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The Plot Hole In Paranormal Activity 3 That Frustrates Fans

"Paranormal Activity 3" is a prequel to 2009's surprise hit "Paranormal Activity." The horror sequel focuses on the childhood of sisters Katie and Kristi, who serve as the protagonists of "Paranormal Activity" and "Paranormal Activity 2," respectively. In "Paranormal Activity 3," the younger Katie (Chloe Csengery) and Kristi (Jessica Tyler Brown) live with their mother, Julie (Lauren Bittner), and her boyfriend, Dennis (Christopher Nicholas Smith). But, similar to the first two films, Dennis notices strange events in the family home and starts filming them to figure out what is happening. It's not long before he suspects Kristi's imaginary friend, "Toby," may be wreaking havoc on the family.

The third "Paranormal Activity" movie takes advantage of its 1988 setting, using it as an opportunity to expand the franchise's mythology and show that the sisters were destined to have demonic activity present in their lives. While the prequel pic tells a compelling prequel story — and fills in some narrative gaps from earlier installments — it managed to retcon a key plot point revealed in a line of dialogue in "Paranormal Activity." This third act decision immediately became a plot hole in the franchise's canon and has bothered fans since the movie's release (if past Reddit discussions are anything to go by).

Paranormal Activity 3 ignores a pivotal line from the first movie

In "Paranormal Activity," a psychic is brought to Katie and her boyfriend Micah's (Micah Sloat) condo after the couple experiences demonic disruptions. During his visit, the psychic says that he senses "negative energy" there. As the couple chats with the psychic, Micah jokes about not inviting Katie's mother into the condo because she would bring even more negative energy. Although the line was a bit of a throwaway in 2009, it would eventually turn the climax of "Paranormal Activity 3" into a plot hole. 

The "Paranormal Activity 3" plot hole is rooted in the fact that Toby murders Julie. The sisters are led away from the scene by their maternal grandmother, the leader of the evil coven attempting to control Toby for their own purposes. Theoretically, Julie's death should be a memorable event that Katie or Kristi could recall. This is not the case because of Micah's comment, which indicates their mother is still alive. This direct contradiction leaves room for questions about who the sisters believe is their mother. That "Paranormal Activity 3" doesn't address this plot hole is surprising. Beginning with "Paranormal Activity 2," franchise sequels have utilized footage from the first installment as a way of tying the story together. As such, it's odd that footage wasn't added into "Paranormal Activity 3" to justify Micah's comment.

If you're still curious to see how the story plays out in "Paranormal Activity 3," the movie is currently streaming on Fubo TV with a subscription.