I’ve been a fan of the Paranormal Activity film franchise since day 1. I’ve loved the ride and I loved the thrills. But did Paranormal Activity 4 keep it going or fall short?
If interested, there is a spoiler-filled reflection on Paranormal Activity 4.
PA4 starts out with a quickie recap of what happened in the first movie as we watch Katie and Hunter leaving the house in San Diego. It’s five years later and we’re in Henderson, NV, where this new family we’re about to become familiar with lets on that they have an odd neighbor across the street, a single mom and child.
That mom and child, is of course, Katie and Robbie. (No, no Hunter).
As we spend the first thirty minutes becoming intimately familiar with this typical American family of 4 and a dog & cat, we learn that they have neighbors that sort of creep them out. As if creepy isn’t bad enough, Katie has an accident and is carted off in an ambulance and Robbie has to spend a few days with our newly friended family.
And the fun should have started there.
Now I went with a viewing partner who loves detailed back story or development on characters in movies and she said she loved PA4.
Me on the other hand, I wasn’t so enthralled by the franchise I’ve come to enjoy.
Despite being brought to us by some of the same folks who brought us the previous movies, they’re either being pressured in a certain direction, rushed into production or what have you because they’ve seriously losing touch with the franchises core attraction.
All this 4th sequel did was create more questions and flip things up to add new questions, questions that make no sense.
Unlike the previous movies that used superbly built tension, this sequel used cheap camera “BAM” stunts to startle you a few times, other random moments and then, about half way into the third act, it finally started acting like the franchise I know.
The goosebumps I became accustomed to experiencing in the first three never happened until the last 5 minutes, if even that.
But then again, they even took away from that with adding something that made no sense.
This was like an episode of Parenthood with a last minute paranormal traumatic event taking place in the last scene.
At points, I found myself nodding off because
- A: I have a medical condition that does that to me when I get bored, and
- B: I was bored.
I was so disappointed with the film that even though I knew about the post-credits scene that hints at a Latino-themed spin-off of the franchise, I didn’t care. I was out of there.
If I were to rate Paranormal Activity 4 on a popcorn scale of 1 to 10, I’d suggest a 4 for the first 90% of the movie, popped up to a 7 in the last 10%.
(Foot note: I had published this review 24 hours ago, it went live, then distributed to Twitter and my Facebook page… but the post disappeared from the site at some point between now and then… thus, this repost. Sorry.)