls in the late 80's. Now, if you remember from the first film, there was mentioning of weird things happening to the sisters back when they were young. Now we finally get to uncover more of the mystery of the demon that has plagued this family, and witness the horror that has haunted the sisters for years.
In reality, nothing about this movie makes any sense to me. The girls, Katie and Kristi, are witnessing all this crazy crap going on and being scared out of their minds. I remember them saying that they had mentally blocked a lot of that stuff out, that they didn't have clear memories of it, but that starts to not fly because people are dying here. This is stuff that would get investigated by the authorities. Not only that, it would appear (and I'm assuming this is the case) at the end that their mother was killed.
Now I don't remember what they said about their mother in the earlier films, but I think her HORRIBLE GRISLY DEATH would not be something you just conveniently forgot about. What about foster care? Were did they go after the mom died? I don't recall them saying they grew up in foster homes. What about a police investigation? I'm not saying they had to remember all of it, but there must be a file on these sisters somewhere. And it's never been brought up? A double homicide of the girl's mother and her boyfriend? Not to mention the fact that it's all on tape.
That brings up the absolute biggest canyon of a plot hole in the film: the tapes. They had a box of tapes that proves the existence of supernatural events, something that could rip open the very fabric of our perception of reality, and it's sitting in a box in their basement. Are you seriously telling me that nobody ever looked at these? Someone like the police? In nearly 15 years of having the tapes, nobody ever said ONE TIME:
"Hey, these tapes owned and shot by Dennis in a box full of tapes by Dennis are dated right when Dennis was killed! Oh, Julie died then too, didn't she? These might offer insight into what happened to them! Never mind the logistics of how the tapes managed to get into this box considering he died, because the possibility of any kind of nefarious goings on would imply that anyone having to do with Dennis' death most likely wouldn't nicely package them up and give them back to the remaining family, they would just destroy them to get rid of the evidence, otherwise that would just be stupid. LET'S GIVE THESE TAPES A LOOK!"
Do you not see the glaring problem here? The insane cult just gave the tapes back? I can buy brainwashing the sisters, but the point is defeated if they just gave the sisters a box of tapes detailing everything that happened. What about Dennis' friend who witnessed these events firsthand, and also shot some of the more insane moments? Did he just not say anything to anyone? He didn't go to the authorities and say "There's crazy stuff that we taped that you need to see which directly relates to my friends death, also I'm going to be crazy famous because I helped prove the existence of demons" and point to the box of tapes that were STILL THERE AFTER THE CULT GAVE THEM BACK?!
To be fair, the movie begins with a flash-forward to the second film, where we see the box of tapes has been stolen from their basement...about 15 years after the fact. But why now? Why steal the tapes back after such an absurdly long time? If you wanted to keep a secret why did you let them have the tapes in the first place!? Ugh. These movies are so stupid.
I suppose at some point I should talk about the film itself, but what's the point? You either love these movies or you don't. It's as simple as that. And there's nothing in the third film which isn't in the first two. It's the same damn movie over and over again. If there is a difference it's probably that the hauntings are more violent than in the other films, which doesn't make much sense either, since that means the demon has been getting progressively more lazy over time since the first film is still the last one chronologically.
I know part of the "horror" is that demon is just screwing with these people, but I don't understand how making a door open or a pan drop constitutes as an evil entity out to torment and enslave. If I was an evil demon, I'd be evil! I'd cause havoc all the time! I wouldn't lay dormant for years and just make scuffling sounds at night and make light bulbs pop. It's like Professor Chaos switching soup orders. It's not diabolical. And how bored must this thing be to only do that for years? Maybe if the demon had a hobby it could find more constructive things to do with its time instead of making a liiiiiiiight swing baaaack and fooorth when noooobody is looooooking at it WooOOooOoOO!!!!
I hate this series so damn much.
THE BOTTOM LINE - If you like these movies, it's probably the best one of the three, since there is more going on with the "scares." Me personally? I've gotten more fright out of smelling the milk to see if it's gone bad. And milk-smelling was more entertaining.