I do have a bit of respect for the makers of ‘Paranormal Activity’ for producing a feature film with very little money or resources, getting eyes on it and eventually a hugely successful theatrical release.
That said, I also do not care for its brand of horror in the slightest. A lot of the ‘Paranormal Activity’ series so far has consisted of a seeming mixture of dull, amateur home video of people doing mundane everyday household activities, and fuzzy, night time security camera footage. Both things most sane people would surely have no interest in watching.
Its method of getting scares is also incredibly lazy. Show a static shot of nothing happening, keep showing it….nothing….nothing…nothing…nothing…tick-tock…tick-tock…tick-tock…………zzzzz……………….………..BANG!!! A door just closed! Be afraid!!
Sarcasm aside, you can always tell when a jump moment is about to happen in these films, and even if they do succeed in briefly startling you, it’ll be because of the loud noise following a prolonged silent nothing rather than anything imaginative being shown.
Set several years after the original, this fourth instalment features a very boring family in the suburbs having a creepy boy move in next to them. Most of the first half-hour or so involves the teenage daughter video chatting with her irritating boyfriend, who conveniently also likes to film everything. The creepy boy ends up having to stay with the family and starts acting strangely. Most of the scare-free footage comes now from various laptops the boyfriend has placed around the house.
‘Paranormal Activity 4’ predictably offers basically no change in approach, just sticking to the formula that worked for them previously, but that was barely enough for one movie let alone four. It’s hard to imagine even the original’s biggest fans continuing to find any excitement amidst this tedium.