Paranormal Activity 4
Drama (Horror, Thriller)
Running Time: 88 minutes
Starring: Kathryn Newton, Katie Featherstone, Matt Shively, Brady Allen
Directed By: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
Rating: 2 out of 10
A suburban family notices strange happenings around their house, after taking in a strange kid from across the street.
Ugh, even though I enjoyed the third film in this series, I am tired of this franchise at this point. This film was great for the environment because it was heavily into recycling, and reusing the same ideas from prior films. Now that I think of it, it also reduced the number of scares also. Paranormal Activity 4 is the story of a suburban family. Things are normal until a mother and her strange son move in across the street.
So this is the fourth installment, and first sequel in the Paranormal Activities series, and it was easily the worst of the bunch. That is saying a lot as the second one was nothing to write home about. The third movie was truly frightening, and offered new glimpses into the story and had fresh ideas for terror. This film offered nothing new, and frankly the unexplained happenings are not even interesting at this point. This film takes place five years after Katie and Hunters disappearance. If you forget the prior storyline do not worry as there is a brief synopsis to start this film. We are following a young teenager named Alex in this one as she films her younger brother and parents, as they go about their everyday lives. In her filming, she notices how odd the new kid neighbor is, and the film gets underway. For some reason the family has to look after the odd kid from across the street for a few days (which is ridiculous) and things start to happen around their house. The main problem with this film is it unfolds exactly the same way as the first three did. The slow build up of unexplained events around the house. The odd things caught on camera, like moving objects and ghostly figures. The almost identical looking house. The film is so predictable that you will know when everything is about to happen. The film is just a tired excuse for a horror. It offers up no explanations for these ghostly encounters, just more questions so the franchise can continue. Why does it take so long in every film for the entity to become malevolent?
The acting was okay in this but it isn’t that hard of a story to pull off. Alex is played by Kathryn Newton, and she is easy to follow as she investigates her house. The rest of the cast is unremarkable but not a distraction, so they get passing marks. The only blip was the odd kid Robbie, played by Brady Allen. First off, I didn’t like his look. Secondly, his character is unexplained for the most part, and he is so creepy that no one would babysit him. Not even if it was your best friend’s kid would you look after this freak. He is an unnecessary element in a film that needed more paranormal encounters and less physical frights. I hated him in this.
So prepare yourself for more of the same swinging chandeliers, same loud footsteps, same loud noises, same moving objects, same slamming doors, same weird symbols, same camera footage that no one would take, same stupid characters, and lastly, the same unanswered questions. Like seriously, can you tell us who the frack Toby is at this point? So the film tries some new things but they are all failures. They add a cat which is a cheap gimmick. They use a laser activated camera that offers really nothing scary to the film. Lastly, they offer up new creepy characters, that seem out of place in the overall storyline. So the family is traumatized by the unknown entity, and by the end of the film you will care less. This film is a fail across the board, and when characters don’t react more strongly to almost getting impaled, it is time to end this mockery of a franchise.
Directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, took a huge step back in terms of career momentum. They did a fantastic job with the third film, by adding new camera shots and well thought up scares. They erased all that positivity with a film that is so similar to the first 3, that it is like they photocopied it. The new camera angle was pathetic and the frights even more so. This story is so all over the place that the Lost finale made more sense. Truly this was a disappointing performance that set this franchise back.
I cannot recommend this film as it is been there and seen that.
T Factor + If you are a fan of found footage films then this could score higher on the rating scale.
T Factor – If you like films with great stories then this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: V/H/S, The Apparition.