November 23, 2012
I do not know why I keep on watching this wretched franchise. I hated the first two. The third one is a little bit better. I guess I was hoping for further improvement in this fourth one.
Katie and Hunter from the previous film are back. This time, the possessed Katie torments a family living across her house.
This film follows basically the same formula as the others. Laptop cameras were set around the house to record "paranormal activity", until everything escalates into a ghastly ending for the family. There was a bit more action in this one, as we actually see things move or fall within the first few minutes, unlike the first ones where any significant event would only happen after the first hour. The problem is that nothing was being done despite all these videos that they are recording. Don't they review these videos at all? Why record in the first place?
What kind of parents are these Doug and Holly? They do not listen to their daughter's unnatural experiences, who seems to be a normal level- headed girl, not someone prone to wild imaginations. She cheated death twice already! (Incidentally, the pretty young actress Kathryn Newton who plays the daughter Alex is the best thing about this film.) The mom is particularly crazy In the course of this film, she ignored her husband who was nearly stabbed, gave her daughter sleeping pills and left a little child alone in the bathtub.
These severe lapses in logic make this film wallow in the same mire as the others in its franchise. That we are already seeing the fourth installment with all the same tricks makes this one already lacking originality and freshness of the first ones. How many false jump scares can the audience stand?! The use of laptop video cameras was new, but it was clunky and awkward to see Alex run all around and outside the house carrying her laptop.
At least at the very end, we actually see an additional dimension which was only hinted at in the third episode. Because of that, I would bet a fifth installment would follow and people will still go see it. I do hope they inject something fresh into that one or else it would really be curtains already for this series, as many predict.