Friday, February 15, 2013

Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)

Paranormal Activity 4 (USA, 2012) - Color, Director(s): Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman
MPAA Rating: R
[UK: 15]
Approx. 88 min.

Z-rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Cheese Factor: 2 out of 5 stars

This movie was pretty creepy. Now, when I say creepy, I don't mean that the movie was scary. I mean that I felt creepy watching it. I'm sure it doesn't help that I'm a guy, watching a 16 year old girl through what feels like a webcam while she sleeps. There's plenty of shots from the ground where you're just staring at her feet (for you foot fetishists out there!) and there's even a scene where she's in a towel like she just got out of the shower. How are you NOT supposed to feel like a peeping tom when you watch this movie?! I already reviewed the other Paranormal Activity movies for Halloween last year and I have to say that I really enjoyed watching them back-to-back. In fact, I dedicated the first week of October to found footage films and I might've played out the genre a little bit. This movie follows the exact same formula that the other films had without really bringing anything new to the table.

This is mom, but still such a pervy voyeur shot!!!

The plot of this movie follows the events that take place after Paranormal Activity 2, where Katie comes and abducts the baby at the very end of the movie then walks out the front door. Fast forward a couple years and they're moving in next door to a new family. The family consists of two estranged parents on the verge of a divorce, a hottie blonde daughter, and a young son. The hottie teenage daughter is played by Kathryn Newton, who looks like she'd be one of the popular girls in high school. Katie also claims to not be feeling well and asks the family to watch her "son" since the two boys get along so well. The daughter chats with her boyfriend through webcams and because he "accidentally" recorded her sleeping all night, they start to notice weird things happening around the house since the new neighbors moved in.

The only "scary" scene I could find

The rest of it plays out pretty much like the usual Paranormal Activity formula, the demon starts by knocking small things over like books and stuff. Then slowly graduates to bigger and stranger occurrences until it's too late to do anything about it. I think that a fourth movie of the EXACT same formula is a little dull. They could've tried to surprise us with something new, seeing as one of the tagline for this movie was "All the Activity has led up to this". I was expecting something epic to happen in this one. This movie plays out kinda like both 2nd and 3rd story put together. The only thing that was somewhat new was how the movie centered around the teenage daughter mostly. She's the one that notices the strange events taking place and she's the one that has her boyfriend set up the cameras in the house to record everything. Also, a lot of this movie seems to be about watching her. If I didn't know any better, this was the start of Paranormal Activity porn parody. "There's a demon in my house, quick, record me sleeping in my underwear!" (Fuck me, right?) I mean, look at these posters!!!

Someone should change the title to "Brazzers"

Nudity: None, that would've turned this whole movie into a porno. Not to mention the fact that the main girl is underage and it would've been highly illegal, the whole movie already felt like some sort of strange voyeur cam porno.

He's probably considering coping a feel...

Gore: Sadly, none. Some gore probably would've helped this franchise seeing as they really needed to do something to break away from the same tired old formula. I'm not completely against movies that follow a formula, I was a big fan of the Friday the 13th movies where teenagers will get naked and have sex before getting murdered in brutal fashion. That's all in fun, so it's okay if the plot is a little mindless. This franchise can't just keep following the exact same formula every movie because it's a found footage film. Found footage films always have to start off with at least a half hour of watching someone's "home movies" before anything really happens. Well, seeing as this is the fourth film in this series, we already know what's going to happen. So show it to us already!!!

At least they tied in the story somewhere in the middle of this

Awesome: Pretty awesome, but not very. Was nice to have a pretty young lady to look at for a change (no offense to Molly Ephraim who plays Ali in Paranormal 2) but the plot is really getting played out. No matter how you cut it, they should've done more with this one to really surprise the audience. That's not to say this was a bad movie, you'd probably enjoy this one if you enjoyed the other ones. Sometimes, people are looking for the same formula in a movie because it feels familiar and is the whole reason they fell in love with the series to begin with. I can only speak for myself when I say that I wish they did more with this fourth one because that would've escalated the franchise as a whole. First one introduces the franchise, second one escalates it with a bigger family, third one goes back and explains the origins, and the fourth one comes back to present day and really pushes the envelope. Due to the fact that they didn't take a chances and totally played it safe with this film, I doubt there would be as much buzz for the Paranormal Activity 5. Oh, you know they're going to make number 5. I gave this movie a higher score because I did like the other movies and I didn't want people to think I hated this movie. Overall, I liked it about as much as I liked the others, but I think this franchise is past it's peak and it'll be all downhill from here. What I didn't get was the night that the boy went into her room and she floated into the air, did she just forget to watch the video the next day? Seems like she was completely unaware that it happened. Also, it doesn't help that the Paranormal Activity trailers tend to lie and have scenes that aren't in the movie.