Good, Bad & Ugly Review: Paranormal Activity 4

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 28% (Critics) / 55% (Audience)
Directed By: Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman
Written By: Christopher Landon and Chad Feehan
Starring: Katie Featherston, Kathryn Newton, Matt Shively, Brady Allen and Sprague Grayden
Studio: Paramount Pictures

Synopsis: It has been five years since the disappearance of Katie and Hunter, and a suburban family witness strange events in their neighborhood when a woman and a mysterious child move in.

The Good:
To its credit, and for the first time in the entire franchise’s history, there were actually a couple of characters in this film that I liked and cared whether they would meet an unfortunate fate or not. In their roles as Alex and Ben respectively, Kathryn Newton and Matt Shively did really good work. they acted just like typical teens and Shively was pretty funny.
There was also one legit scary (and surprising) moment in the film that I never saw coming…at least not in the way it was presented.

The Bad:
But this movie reverted back to the old formula of “nothing happening of consequence” for 3/4’s of the movie and then smushing in all of the action within the last 10 minutes. This is a change form the way the previous film upped the ante on jump scares throughout the film to keep the audience interested at least. PA4 was just far more nothing than something for the majority of the film.

The Ugly:
This film has completely lost control of it’s own mythology. Aside from the fact that nothing has been done to shed any light on the coven of witches that was introduced in the last film or what is up with the demon that is so obsessed with Katie and her family. But now I don’t know what the hell is going on with even who the cast of characters are…was the bizarre little kid in the sandals and sweat socks Katie’s nephew Hunter? or was the adopted neighbor boy, Wyatt, Hunter? And if Wyatt was Hunter then how did he end up being adopted after Katie killed her sister and stole him? And if Wyatt is really Hunter then who the hell is Robbie? And how many friggin’ demons are there? And what are the witches doing to be able to have the cash and credit rating to buy houses in such swanky neighborhoods? The mind boggles at all of the unanswered shenanigans in this movie.

Final Verdict: This film followed a now familiar pattern and was not really all that scary (to me at least); coupled with a constantly shifting mythology that makes no sense and no one involved seeming to be interested in providing any answers, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 became more annoying by the end of my watching it than any movie has a right to be.

Grade: D

2 thoughts on “Good, Bad & Ugly Review: Paranormal Activity 4

  1. Nice review. I wish more time would have been given to the inventiveness and original ideas of this whole movie, but I still had an enjoyable time. Could have been a hell of a lot scarier though.


  2. I make no bones about the fact that I’ve liked all the PA films, including this one. They’re not perfect by any means; but they provide me with a couple of hours of scares and entertainment.


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