Fourth film in the franchise is weaker than the first and third, better than the second. Not for kids.
It's October again, and the latest film in the franchise that once started off rediculously promising but has now turned into the next Saw franchise (only substantially more profitable, that is) is finally here, with Paranormal Activity 4. Now, before you get the feeling that I disliked this movie, please allow me to elaborate a little bit more so, here. Now, I am a huge fan of the Paranormal Activity films, and I know that this is one of those franchise's that has a vastly seperated legion of followers: The group of people who think that these movies are scary, intense and enjoyable. And than, there is the other group of alternatively polar opposities, who believe that these films are just cheap, messy, badly acted and boring waists of time. Now, despite the fact that, again, I am a moderately big fan of the series, overall, I am still find myself mainly pitted somehwere in the middle, here. I absolutely loved the first entry in the series, because I thoiught that it was an original (for the time, that is), smart and very, very scary, and a very memorable horror film. The second film, I thought, was a relentless dissapointment, with a much limper narrative constructive set, and, the scares just simply didn`t pay off for me in that one. The third one, which of course was last years Paranormal Activity 3, I thought was the best in the franchise, even better than the first film, because it was incredibly creative and imaginative in it`s scares, had the most likable characters yet, and it had a virtually unforgettable (to me, at least) ending that stuck with me for a while. Whew. Now that I got all of that exposition off of my chest, let`s finally just get to it, shall we? Paranormal Acitivty 4 picks up five years after the second film left off, with (spoilers!) Katie killing her sister Kristi, and stealing her son Hunter. Now, five years later, we are introduced to a new set of family bound-characters living in a very nice Neveda suburb. Now, our teenage lead Alex (Kathryn Newton) begins feeling the presence of something evil when the neighbors creepy son comes over to stay with them for a couple of weeks, after his mother ends up in the hospital after an unexplained dilemma that is never really elaborated upon further. Now, Alex spends much of the movies running time just randomly exploring the house and chatting with her boyfriend on skype, via her laptop, which supplies the film with much of it's humor, which is effective. Also relativly well done and effective, is, of course, the relentless sequence of jump scares that will induce shock itno you, but are not terribly effecting or all that memorable. Really, even with the last ten minutes amping up the suspense, I thought that they rushed through it so fast that they barely had any time to actually thoroughly scare us properly, and, as a fact of that, the movie just ends, and you can't help but think to yourself "Is that it?" Still, Paranormal Activity 4 is substantially better than the scond film, if not nearly as good as the first and third films in the series. It still applies a versatile league of characters, some fairly effective tension and scares, relieving humor, and, finally, and rather most surprisingly, some of the best acting of the series, which surprised me. Now, like the other three films in the series, Paranormal Activity 3 is rated R, and should not be seen by any young kids, or, for that matter, even most younger teens who can't hold there suspense very well, so, here we go: The film is wall-to-wall with jump scares, tension and nerve-wracking suspense, but there is actually very little on-screen violence. But, what does occur, includes several sequences such as: A young boy being forcefully held under water in a bathub for an extended period of time, and than be released in a delerious state; a teenager having his neck brutally snapped and his body hidden; a woman being thrust through the air by an unseen entity, and slammed violently onto the ground to her death, face first, and more. Also, there is some moderate sexual references here and there, which include a few implied moments of a teenage boy`s attempts to seduce his sweet and rather innocent young girlfriend, but this never goes anywhere. And, finally, there is about as much profanity as there was in the third film, and that was also on the tamer side of the franchise`s profanity count, but, still, there are several uses each of f--k, sh-t, h-ll, g-dd-mn, jesus, c-ck and more. Alsoo, finally, Paranormal Activity 4 may not be the best film in the series, by a long shot, but, for what it is, it is a reasonably fun enough horror film, and a decently good time at the movies. Reccomended.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking