PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4
It has been five years since Katie (Katie Featherston) murdered her sister and disappeared with her infant nephew, Hunter, in tow. Now, a new family is about to fall prey to nighttime terrors. A mysterious accident next door leads to teenage Alex (Kathryn Newton) and her family becoming the temporary guardians of Robbie (Brady Allen), a very creepy neighbor boy. Cameras installed throughout Alex's home capture the sinister events that unfold after Robbie's arrival.
Director: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
Cast: Stephen Dunham, Alexondra Lee, Kathryn Newton, Matt Shively
Release Date: Oct 19, 2012
Rated R for language and some violence/terror
Runtime: 1 hr. 35 min.
For the first 3 films the Paranormal Activity franchise got an incredible amount of run out a plot and mythology that was literally made up as they went. It was fairly impressive considering its humble beginnings. I respected the 3rd film for expanding the mythos but it never connected to me the way the first 2 did and seemed to lack the visceral punch they had. The 4th entry in the franchise feels like a recycled and tired retread of everything we’ve seen before. There’s very little innovation and creativity here outside of new types of cameras (webcams, camera phone & Xbox Kinetic) and new family. Kathryn Kewton and Brady Allen make for a belivable teenage couple. Brady Allen delivers the creepy kid quotient for this entry. The story seems drenched in mythology but lacking in substance at the same time. It makes for a strange viewing experience because all the usual jump scares and shocks seem to get in the way more than anything else. They are expected and telegraphed that they lack any pop. The plot is filled with lazy plot devices like an overly creepy kid, somewhat detached and disinterested parents dealing with relationship issues and a neighborhood where nobody locks there door. The finale ramps up some energy and forward momentum, something missing for the better part of the film, but by then you just want them to get to the big reveal. Paranormal Activity 4 clocks in at barely an hour and a half long but the entire experience feel decidedly longer.