It has been five years since the disappearance of Katie and Hunter, and a suburban family witness strange events in their neighborhood when a woman and a mysterious child move in.
What we think: It’s a franchise that doesn’t really show any signs of slowing down, and you’re either going to love it or hate it.
The films’, since that first ‘bump in the night’ in 2007 have grossed a significant amount of money world wide and have been terrifying cinema goers every time.
PA4 sets up with a new family, living quietly in suburbia they take in a young boy called Robbie (who lives across the street) when his Mum has to go into hospital. The minute his foot sets inside the house all kinds of weird and strange goings on start to happen.
Alex and her boyfriend Ben, who himself provides a neat comedy element not really seen since Micah, decide to set up laptops around the house to capture the goings on. We’ve already had surveillance cameras and VHS cameras set on top of oscillating fans, so the laptop webcam beaming back out is another piece of technology to check off the list.
Robbie in the mean while is spending a great deal of time with Alex’s adopted brother Wyatt, and the pair seem inseparable but at the same time Alex is convinced Robbie’s motives are more sinister than just playing in the sandpit.
Directors Joost and Schulman are back again, and the pair take great pleasure in building the tension up before releasing it via a quick scare or sudden jolt, and even though we know that at some point its going to happen we still love it!
One particular neat trick the directors’ conjure up is the use of the Xbox kinect, the motion capture device plays a pivotal role in the terror. As when night vision is turned on thousands of tiny green dots are projected back out onto the living room, enabling us to capture everything, and I mean everything, that moves.
The film moves through the gears, and the last twenty minutes is certainly pulsating as well as revealing from a narrative perspective. From self starting cars, bath time, sharp knives and the reemergence of a past character, it has everything that the third film certainly lacked in places.
Of course the film is not without its plot holes, and there will be some questions that need to be answered. For instance, when Alex was levitated from her bed did she not get around to checking the footage the next day? Also [PLOT SPOILER] why, when Katie abducted Hunter, did she let him be adopted by another family for her to come and get him five years later?
I think the film has been unfairly criticised, perhaps people feel like this franchise has run it’s course or even that they were expecting something bigger this time out. The box office cannot lie though and at the end of the day the film industry is a business, of which Paranormal Activity has flourished.
The ending and closing scene of this film leaves us in no doubt that the story will continue next Halloween as rumours around a Paranormal Activity 5 have begun.
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