‘Paranormal Activity 3′ Joins the Please Ignore Our Terrible Movie Club

The ProjectorOctober 18, 2011

It has been a couple of weeks since we inducted a new member into our Please Ignore our Terrible Movie club -- to remind, these are films that studios don't show to critics because they know they're bad and are trying to hide them -- and boy, it seems so long ago! Ladies and gentlemen, welcome, "Paranormal Activity 3!"
Now, it's worth noting that neither of the first two "Paranormal Activity" films were shown for critics either, and they both thrived. It's generally part of Paramount's strategy; these have always been driven by audience buzz, offline and online. But there are reasons to be particularly concerned about this latest "Paranormal Activity": When it had a sneak, unfinished preview at Austin's Fantastic Fest last month, the audience reports were mostly negative. It's directed by those guys from "Catfish," a film we kind of hated, which means it's possible it'll have a tramp stamp. Anyway, "Paranormal Activity 3" doesn't quite meet the parameters of a Please Ignore Our Terrible Movie Club inductee, because Paramount never shows these to critics, but nonetheless: We are completist if nothing else.

As always, our regular disclaimer: You shouldn't, and surely don't, care whether a film critic's life is inconvenienced by a film studio not showing a film early. Lord knows we have it cushy enough already. You should care, though, that not showing a film early to critics is a sure-fire sign that the studio is trying to hide the film from the public as long as possible, so that you might be more likely to be suckered into buying a ticket to a movie they know stinks. This is simply a public service!)

Thus, we heretofore formally induct "Paranormal Activity 3" into The Projector's Please Ignore Our Terrible Movie club. We are certain to be doing this again a year from now for No. 4.

So! Welcome, "Paranormal Activity 4," to the Please Ignore Our Terrible Movie club. Make yourself at home, but please don't haunt the place.

2011 Class

"Courageous." Metascore: 43.
"Dream House." Metascore: 35.
"Shark Night 3-D." Metascore: 24.
"Apollo 18." Metascore: 21.
"Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star." Metascore: 9.
"Paranormal Activity 3. Metascore: TBA.

(UPDATE: So it appears some people have been getting into audience screenings to see the film. We were explicitly told that there would be no early screenings, but that doesn't necessarily mean that's correct. So we're calling the Club status "provisional," with further research to come.)