Latest Movie News Headlines

Review: Paranormal Activity 4

Oct. 19, 2012by: Chris Bumbray

PLOT: A young girl, Alex (Kathryn Newton) is convinced that the young boy her family has taken-in has brought some kind of otherworldly presence to their home- with it's target being her adopted younger brother, Wyatt.

REVIEW: Halloween is just around the corner- and you know what that means! A few years ago, it meant another SAW, but nowadays, it means another PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, with this being the latest installment in what must be an extremely profitable franchise for Paramount Pictures.

Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, who directed the well-received third film, are back for another go-round, picking up where the second left off. While my review of the last one wasn't all that positive, looking back at the eighties set prequel that was PA3, it's clear that it was a serious cut above the other films in the series. Joost and Schulman, who directed the semi-doc CATFISH a few years ago (a movie I loved) managed to incorporate some new tricks (including the famous oscillating camera shot)- and a fun retro eighties vibe that resulted in boffo box-office.

Sadly, PA4 doesn't come close to recapturing the fun of the third film with this turgid entry being the worst of the series to date. In fact, I'd say the film borders on being unwatchable, putting it squarely at the bottom of the barrel next to recent found-footage films like THE DEVIL INSIDE. I can see why Paramount loves putting these out, as they probably cost next to nothing to make, market themselves mainly through social media, and typically have huge opening weekends. In their probable haste to put out a fourth film, Paramount seemingly disregarded the fact that the franchise doesn't really have anywhere new to go, with the found footage angle having played itself out over the last three movies.

As a result, PA4 is a simple re-hash from beginning to end. If you've seen the other movies, you've seen this one. The gimmick of having everyone constantly recording themselves is laughable, especially with Joost and Schulman trying to work webcams and iPhone cameras into the plot- which I suppose is meant to be a commentary on the teen obsession with video. Even still, it's pretty hard to swallow when the teen protagonist runs around in abject fear, wielding a laptop to film everything- even though there's really no reason for her to be taping as she's no longer trying to prove anything to anyone, as in the last few movies.

If the other entries were slow-burn, this is an even s-l-o-w-e-r one, with the eighty-eighty minute running time seeming endless. Virtually nothing happens for at least the first half hour, giving off the impression that Joost and Schulman were just making this up as the went along. When the scares finally kick in, they're all rehashed from the other movies- right down to the inevitable Katie Featherston cameo, which is virtual replay of her bit part in the second film.

Probably the only nice thing I can say about PA4 is that young Kathryn Newton is not bad in the lead, and comes off fairly natural- although acting has never really been the problem with the series as the leads always tend to be at least decent- if unremarkable. Some of the video FX, especially the cool night-vision motion mapping effect- are also kinda nifty, but they get rehashed over and over and over- to groan inducing effect.

Even if you're a huge PARANORMAL ACTIVITY fan, I'd wager that by the time PA4 draws to a close you'll admit that the series has really run out of steam. Of course, given the micro-budgets, I'm sure that even if the grosses drop, we'll get at least a few more installments of the series before this goes the way of other horror franchises that played themselves out. Love em' or hate em'- I doubt this series is going anywhere. Groan.

Source: JoBlo.com

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

3:29AM on 10/19/2012

Surprise Suprise

You mean to tell me a hastily written and filmed annual installment of a series that started out halfway to bad isnt awesome? People watch these commercials of night visioned audiences jumping in terror and clutching their loved ones and think "I want that". Hell, I want that. But those test groups are a gaggle of the most spineless and annoying moviegoers they could find. As this article says, these are cheap and take no effort yet make 10 times their budget in 72 hours. They will never stop
You mean to tell me a hastily written and filmed annual installment of a series that started out halfway to bad isnt awesome? People watch these commercials of night visioned audiences jumping in terror and clutching their loved ones and think "I want that". Hell, I want that. But those test groups are a gaggle of the most spineless and annoying moviegoers they could find. As this article says, these are cheap and take no effort yet make 10 times their budget in 72 hours. They will never stop until we stop them.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
3:17PM on 10/19/2012
TRUTH IDk why I wanted to see it, maybe I was expecting it to be as awesome as #3 which I think is the best one it wasn't as cliche. but I am done.
TRUTH IDk why I wanted to see it, maybe I was expecting it to be as awesome as #3 which I think is the best one it wasn't as cliche. but I am done.
-18
4:00AM on 10/19/2012
Next one should be Paranormal Activity 4: Getting Abnormal Activity, hehe.
Next one should be Paranormal Activity 4: Getting Abnormal Activity, hehe.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
3:16PM on 10/19/2012
joke not funny hehe
joke not funny hehe
7:57AM on 10/19/2012
Can't say I'm surprised.
Can't say I'm surprised.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
9:31AM on 10/19/2012

They all suck

I was never a fan of this series. They were all building up to really dumb jump scares. Kids these days have it easy when it comes to horror movies. I remember seeing crap like Candyman in theaters, I dare any idiotic kid to see that movie in a theater and come out saying PA is scarier...
I was never a fan of this series. They were all building up to really dumb jump scares. Kids these days have it easy when it comes to horror movies. I remember seeing crap like Candyman in theaters, I dare any idiotic kid to see that movie in a theater and come out saying PA is scarier...
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
-2
1:02PM on 10/19/2012

yep

I genuinely enjoyed the first one, mostly for it's primeval feel, but completely lost interest after that. The "twist" climax of the second film literally made me laugh, which wasn't a good sign. It's Saw all over again. At least personally.
I genuinely enjoyed the first one, mostly for it's primeval feel, but completely lost interest after that. The "twist" climax of the second film literally made me laugh, which wasn't a good sign. It's Saw all over again. At least personally.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:26PM on 10/19/2012

I have not seen it yet, but potential*** SPOILER***

***SPOILER***

I am guessing the little boy they take in, is the baby from #2 (the nephew of the chick from the 1st). Just guessing, but that is what it seems after seeing just the trailer.

Anyone that has seen this should let me know. I really don't care if it is spoiled for me.
***SPOILER***

I am guessing the little boy they take in, is the baby from #2 (the nephew of the chick from the 1st). Just guessing, but that is what it seems after seeing just the trailer.

Anyone that has seen this should let me know. I really don't care if it is spoiled for me.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
5:42PM on 10/19/2012
Gotcha. I went to IMDB too, they had some guy explain all of it, makes sense, but the series is wearing thin by the sounds of it. Thanks.
Gotcha. I went to IMDB too, they had some guy explain all of it, makes sense, but the series is wearing thin by the sounds of it. Thanks.
3:36PM on 10/19/2012
No... you misunderstood. Hunter IS in the movie. He is just not the creepy kid from across the street with Katie. He is the adopted son in the new family that the film centers on. Now demon Katie has come to claim him. The creepy kid's identity or why he is with Katie is not explained but, the families son Wyatt is actually Hunter.
No... you misunderstood. Hunter IS in the movie. He is just not the creepy kid from across the street with Katie. He is the adopted son in the new family that the film centers on. Now demon Katie has come to claim him. The creepy kid's identity or why he is with Katie is not explained but, the families son Wyatt is actually Hunter.
3:15PM on 10/19/2012
So no explanation as to where Hunter from PA2 went in this movie??? Sounds like a mess. To clear things up, I would have had the weird kid be Hunter. I will have to update this once I see it. Not sounding good though as far as I can tell.
So no explanation as to where Hunter from PA2 went in this movie??? Sounds like a mess. To clear things up, I would have had the weird kid be Hunter. I will have to update this once I see it. Not sounding good though as far as I can tell.
3:10PM on 10/19/2012
Hunter is the boy I am referring too. Hunter is the baby boy that Katie kidnaps (her nephew) in PA2. Isn't that correct?
Hunter is the boy I am referring too. Hunter is the baby boy that Katie kidnaps (her nephew) in PA2. Isn't that correct?
2:11PM on 10/19/2012
***SPOILER***


Saw it last night. No, it's actually not. The family's little boy is adopted and HE is actually Hunter from PA2. Katie and the witch coven have come to claim him so they can finish a ritual to give the demon the boy's soul. The weird kid, "Robbie" is a red herring and who he really is is not explained in this one.
***SPOILER***


Saw it last night. No, it's actually not. The family's little boy is adopted and HE is actually Hunter from PA2. Katie and the witch coven have come to claim him so they can finish a ritual to give the demon the boy's soul. The weird kid, "Robbie" is a red herring and who he really is is not explained in this one.
+1
1:37PM on 10/19/2012

Maybe

Just maybe, it'll pull a Fast Five and make the 5th installment great.
Just maybe, it'll pull a Fast Five and make the 5th installment great.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
3:14PM on 10/19/2012
highly doubtful
highly doubtful
2:12PM on 10/19/2012
Hope so. I like these flicks and while I didn't hate this one, it was weak.
Hope so. I like these flicks and while I didn't hate this one, it was weak.
2:15PM on 10/19/2012
Saw it last night, it was released yesterday here in Argentina. Lots of teens in the theatre and even them didn`t enjoy it. Almost no scares, just a few sound effects, but nothing till the end. In my opinion, as a big fan of horror movies, nothing really happen in the first hour of this movie. And then the final climax is really stupid. I don`t buy the "cult" story from PA3 and here is the same thing again. I really like the first two movies, the way they use the suspense, the climax. PA3 is
Saw it last night, it was released yesterday here in Argentina. Lots of teens in the theatre and even them didn`t enjoy it. Almost no scares, just a few sound effects, but nothing till the end. In my opinion, as a big fan of horror movies, nothing really happen in the first hour of this movie. And then the final climax is really stupid. I don`t buy the "cult" story from PA3 and here is the same thing again. I really like the first two movies, the way they use the suspense, the climax. PA3 is way over the top, and in this one almost nothing happens. The blonde is the best part of this. 4/10
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
3:14PM on 10/19/2012

I agree with this rating...

I truly don't understand how they fucked this up they did and amazing job with #3 all you had to do was follow what you did with 3 but nope they went #2's path and fucked up so bad. But the good was this movie was funnier then the others, and the end was the pretty awesome with the dino demons.
I truly don't understand how they fucked this up they did and amazing job with #3 all you had to do was follow what you did with 3 but nope they went #2's path and fucked up so bad. But the good was this movie was funnier then the others, and the end was the pretty awesome with the dino demons.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
3:15PM on 10/19/2012

I agree with this rating...

I truly don't understand how they fucked this up they did and amazing job with #3 all you had to do was follow what you did with 3 but nope they went #2's path and fucked up so bad. But the good was this movie was funnier then the others, and the end was the pretty awesome with the dino demons.
I truly don't understand how they fucked this up they did and amazing job with #3 all you had to do was follow what you did with 3 but nope they went #2's path and fucked up so bad. But the good was this movie was funnier then the others, and the end was the pretty awesome with the dino demons.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
3:16PM on 10/19/2012

I agree with this rating...

I truly don't understand how they fucked this up they did and amazing job with #3 all you had to do was follow what you did with 3 but nope they went #2's path and fucked up so bad. But the good was this movie was funnier then the others, and the end was the pretty awesome with the dino demons.
I truly don't understand how they fucked this up they did and amazing job with #3 all you had to do was follow what you did with 3 but nope they went #2's path and fucked up so bad. But the good was this movie was funnier then the others, and the end was the pretty awesome with the dino demons.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
3:17PM on 10/19/2012

I agree with this rating...

I truly don't understand how they fucked this up they did and amazing job with #3 all you had to do was follow what you did with 3 but nope they went #2's path and fucked up so bad. But the good was this movie was funnier then the others, and the end was the pretty awesome with the dino demons.
I truly don't understand how they fucked this up they did and amazing job with #3 all you had to do was follow what you did with 3 but nope they went #2's path and fucked up so bad. But the good was this movie was funnier then the others, and the end was the pretty awesome with the dino demons.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
5:15PM on 10/19/2012

Saw > PA

I'd Rather see another Saw Movie than watch this hip wannabe horror filmmaking...
I'd Rather see another Saw Movie than watch this hip wannabe horror filmmaking...
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
9:45PM on 10/19/2012

Whatta waste of money

Wanna see a scary movie where nothing scary happens? See Paranormal Activity 4.
Wanna see a scary movie where nothing scary happens? See Paranormal Activity 4.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:53PM on 10/19/2012
I DO NOT GET IT!!!! I have seen episodes of Scooby Doo that is scarier and far more entertaining! Everyone was bashing the never ending "Saw" franchise but I can bet that most of those people would kill for it to come back over this crap!
I DO NOT GET IT!!!! I have seen episodes of Scooby Doo that is scarier and far more entertaining! Everyone was bashing the never ending "Saw" franchise but I can bet that most of those people would kill for it to come back over this crap!
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
3:54PM on 10/20/2012

damn near spot on

and the boyfriend looked like a stupider Jimmy Kimmel
and the boyfriend looked like a stupider Jimmy Kimmel
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
8:19PM on 10/20/2012
ok seriously thumbs me down all you want but ANYONE who like these movies is a complete fucking moron. They are downright borefests & not even scary, it really makes me miss the Saw movies.
ok seriously thumbs me down all you want but ANYONE who like these movies is a complete fucking moron. They are downright borefests & not even scary, it really makes me miss the Saw movies.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
12:17AM on 10/21/2012

To each their own

While I didn't find the film to be scary at all, I still found it to be on par with the last 2 entries. Nothing really new has been added to the series except the last minute....

****SPOILER****

The witches were fucking cool. I really thought was worth the wait. However when faced with death I am pretty sure I would leave all computers and cameras back in the house. Logic should have kicked in of course.
While I didn't find the film to be scary at all, I still found it to be on par with the last 2 entries. Nothing really new has been added to the series except the last minute....

****SPOILER****

The witches were fucking cool. I really thought was worth the wait. However when faced with death I am pretty sure I would leave all computers and cameras back in the house. Logic should have kicked in of course.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
12:20AM on 10/21/2012
I found the boyfriend to be very funny and he seemed real for how kids are today. Laughed a few times throughout.
I found the boyfriend to be very funny and he seemed real for how kids are today. Laughed a few times throughout.
View All Comments

Latest Movie News Headlines


Top
Loading...
JoBlo's T-Shirt Shoppe | support our site... Wear Our Gear!