Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Don’t Watch This Movie: Paranormal Activity 4

It’s Halloween. You’re ready to be scared. You grab your girlfriend, go to the movies, and get ready to endure one of the most frightening experiences of your youthful life: Movie ticket prices. Because the gods know you won’t be experiencing any scares during Paranormal Activity 4. Let’s be straight about this from the start, PA4 has about as much originality as the last few SAW films. I mean, there are only so many ways you can beat a horse before its undead corpse rises from the grave in a vengeful fit of retaliation. And bloody hell does this corpse fight back.

Haley Joel Osmond played this shtick out 15 years ago.
For those of you who’ve been paying attention to the lore of the Paranormal Activity series (though let’s be honest, who gives a damn), there’s a coven of witches that endows that go about finding successors and possessing children with spirits. That wasn’t too clear in PA1, it came out a bit more clearly in PA2, and by PA3 we were having full on witch-on-broomstick flights of fancy. We learned the entire family we’d been witnessing was descended from witches who’d chosen the two main sisters of the films, and now that curse has been passed onto the boys.
This guy? Total douchebag.
I don’t want to spoil the film for you if you’re planning to watch it (and why would you when this article is titled DON’T WATCH THIS MOVIE), but some secrets are revealed, and new ones unleashed. Apparently the witches are now part zombie or something, like they thought they needed to merge the series with parts of the Quarantine films, creating some horrific pastiche. It’s like some new meta approach to horror, where the movie itself isn’t scary, but the method of creating it is.

Nobody cares anymore.
Anyway, the best part of the movie is watching the Xbox Kinect they play with, because at that point PS3 fans started booing in a moment of nerd solidarity. Wii users, which we know don’t really exist, were appropriately silent. PA4 does dabble in some interesting elements, such as using the infrared from the Xbox sensor as a way to pick up on ghost movement, but it’s never really enough to scare. There are some tense moments when you’re wondering if someone’s going to get cut by a knife from the sky like God’s holy vengeance, but you never really feel frightened. The moment that made me jump the most was when someone almost got hit by a Prius, and if that’s the only way the movie’s going to scare me I’ll go load up on alcohol and watch World’s Deadliest Police Chases.

She's underage, perverts.
No, for most of the film you’ll be watching asleep in their beds, like a pervert who can justify their bad habit as a form of ‘ghost hunting’. Yeah, nobody wants to know about the spirits you’re seeking, sicko. In fact, the main male figure of the movie comes across like a creepy teen stalker by the way he sees and records every detail of his girlfriends existence due to their cam chats over the computer. So nerds everywhere, rejoice. You too can hope of seeing breasts at some point in your lifetime, as long as you remember to convince her to keep the webcam on so he can hunt ghosts.


  1. I didn't hate it like everybody else seems to be, but I will admit it's not as original or as frightening as the past ones. Let's just hope they do something special with the next one. Good review Daishi.

    1. Thanks for taking the review in a good spirit, sometimes things take it too personally :) I was no more scared by this one than part 3, but I enjoyed part 3 more because more happened. I just felt there was too much watching people sleep in this one.