Paranormal Activity 4

Release date: October 19, 2012 Paranormal Activity 4

All the activity has led to this… crapfest.

In what I like to believe is starting off YEAR-TWO of thestabilo.com I am watching the sequel of the first film I reviewed for this lovely little non-pornographic website: PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4. Last year’s Paranormal Activity 3 (Read my review here) was a nail bitter.

Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman are back in the directors’ seats for PA4, and they bring us back into the 21st century with webcams and Xbox Kinects! Left behind are the beta-cams on floor-fan rigs. Now we get to see what our poor Mac iSights have to suffer while we skype with our BFFs. Also returning is Katie Featherston who plays Katie from the three first flicks. Only other actress worth naming is Kathryn Newton who plays our main character Alex, the teenaged girl with cameras stuck to her hands throughout this thang.

This film picks up five years after the events of Paranormal Activity 2. A simple unassuming family take in the “weird” sandle and socks wear son of their ill neighbour. Little do they know, they have let into their home what will result in their demise. When I mention this film picks up 5 years after the fact, it does it so blandly. Unlike the previous films, there’s no introduction stating this is found footage, therefore killing the fact that this film was shot in that style. What follows is 88 minutes of semi-comedy filled with fake outs that leave the audience thoroughly underwhelmed.

WHAT WORKED:

– The homage to The Shining. Yes somehow the writers Zack Estrin and Christopher B. Landon managed to squeeze in a little big-wheel action between a little boy and a big demon.

– Kathryn Newton. This lil’ gal isn’t new to the acting realm as she’s been in there with some heavyweight talent before, but having a camera in your face for about 55 minutes and acting your ass off well? That takes some grapefruit sized lady-balls. Newton almost put Colin Farrell to shame. Anyone remember Phone Booth?

WHAT DIDN’T WORK:

– As I mentioned earlier, this film starts abruptly and ends just that way too. In fact, probably the scariest part of the whole film was the final 2.5 seconds and the silent credits that followed.

– The LOL moments. Yes they were funny. But what was the point of this film? The make light of the past three? Or to scare the pants of off people this Halloween season? I mean when you hear more laughter from the crowd than gasps or screams while you’re marketing this as a horror, you’re doing something very very wrong. I feel a youtube remix along with old-time comedic sound effects coming here.

– I know we’re in the 21st century, but no one has webcams that are that HD. I don’t know why, but the image being so clear in some shots just too away from what could have been an even creepier creepy scene.

THE LOWDOWN:

– Many people I know were planning on doing a Paranormal Activity marathon before going out to see this one. My suggestion? Stick with the first three at home. It’s cheaper and you can scare your little sister more easily. With such a huge back story to build from, Paranormal Activity 4 feels like you could have put the entire development of the story into a 10 minute scene at the end of PA2. Do yourself a favour and if you wanna laugh this Halloween, just watch any Nightmare on Elm Street flicks, because Paranormal Activity 4 gets THE TOILET.

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