Starring: Katie Featherston, Kathryn Newton, Matt Shively
Find it: IMDB
At what stage does something stop being Paranormal Activity and become a Regular Occurrence? All the activity has led to this, apparently. To be fair, Paranormal Activity 4 does head in a slightly different direction to the first three films, its threat being of a slightly different nature to which we're used to seeing. Paranormal Activity 4 is more of a spooky child movie than it is a haunted house flick.
But, in the worlds of meme Captain Picard, why the fuck, at this point, are they still recording everything they do? Aside from a little football match at the start of the film, barely any attempt is made to explain why young Alex (Newton) is recording her every move. Never before has the series' gimmick seemed so stretched and aimless.
Creepy kid Robbie (Brady Allen) and his mother move in across the street from tweenage Alex and her family. When his mother is mysteriously taken ill, Robbie comes to stay with the family. Unfortunately, the scary little shit has brought his Invisible Friend with him. Cue things flying around the house, doors slamming shut, people levitating out of beds and the whole family flying up and down stairs in hilarious Paranormal Activity style. I haven't been scared by a Paranormal Activity since the first one, but this fourth instalment isn't even remotely worrying.
There are some new ideas which work well though, particularly those which employ an Xbox's Motion Capture facilities to catch a glimpse of the demons which stalk Alex's home and the children in it. With several laptops and an Xbox all switched on at once, this family's reliance on standby mode is the reason we have global warming, people. Switch your shit off! Unfortunately, most everything else is laugh out loud funny. Alex levitating out of her bed raises a smile while the family's repeatedly being flung around the house like rag dolls is just hilarious. My favourite part of the Paranormal Activity films is the bit in which unseen forces drag the protagonists around the place; Paranormal Acivity 4 is like a spooky version of You've Been Framed in that respect.
It's all a bit of a non-event, culminating in a reasonably interesting cliffhanger which probably won't be followed up on in the inevitable sequel. But oh, as long as they have people falling up and down the stairs some more, I'm on board for that.