This Friday, the 'Paranormal Activity' franchise continues when 'Paranormal Activity 3' gets released into theaters. The previous films in the series have grossed over $370 million worldwide, but if you haven't seen them and are hankering to check out part three -- or if you've forgotten about some of the 'PA' mythology -- fear not! Moviefone is here with a not-so-scary crash course into the world of 'Paranormal Activity' -- and you don't even need a VCR to check it out. It goes without saying, but every spoiler imaginable is ahead.
Principal Characters

Stars in: 'Paranormal Activity' (cameo in 'Paranormal Activity 2')
She is: A woman who has been haunted by an evil spirit since she was a child; believes the spirit has traveled to the house she just moved into with her boyfriend, Micah.

Stars in: 'Paranormal Activity 2'
She is: Katie's sister. She's also been haunted by the same spirit; now believes it's in the home she currently lives in with her husband, son and step-daughter.

Stars in: 'Paranormal Activity' (cameo in 'Paranormal Activity 2')
He is: Katie's boyfriend. Reluctantly agrees to set up video cameras in the house after weird things begin happening.

Stars in: 'Paranormal Activity 2'
He is: Kristi's husband. Sets up security system in their home after an apparent burglary. Also reluctant to believe his wife, or daughter, about the spirit.

Stars in: 'Paranormal Activity 2'
She is: Dan's daughter and Kristi's step-daughter. Begins researching spirits/ghosts/demons after hearing about Katie and Kristi being haunted by one since they were kids.

Stars in: 'Paranormal Activity 2'
He is: Dan and Kristi's infant son. The spirit appears to be very interested in Hunter, as most of the unexplainable phenomenon in the house occurs around him.

What happened in 'Paranormal Activity'

Katie and her boyfriend Micah have just moved into a new home; unfortunately, weird things have started happening around the house. Katie tells Micah that it could be a ghost that's been haunting her since she was a kid. She hires a psychic who informs the couple that the haunting is actually the work of a demon and that they should hire a demonologist. Micah, being the compassionate boyfriend he is, pokes fun at Katie and refuses to bring in the demonologist. (There's always one idiot in a horror film who refuses to admit the obvious). However, he agrees to set up a camera to see if they can catch this so-called demon in action.

After several unexplainable incidents -- the bedroom door slamming, hearing footsteps downstairs -- Micah sprinkles talcum powder by the bed and throughout the hallway. The two wake up later and find footprints leading up to the attic. When Micah climbs into the attic, he discovers a burnt a photograph of Katie as a child. Katie then says that when she was young, there was an unexplained fire at her home. The photograph that was found in the attic was thought to be destroyed. The movie ends a few nights later, when Micah is awoken by a screaming Katie. He runs downstairs, where there is another loud noise. We soon hear someone slowly walking up the stairs. Micah's dead body is thrown at the video camera in the bedroom. Katie, who's covered in blood and likely possessed by the demon, walks over to the camera and smiles.

What happened in 'Paranormal Activity 2'

This movie is essentially a prequel, with the majority of the plot occurring before the incidents from the first film. It starts with a married couple, Kristi and Dan, finding their house completely destroyed by a potential burglar. The only thing that was untouched was their infant son Hunter's room. The home invasion causes Dan to set up a security system with surveillance cameras.

Katie and Micah (prior to the events in 'Paranormal Activity') visit the couple's home. After Kristi and Katie admit that they've been tormented by a spirit since they were little, Dan's daughter (and Kristi's step-daughter) Ali begins investigating demons. She discovers that the only way to get rid of a demon is to sacrifice the first male child (a.k.a. Hunter) in Kristi and Katie's family.

That's when a whole lot of crazy starts to occur: the dog suffers a seizure, the pool cleaner climbs out of the pool on its own, Hunter gets moved around his crib at night. One evening, while Ali and Dan are out, Kristi is dragged from Hunter's room and into the basement. The next day, Ali finds scratches on the basement door. She watches the surveillance video and sees the footage of Kristi being dragged by an invisible force. At this point, Dan decides to do the only thing he can: pass the demon onto another family member. He chooses Kristi's sister, Katie. That night, Dan is attacked by Kristi. He presses a cross to her forehead and then burns a photo of a young Katie -- the same photo that Micah and Katie discover in the first film -- essentially "curing" Kristi of the evil spirit.

Three weeks later, we see Katie over at Kristi's house. Kristi has no recollection of the last few weeks. Katie, however, says that strange things have been happening at her home. The film jumps ahead again, this time to the night Micah was killed. Katie, covered in Micah's blood, shows up at Kristi and Dan's home. She sneaks up behind Dan and breaks his neck. She then walks up to Hunter's room and throws Kristi against the camera, killing her. Katie then picks up Hunter and walks out. The subtitles on the final frame state that Katie and Hunter's whereabouts are currently unknown.

What we can expect from 'Paranormal Activity 3'

'Paranormal Activity 3' will take place in 1988, with Katie and Kristi as children. We assume this film will finally reveal the origin of the demon that's been haunting them. There will also likely be a scene depicting the fire that Katie alludes to in the first movie. According to a review of the film on HitFix, the adult Kristi and Katie will appear in the first few minutes of 'Paranormal Activity 3.'

[Photo: Paramount]

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categories Features, Movies, Horror