Paranormal Activity 4 FeaturedWritten by Jon Patch
Paramount Pictures and Room 101 present an R rated, 88 minute, horror, thriller, directed by Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman, screenplay by Christopher Landon and story by Chad Feehan with theater release date of October 19, 2012.
In October of 2006, a young boy named Hunter was abducted by his Aunt Katie (Katie Featherston), who apparently killed his family and until now their whereabouts were unknown. In an upscale community neighborhood a mother and her adopted son Robbie (Brady Allen) move in and when the mother takes ill one night Robbie moves in with Alex (Kathryn Newton) and her parents and brother, Wyatt. Little did this family know what they were getting themselves into since from that moment on nothing would remain the same.
Anyone who has seen the first three “Paranormal Activity” films will already be quite familiar with the format of this horror story. Not only does the fifteen year old daughter Alex walk around constantly with a laptop as she chats with her boyfriend Ben (Matt Shively) but Ben ends up rigging several cameras around the house to hopefully catch the reason for many of the strange things happening to the family since Robbie moved in with them. The audience is constantly reminded like the three films before this one once again of what night it is when these bumps in the night occur.
Things do happen to the family as the nights go on, images on the videos, loud noises, items moving in the house and then there’s Robbie who has befriended Wyatt, the families youngest. It’s not until Alex and Ben take notice to a symbol found drawn within the property and on Wyatt that Ben discovers the meaning of it which lays out the climatic ending that will leave you hanging like a fly caught in a spider web. You may not be drained of blood but your wallet will be drained of hard earned cash!
There are truly some tense moments throughout the film which the score helped to solidify as somewhat scary but nothing to really make you jump in fear. Ok maybe one or two scenes for the squeamish at heart. There is one moment during a garage scene with Alex that truly left the audience in a roar but overall its old school scare factors that have been done many times before. Grant it, I like old school so I did personally appreciate some of the camera angles, use of video and shadows in the night that are used to make this story worth seeing. If only the character development wasn’t so drawn out and more of the unanswerable events took place earlier than they did than maybe this film would have had a better effect.
For a low budget film in the beginning to build such a momentum you know the director and writers are going to keep this franchise going for as long as the audience is paying to see it. Thankfully though the actors in this film really do a nice job of making this story seem authentic and real rather than on the amateurish side. These days more horror, thrillers are being made in Hollywood, using big actor names so the small town low budget films need to step up their games to compete. In the end though this fourth edition to the series is not the worst film I’ve ever seen but it wouldn’t be the first film I’d run out to see this weekend. Thankfully though the family cat that tends to make several appearances in the story does not fall victim to the scary lady and her devilish child from across the street. Obviously though the writers surely left a huge gaping hole open for number 5. Written and appreciated for making it to #4 with one and a half paws out of four, I’m Jon Patch.
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