Fourth installment satisfies fans of the “Paranormal Activity” films
Halloween is almost here, which means one thing for horror movie fans – it’s time for another “Paranormal Activity” movie. “Paranormal Activity 4” continues one of Hollywood’s most unique franchises, again utilizing the “found footage” style of filmmaking to creep out audiences. While not the scariest film, it is a solid entry in the series and is sure to satisfy viewers looking for scary good fun.
At the end of “Paranormal Activity 2,” possessed Katie murders her sister and brother-in-law and absconds with her infant nephew, Hunter. “Paranormal Activity 4” picks up six years later, this time centering on a new family living across the street from Katie and her young “son” Robbie. When Katie apparently becomes ill and is hospitalized, Robbie stays with the neighboring family, who soon become terrorized by supernatural occurrences. After teenage daughter Alex and her boyfriend Ben begin to suspect Robbie might have brought something sinister into the house, they set up cameras to investigate what is really going on.
Those who have never seen any “Paranormal Activity” films should be warned that they are not typical horror movies. In the fourth entry, there is no eerie score and no bloodshed. What instead makes the film frightening, however, is that it appears a normal, everyday family is actually being terrorized by demons. The found footage style makes the events on-screen seem more realistic, and it also makes what’s going to happen next harder to predict. Thus, the audience is in a constant state of suspense, and shocks can come from a cat merely jumping into the frame to the expected paranormal activities.
Though this type of filmmaking is effective in scaring people, it also opens a major logical loophole – would people really record every moment of their lives like they do in this movie? Don’t the camera batteries ever die? Who’s editing all this raw footage, anyway?
Most of the small cast gave stellar performances. They did not appear to be actors, coming across as real people actually having disturbing experiences. The one exception is Matt Shively as Ben, who is annoying and obnoxious. Fans of the series will be happy to see Katie Featherston once again portraying Katie in a reduced, yet pivotal role.
If you’re looking for gore and outright horror this Halloween season, then see another scary movie. But for fans of the franchise, “Paranormal Activity 4” is satisfying.
Sean Quinn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.