Paranormal Activity 4 Review –Now Renamed -Why This Film Should Be Called ‘DON’T WATCH ME’
I proudly own the DVD of the original Paranormal Activity which was upon its release a horror film game changer, it renewed the Found Footage genre and was whip smart to boot. I listened to the riveting film commentary by creator/writer and director Oren Peli provided on the DVD and was absolutely struck by the man’s genius. He made the film with nothing, no money, no backing, no production team; he filmed the damn thing in his own house! ALL that he had was a good idea. And there I believe is where the problem of the declining Paranormal Activity series lies. Oren Peli was a computer programmer who had a good idea in 2007 – that was six years ago.. The only reason that the series appears to be continuing is the same reason that many films are slowly bled of their creative appeal (*cough* Saw) MONEY. It’s a sure fire Halloween season ticket seller, Paranormal Activity gets a new number slapped on its ass and fans of ‘a good idea’ are tricked into spending money on ‘A rehashed idea’.
Being a well known trick of the industry all of this was obvious and bearable, until I had the horrific misfortune of viewing the fourth installment of The Paranormal Activity Series with the intention of reviewing it. Now shit just got personal. This 2012 effort at keeping the series breathing is not a film. It is a place setter, a stop gap, a desperate attempt to strip horror and film fans alike of their money. I on principle can not simply ‘review’ it as I had planned, it does not deserve to be watched as it’s very existence insults the art of film making itself. But watch it I did *sigh*
We are given a pretty blonde teenager to look at (whose name I don’t care to recall) often in full screen close ups as she stares moon eyed at her webcam, while chatting with her idiot boyfriend. For this to have succeeded as an actual horror film, the prepubescent needs to have moved out of the way of the camera, so that some action could actually take place. Unless the actress plans to give a fantastic nose dripping close up soliloquy that shakes with the pure terror of the situation (ala Heather in the always superior Blair Witch Project) then there is no earthly reason for her face to block out almost every scene. Reason is utterly ditched for stupidity as a storyline involving the original film’s character of Katie returning presumably with her kidnapped nephew Hunter is shoehorned in between aimless chatter that is apparently meant to build both tension and character story (it does neither woefully). Having a 87 minute Skype chat with the most boring person you can think of would certainly prove more enjoyable. The scares are provided by an apparently spooky child who is sullen rather than scary and the technique of constantly having characters suddenly pulled backwards out of close up shots, a method that is so overused and becomes so tired by the fifth time it happens that it can no longer even redeem itself by being laughable. The film carries on to muddle itself up into an utter mess and then blessedly ends.
For shame! For shame! This film should not have been made. I feel sick.
The Horroronline no longer wants to post screen grabs of this awful film, here have a kitten