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This week, Papa Kenn reviews the newest entry into Paramount Pictures’ hit series of found footage supernatural horror movies: Paranormal Activity 4!
“Paranormal Activity 4”
Director: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
Writers: Christopher Landon, Chad Feehan
Starring: Katie Featherston, Kathryn Newton, and Matt Shively
Quick question: have you seen the Paranormal Activity movies? Ok, follow up question for those that have seen them: would you consider yourself a fan of the series?
If you answered yes to both questions, please stand over here…or scoot over, whatever. If you answered no to either question, stand over here.
Now you fans, there is a good chance that most of you will enjoy Paranormal Activity 4. As for everyone else, this movie just isn’t for you. This is unfortunate, though expected because all of the movies have established a formula of sorts revolving around the demon’s actions and how the primary characters react.
As always, the entire movie is filmed via the found footage style and a brand new family is involved, with seemingly no connection to the events of the first three movies. That is, until a strange little boy named Robbie starts coming around. For the rest of the film we’re treated to the good old hijinks of the demon moving stuff around, breaking crap, tormenting the family and…more of the same.
That’s really the best way to describe Paranormal Activity 4: “More of the same”. For fans like me, this might help it fall into the “don’t fix what isn’t broken” category. The horror is based heavily, HEAVILY on jump scares and loud noises, which I am fine with because these scares are often the result of built tension. Again however, this is exactly what the other three movies did, which might leave a bad taste in many viewers’ mouths.
Although it seemingly has very little in common with the other films, Paranormal Activity 4 continues the overall narrative and storyline. Because of this, anyone that hasn’t seen the first three will need to either rent/stream/buy them first or have someone give you a thorough explanation. Otherwise, when the connecting plotlines kick in you will have absolutely no idea what is going on or who these people are or why everyone in the theater is gasping when this certain person appears!
Bottom line: the story will make no sense without prior knowledge of the events in Paranormal Activity 1-3, and there’s nothing new here to convince skeptics and haters of the films otherwise. Fans on the other hand will get more of what they already enjoy, topped off with possibly the most intense final 10-15 minutes in the entire series! In fact, in some ways Paranormal Activity 4 could be considered the strongest overall in the series.
Sure the acting can be a little hokey at times, and the entire series rivals Insidious & Sinister for their overuse of jump-scares, but any fan that can sit back and enjoy the show will find plenty to stick around for.
I give Paranormal Activity 4: 6/10.
I’m Papa Kenn, and wait until after the movie credits! Also, you might need someone that knows Spanish.
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