Posted on November 13, 2012 by Michael Holland
Available at Amazon.com
“Dad, what is that?”
“That is awesome!”
No dad, that is not awesome. It’s not terrible but it is definitely not awesome.
I would say “the plot thickens” but to be honest the fourth installment in the Paranormal Activity franchise doesn’t really add much to the mix. I will say that up front. At this point the writers (Christopher Landon, Chad Feehan) have pretty much phoned in the possibility of developing a growing plot and they’re playing with the dangling threads of the previous movies. We see this kind of treatment all too often in other franchises and it is usually a sign that the ride is coming to an end. If the box office is any kind of indicator the general audience is feeling the same as PA4 earned less than half of any of the previous PA films.
The movie takes place several years after the events in PA and PA2 in the home of a well-to-do family in Henderson, Nevada (a generally nice community on the east/south-east side of Las Vegas). Life is normal for this family until, as expected, strange things start to happen. I can’t say much more without giving away what little plot there is but if you have seen the previous four movies you pretty much already know what you are getting yourself into. Yes, it really is that thin.
So what about the technical aspects of the movie. Was it filmed well? Was it scary? Was it original in any way?
Visually the movie looked good so I can’t complain in that regard. This movie actually improved on the work done in the previous movies which is more than likely due to the medium on which all “the captured footage” was filmed. Everything is seen through webcams as we witness the early events of the movie during video chat sessions and later on, as the protagonist sets up all of the laptops in the house to record everything. So we see less “shaky camera” footage which has always been a weakness of the genre.
As for scares the movie has a few good ones which will not disappoint but the build up to those moments is so slow they may not be worth waiting for.
The movie also isn’t all that original. Not only it is rehashing what we have already seen in the previous three movies the one element of “new idea” is already familiar to those of us who watch shows like Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures.
Should you see it? Sure, why not. The movie has a couple memorable moments which most folks will enjoy but I don’t think anyone should rush out to see it before it disappears from theaters. Wait to rent it or stream it on Netflix and you will probably enjoy it just enough to be worth your time.
Rated: 2 out of 5
Reviewed by Michael Holland
Tags | horror-movies