Paranormal Activity 3 is a 2011 American found footage supernatural horror film, directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman. It is the third (chronologically, the first) installment of the Paranormal Activity series and serves as a prequel, mostly set 18 years prior to the events of the first two films. It was released in theaters on October 21, 2011. Paranormal Activity 3 was also Joost and Schulman's first horror film.
The film broke financial records upon release, setting a new record for a midnight opening for a horror film ($8 million) and the best opening day for a horror film in the United States ($26.2 million).
In March of 2005, Katie delivers a box of old videotapes to her pregnant sister Kristi Rey and her husband Daniel, which holds footage of young Katie and Kristi with their mother, Julie, and her boyfriend Dennis. A year later, Kristi and Daniel's house is ransacked and the tapes are missing. The VHS footage, filmed in 1988, makes up the rest of the film. A young Katie and Kristi are living with their mother Julie and her boyfriend Dennis (as their father left them for reasons unknown). Dennis notices that since Kristi's imaginary friend "Tobi" appeared, strange things have been happening around the house. After filming an earthquake in the couple's bedroom and noticing an invisible figure in the footage, Dennis is advised by his friend Randy to place cameras throughout the house. Dennis and Julie hire a babysitter named Lisa to watch the kids, but she becomes desperate to leave due to several terrifying incidents. The following night, Kristi tells Tobi they're not friends anymore.
Dennis discovers a strange symbol in the girls' closet and finds the same symbol in a book about demonology. When Kristi becomes mysteriously ill, Julie and Dennis take her to the hospital. When Katie is left home with Randy, they are attacked by a black figure which violently flings furniture across the room and scratches Randy on his torso. When Julie and Dennis return home, he informs her that the symbol belonged to a witches' coven that brainwashed girls of child-bearing age into having sons, then forced them to give up their sons and forget everything afterward, but Julie dismisses his claim.
The demon harms Katie until Kristi agrees to do what it asks. She asks her mother to take them to her grandmother Lois's house in Moorpark, California, and Julie agrees after encountering frightening activity herself. At 1:00 AM in Moorpark, Julie and Dennis are awoken by loud disturbances and Julie goes to investigate. When she fails to return, Dennis goes to look for her. He finds occult imagery on the walls, including the symbol from the girls' room, and discovers several women, including Lois, dressed in black. He flees back to the house, with the women in pursuit, and finds Julie's limp body levitating above the ground before it is thrown at Dennis. Dennis hides with Kristi in a closet before walking into the kitchen, where Dennis, from a window, sees the women circling around a bonfire outside. Katie and Lois, in the same room as Julie's body, kill Dennis. Lois then beckons to Kristi and Katie and tells them to get ready. Before they head upstairs, Kristi calls for Tobi and growling sounds are heard upstairs.