All I can say is wow. After seeing Paranormal Activity 4, I actually regretted giving Here Comes the Boom a 2 out of 5 last week. Compared to this piece of trash, Here Comes the Boom is an absolute masterpiece akin to the likes of Citizen Kane. And yes, I did just compare a Kevin James film to the absolute marvel that is Citizen Kane. That should tell you everything you need to know already. But why did I hate it so much, you ask? Was it really that bad? In short: absolutely.
Paranormal Activity 4 takes place five years after the events of the first two movies. Like the first three of this annual series, the film attempts to tell the story of a local family being haunted by a demon. Katie Featherston returns as the demon-possessed Katie (creative name choice) and Brady Allen takes the role of Robbie, Katie’s child who gets increasingly creepy as the film progresses. The main victims this year are Alex, played by Kathryn Newton, and her boyfriend Ben (Matt Shivley), whose comedy is the only semi-entertaining part of this sad excuse for a film.
Now for my own personal synopsis of it: In Paranormal Activity 4, you watch “found footage of a haunting”, which basically means you stare at a bunch of random rooms for 5 minutes and wait for something to pop out and cheaply scare you. Then you rinse and repeat that formula FOR AN HOUR AND A HALF. It could be a demon or it could just be the family cat bumping the camera. Doors open, chairs move, and lights turn on all in the interest of attempting to frighten the audience. Seem familiar? It should. I just described the first three movies as well.
To be honest, they should just go ahead and rename this entire series Jump Scare: The Movie, because that’s all it truly is. To call this series horror is a disservice to almost every other horror film ever created because at least those, for the most part, attempt to frighten the viewer with something other than loud noises and semi-creepy imagery. I could make my own version of this film by recording my dorm room and then jumping out of my closet wearing a Yoda mask when you least expect it. It’d save you the price of admission and, quite frankly, be a lot more entertaining to watch.
I could continue and delve into the other problems of the film like the large amount of plot holes (like knives on the ceiling that nobody notices for four days and a Kinect that is turned on for the entire two-week period this movie takes place to name a few) or the hilariously bad dialogue but I honestly don’t have all day. This movie is not worth my time and certainly wasn’t worth my $9 either. Having one mildly scary scene in the last 30 seconds of an 88-minute film does not constitute a horror film. It’s just a way for people to make money off a title and not put forth any actual effort in forming a congruent plot or legitimate scares that earn your screams.
To sum it up, do not see this movie. I don’t want to see Paranormal Activity 5 come out next October because I’ve already seen it four other times and, quite frankly, it just keeps getting worse. I give it the lowest 1 out of 5 I can possibly give a movie. Go use your money on something that actually deserves it.
Jordan Ray is a sophomore journalism major from Houston, Texas.