Paranormal Activity 4
Paranormal Activity 4
Producers: Jason Blum, Akiva Goldsman, James Moran, Oren Peli, Gregory Plotkin, Steven Schneider
Directors: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
Writers: Christopher Landon, Chad Feehan
Cast: Katie Featherston, Kathryn Newton, Stephen Dunham, Matt Shively, Alexondra Lee, Brady Allen, Aiden Lovekamp, Sara Mornell, Alisha Boe, William Juan Prieto, Brendon Eggertsen
Synopsis: The story takes place in 2011, five years after Katie killed her boyfriend Micah, sister Kristi, her husband Daniel and took their baby, Hunter. Story focuses on Alex and her family experiencing weird stuff since the new neighbors moved in the town.
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some violence/terror
It has all led up to this...
What was once arguably one of the greatest horror franchises ever conceived, it has run the course of what all horror franchises go through at one point, or another. As most movie experts know, most horror franchises will often promote a film as the final movie of the series, but that's always a lie.
No, if the movie makes enough money, then you can bet your a** there's going to be a sequel to it; regardless of what the director, or anyone involved with the movie says. Therefore, should any of us really be surprised that "Paranormal Activity 3" wasn't the final film of the franchise, as it was expected to be originally? I can honestly say that I'm not. Heck, it's another reason why I honestly didn't buy into that nonsensical advertising bull s*** about "Saw 3-D" being the final movie in the "Saw" franchise, but that's a different story.
To get back to this movie, I do have a few more things to say about this one; along with the franchise in general. As most horror film buffs know, most horror franchise will often, at one point, try to center a film around a bunch of teenagers to appeal to a younger audience if they haven't already done so to begin with. It always happens. Out with the old, and in with the new victims...er..I..I..I..mean cast. In fact, I think "Scream 4" made a clever joke about that too, when one of the characters said, "You forgot another key rule. Never f*** with the original." Sadly, "Paranormal Activity 4" falls into this same trap, as it casts a young teenage girl, who's character is fifteen, but looks a bit younger.
Unlike the last couple of movies, that showcased how the paranormal activities affected the entire families of each film. This one tends to focus on the teenage daughter, Alex (Kathryn Newton), of a new family that has the misfortune of being the new victims of this latest one; along with her boyfriend, Ben (Matt Shively). And like most horror films that focus heavily on teenage protagonists, the parents are naive idiots that think their teenage daughter is just acting crazy, and don't realize what's really going on until way too late. I just love how adults are so stupid in movies like this...
Anyways, after the family adopts a new boy named, Wyatt, everything seems peaceful. Alex adores her new baby brother, who looks no older than seven. However, things start to become strange when the mysterious young boy across the street starts to act bit weird; which piques Alex and her boyfriend's curiosity. Due to a series of events, the weird boy named Robbie (Brady Allen) tells Alex's parents that supposedly his mother is in the hospital, so they offer him a place to stay until she gets back. However, it doesn't end there, as they soon discover that Robbie has an imaginary friend named Toby; which was the exact same name that the last imaginary friend had in "Paranormal Activity 3." Uh oh...that can't be good. However, that's all you need to know about the story in a nutshell.
Like all the previous films, the protagonists start to set up cameras all over their house to investigate a few odd disturbances. At first, one could explain them logically, but as the film goes on, it becomes more obvious that something paranormal is out to get them. Unlike the previous films though, this one isn't remotely scary unless you rarely watch that many horror movies. Sure, there's a lot of shock value in this one, but that's basically all there is to "Paranormal Activity 4"; which is kind of disappointing.
In the first two films, it not only had shock value, but they played with the audiences' minds a bit. Building up the intensity to where scene upon scene, the audience was at the edge of their chairs clamoring in horror, as they didn't know what to expect. And like I said in my review of the first two films, the scariest parts were not necessarily what you could see, but it's the little things you couldn't see to let your imagination wander in fear.
Don't get me wrong, there's scenes like that here in "Paranormal Activity 4", where it tries to create tension off what the audience couldn't see. However, most of this is ruined by the fact that if you've seen the previous films, then you can see where the story is going from a mile away. Hell, even if you've never seen any of the films before, the way the script seems to be written it becomes way too obvious midway through the movie what's going to happen to our protagonist. This is part of the problem that makes "Paranormal Activity 4" fail miserably in comparison to it's prequels.
Sure, "Paranormal Activity 3" was a bit of a disappointment to it's previous films as well, but at least, it managed to create a story to where the audience couldn't tell where the story was leading up to. Whereas "Paranormal Activity 4", you'd have to have never seen a horror film in your whole life to honestly say that, as the foreshadowing in this movie is way too obvious; which kills most of the psychological tension that made the once great franchise such a treat to watch.
Overall, I'd have to give this film a two out of four. It's a decent rental to watch if your into horror movies, but I wouldn't expect this to be anywhere near as great as it's predecessors.