If you read my movie review of Paranormal Activity 4, you know I wasn’t as entertained by this 4th go at scaring me, as I was the first three movies from the franchise.
In fact it felt like PA4 dropped the ball on how the film franchise should act, and instead, it was two-thirds story with intermittent pops of fright, some with cheap camera tricks and some out of the blue jumps. But there was no real tension build like the previous three movies.
My first big question about Paranormal Activity 4 is what happened to the dog? We saw it in the beginning of the movie, and it never came back. Hmm. Was the dog also possessed, to come back in a later movie?
Katie has moved to Henderson, NV and lives with “her son,” a small child named Robbie. Where’s Hunter? Good question.
If you were waiting to see where the various movie trailers fit into the movie, I’d say that two-thirds of the trailer scenes aren’t in the movie. Again.
One of the potentially coolest new additions to the franchise was the Xbox Kinect and the motion tracking system where it projects dots all over the place that can be seen in certain recording moves, like night vision.
When the Kinect was first used to show us a specter, it was a subtle and cool effect. After that, it was just a blatant use of a new medium to show us a little ghost walking around (Hunter? Or was that Toby from the third movie?) and various other scenes. Maybe too many scenes.
The family we’re following has adopted a child, his name is Wyatt. That’s important to know because Katie, who lives across the street, has a “son,” named Robbie.
That was the simple part, here come the interesting questions.
Who is Robbie? Where did Katie get Robbie from? Wyatt, whose adopted by the family, seems, is actually Hunter. But how did he get into the system and get adopted?
During the movie, Katie is again off killing people, but why? Who is she possessed by? Wasn’t it Toby in the first movie?
In one scene Wyatt is arguing with a tall, adult ghost, complaining that he’s not Hunter. While he’s arguing, a child ghost (In Kinect Vision) is sneaking up on him. That was interrupted but I took that moment to be Hunter’s spirit looking to possess Wyatt. But then later, wyatt’s mom leaves him in a tub and he gets sucked under for way too long and comes up super calm. Obviously possessed, but by who?
Paranormal Activity 4 Ending
The entire family dies… but the way the story was concocted, the deaths didn’t affect the movie-goer as much as they could have. They are useful tools to make us go, “Oh, Katie is killing again.”
But Katie has help because the specter has its way with chucking Wyatt’s mom around the room. That was creepy cool as she does the ceiling slap… and that was a pretty great scene as she suddenly realized that something was wrong and then went flying.
But then again, this took place as things were starting to heat up in the movie seriously. But this was all near the end, in the final act.
As the end of the movie hit, the pace of the last few minutes gets hectic and as I noted in my movie review, I started getting those familiar goosebumps that the last three movies gave me. But those first three movies worked it throughout the entire film, while PA4 only lit it up in the last few minutes.
Things got exciting as the demon/demons made his/its/their move.
Dad heads across the street and disappears.
Alex heads across the street to find possessed Wyatt, and finds dad being dragged around the house by something invisible.
Dad disappears and Alex runs out the back of the house, turns around and sees Katie erupting into a frightening, multi-toothed looking demon as she rushes her.
Then Alex turns to run and comes across a HUGE crowd of women who seem to be in on this entire scheme. Who the bloody heck were they?
So what Paranormal Activity 4 did is rather than further the franchise story, it added more questions.
I came away wondering how many entities are running around possessing people, how did Hunter get into the adoption system or was he? Was Wyatt possessed already? (Probably)
It could go either way and I look forward to hearing what the filmmakers have to say about this eclectic flurry of questions that many of us have come up with.
And how the bloody heck did these guys get this sequel’s tale of tension so wrong and screwed this up? It was slow from the start and didn’t really pick up until those last few minutes.
Someone goofed & I’m disappointed.
I’ve been a fervent fan of this movie franchise until now. And if there’s a fifth film or this Latino-based spin-off actually takes off, it will take a huge amount of convincing to get me to even consider going out to see another Paranormal Activity movie.