Paranormal Activity 4 Gave Up
Paranormal Activity 4; proof that found footage films can fight to reach double digits in sequels. Now, this one is neither good nor bad, instead falling into the worst possible category, known as uninspired-mediocre. Due to a quality paradox, that makes it the most terrible thing ever. Uninspired-mediocre is the essence of sequels, especially crippling to horror movies since plot comes second to spooks. While the rudimentary plot with Tobi the Demon does carry the slightest bit of weight, mediocre-uninspired sucks this flick in like a singularity.
So, what’s new? Hunter, who Katie kidnapped, has been adopted. He now goes by Wyatt and is the little brother of some girl who has a god-awful annoying boyfriend who is good with computer cameras. Why couldn’t they break the meta and have a cute gay couple or something? Geeze Louise. Anyway, Katie movies in next door to his family with a creepy little smudge named Robbie, who speaks with Tobi. Tobi is barely mentioned, by the way.
Katie has an unspecified accident which forces Wyatt’s family to put up Robbie until she’s better. Then, to nobody’s surprise, creepy things start happening. Objects start to move around. Technology begins to behave strangely. Ghostly figures appear in the Xbox Kinect motion detection field at night. Oh, right, that’s one of the movie’s primary gimmicks. If you use nightvision to observe your Xbox Kinect in a dark room, you’ll see the light nodes it uses to detect motion. Pretty neat looking if you ask me, but not a saving grace of this sequel of sequels.
Everyone dies. Nobody comes close to figuring out what’s going on with the cult. The protagonists are just punching bags for startles until the movie decides to bump ‘em off. I want- no, need explanations or at the very least some legitimate resistance to the demon shenanigans. Without any twists, secrets, or creativity, all you have is uninspired-mediocre mush that wouldn’t shock a paranoid schizophrenic. At this point in the Paranormal Activity franchise, the directors can’t afford to dig up dead scares and serve them with barely fresh garnish. That isn’t new or exciting.
Predictability is a murderer of stories, no matter the genre. Telegraph what is going to happen too clearly and predictability will jet through your work like weeds in an unkempt garden. Paranormal Activity 4 is basically planting weeds in that regard because there are no new scares, no new plot, and no surprises. Out of context, 4 might receive a passing grade. As the fourth installment of an until-now quality shockumentary franchise, it’s a blight.
Angie Han of SlashFilm feels the same way about Paranormal Activity 4, describing it as a sequel that feels like a ripoff of a beloved series. While it’s a shame that this might mean the end of Paranormal Activity, it’s good to know that “creative” resources will be aimed in a different direction. Sequels aren’t meant to be vaguely different copies of the original work. They need new perspective, direction, and sincere effort. If those three aspects aren’t readily available, it could very well be time to start on something new. Here’s the link: http://www.slashfilm.com/paranormal-activity-4-review-the-horror-franchise-finally-loses-its-way/