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In Theaters: 'Paranormal Activity 3' Hopes To Scare Off 'The Three Musketeers' This Weekend

Photo of Katie Walsh By Katie Walsh | The Playlist October 21, 2011 at 7:50AM

It’s almost Halloween, which means it’s time for terrible horror movies to rule at the box office. I’m surprised there aren’t more this year, but we do have the "Paranormal Activity" franchise taking the Halloween crown from “Saw,” which I think we’ve seen the last of for a good while, at least. Seven installments seems to be more than enough. Also this weekend, a festival of crazy wigs in “The Three Musketeers,” and we finally get to see that Other Olsen moppet at the local theater with “Martha Marcy May Marlene.”
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It’s almost Halloween, which means it’s time for terrible horror movies to rule at the box office. I’m surprised there aren’t more this year, but we do have the "Paranormal Activity" franchise taking the Halloween crown from “Saw,” which I think we’ve seen the last of for a good while, at least. Seven installments seems to be more than enough. Also this weekend, a festival of crazy wigs in “The Three Musketeers,” and we finally get to see that Other Olsen moppet at the local theater with “Martha Marcy May Marlene.”

Paranormal Activity 3,” you know the drill. Home video footage of scary ghost type stuff. This time directed by those dudes who made “Catfish” (Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman). Our review from Fantastic Fest says, “an effective, crowd-pleasing horror film” but that “unwittingly reveals the dwindling supply of ideas left to be injected into the franchise, both in conception and execution, even as it offers a finale mostly worthy of its predecessors.” This should fulfill all of your scaring needs this weekend. Rotten Tomatoes: 77% MC: 61


Nothing like a good musketeers movie, am I right? How could Paul W.S. Anderson possibly improve on the magic that is the 1993 version starring Kiefer Sutherland, Charlie Sheen, Oliver Platt and Chris O’Donnell? I firmly believe it can’t be done, but alas, it seems about every 20 years, someone’s got to TRY. This version stars Ray Stevenson, Luke Evans, Matthew MacFayden, Logan Lerman, Milla Jovovich (aka Mrs. W.S. Anderson), Orlando Bloom doing a parody of himself and Christoph Waltz in the Tim Curry role. Our review says it’s “a dreary bore that manages to squander the game cast and impressive sets under dull political intrigue and rote explosions,” and it “never unsheathes swashbuckling excitement.” But there are many hilarious wigs! And floating battleships with cannons! RT: 23% MC: 34

Rowan Atkinson (aka Mr. Bean) is "Johnny English Reborn," the bumbling British MI7 agent. Proving that not everything from across the pond is high caliber... they have their big, dumb action movies too. With Gillian Anderson, Rosamund Pike and Dominic West. RT: 36% MC: 48

Elizabeth Olsen hits the big screen in the much lauded and anticipated “Martha Marcy May Marlene.” I just figured out that title. I’ve been saying “Mary Martha May Marlene” for months now. The psychological drama from director Sean Durkin features a bravura performance from Olsen, as a girl escaping the clutches of a manipulative cult/commune leader, played by John Hawkes. Our review says, it’s “superbly crafted, stunningly well-acted and more than willing to let our imagination fill out the spaces in its gorgeous shadowed darkness,” and that it’s “a film of haunting beauty that marks Durkin’s arrival as a subtle and strong director to watch.” RT: 85% MC: 75

Margin Call” follows 24 hours in a Wall Street firm on the precipice of the 2008 financial meltdown, another in the pantheon of films, along with “Too Big To Fail” attempting to make cinematic sense of the crisis. Starring Stanley Tucci, Zachary Quinto, Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany (thank GOD he’s not in psychotic priest robes in this film), Penn Badgley and Demi Moore, the film from writer/director J.C. Chandor isn’t necessarily groundbreaking, but our review says it features “a nice ensemble of actors coming together and doing some solid work,” according to our review, which also says it “is a worthy investment” of your time this weekend. RT: 85% MC: 74

Also hitting theaters this week is the doc “Being Elmo” about the voice and talent behind everyone’s favorite Muppet (suck it Kermit), Kevin Clash. The Muppeteer grew up inspired by Sesame Street, and went from making his own puppets at home to working with Jim Henson and Frank Oz themselves on the show, and making Elmo one of the most popular Muppets ever. Our review says the “feel good documentary” from director Constance Marks is “both entertaining and emotional.” RT: 90% MC: 68

Finnish auteur Aki Kaurismaki’s latest film, "Le Havre," hits theaters after its debut at this years Cannes Film Festival, where it received an enthusiastic reception. The film follows a Frenchman who tries to help a young African immigrant and the complications that entails. Our review says it’s “a political film that eschews politicking, a comedy with a serious point, and imbued with a deep, emotional core,” and that it's “easily one of Kaurismaki’s best films to date, he has created a political crowdpleaser, a film that’s broadly appealing with an undercurrent of seriousness.” RT: 100% MC: 75

Norman” follows a teenage boy (Dan Byrd) whose father (Richard Jenkins) is battling cancer. In order to avoid sympathy for his father’s condition and explain his flaky behavior, he tells his best friend he has terminal cancer. What could be a twee indie flick becomes something more under the direction of Jonathan Segel, working with a script by Talton Wingate. Our review says the film “acknowledges the deep, irrevocable wounds of death, but with honesty, understanding and a sly sense of humor, finds the path to hope.” RT: 62% MC: 58

Thandie Newton and Cillian Murphy star in “Retreat,” a psychological thriller about a couple spending a weekend in a cabin, patching up their marriage, who receive a visit from a war vet (Jamie Bell) who says they need to barricade themselves from a deadly airborne virus. Our review says the film from writer/director Carl Tibbets “never quite comes together because it doesn’t really know what it wants to be and/or tries to be all things.” RT: 86%

A priest and an old friend set out on a canoe trip in “The Catechism Cataclysm” from director Todd Rohal. Our review describes it as “not a great picture, but something of an unforgettable curiosity. Good luck describing it to friends.” RT: 45% MC: 46

Also in theaters:

Carla Gugino, David Boreanaz, Ellen Burstyn, and Marley Shelton star in "The Mighty Macs," an uplifting sports tale about the 1971-72 Immaculata College women's basketball team. Written and directed by Tim Chambers. RT: 46% MC: 50

Emily Watson and Hugo Weaving in "Oranges and Sunshine" from Jim Loach, about the social worker who discovered the mass deportation of children to Australia. RT: 71% MC: 59

Tim Robbins narrates Chris Paine's doc "Revenge of the Electric Car." RT: 67% MC: 61

Oh Ethan Embry. Why must you be playing wrestler John Cena's brother in anything? Why, why, whyyyyy GOD??? "The Reunion." RT: 11% MC: 29

Wow. "Klitschko" is a documentary about Ukrainian heavyweight boxer brothers Vitali and Wladimir. My countrymen! RT: 78%

Human trafficking drama "Cargo." RT: 60% MC: 60

Documentary "Elevate," about four Senegalese teens recruited to American prep schools for their brains and basketball abilities. RT: 67% MC: 66

This article is related to: Films, Foreign Films, Modern Horror, The Three Musketeers, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Retreat, Le Havre, Paranormal Activity 3, Margin Call


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