Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)
Plot: A Nevada family that includes teen daughter Alex and her younger brother, Wyatt, takes in Robbie, a young neighbor, after his mother is rushed to the hospital. When strange things begin to happen, Alex can’t help but link the ominous happenings to Robbie’s presence.
My Review: I’ve semi-enjoyed the previous entries to this series. That’s not to say that I’ve loved them or hated them. You can find my reviews for PA2 & PA3 by following those links. I never got around to reviewing the first film though, so you won’t find a review for that one, although I do touch base on it in my PA2 review. My main complaint with this series is the demon aspect…and that usually nothing much happens other then some people being thrown around and lots of anticipation of scares that never seem to happen, or just aren’t good.
I honestly don’t have too much to say about this movie other then I found it utterly boring, one of the worst in the series. And it has some plot problems that I would like to point out, so I’ll go over the plot and the issues. And yes, this contains spoilers.
The movie starts out with a brief recap of the previous films and switches to a teenage girl, Alex, messing around filming stuff with her friend. They aren’t intentionally filming the house for ghosts or anything of the sort. They discover a little boy – Robbie – in the backyard treehouse. Its her neighbors kid. He explains it away as he used to hang out in his old neighbors treehouse – ok, little weird, but whatever. I assumed right off the bat that this kid was Hunter, the kid possessed Katie took from her sister in PA2. Yes, this movie actually moves forward in time, its not a prequel or anything like that.
So that night or the next day, Alex’s mother tells her that Robbie’s mother went to the hospital and they need to
take Robbie in for a few days. Wait, you are taking in a strangers kid, and the mother doesn’t care? Little odd. (YES, I get this was all a plan to get Robbie into their house, but the family didn’t find it odd?!?) We find out
that yes, Robbie’s “mother” is THE Katie from the previous films. So its safe to assume that the kid is Hunter right? Nope…turns out Alex’s little brother Wyatt was adopted and Robbie is there to “prepare” Wyatt/Hunter to “go back with his other family”. Its never really elaborated on, its never clear why Hunter was with this other family and not Katie.
From reading some theories online, I realize they VERY briefly touched base on why Hunter was given up and now Katie is reunited with him. Its when Alex is researching the symbol she found on the internet. She finds “rules” for a demon sacrifice. Which I assumed was Robbie, not Hunter/Wyatt at the time. Anyhow, apparently he was to be raised to be innocent so his sacrifice meant something special to the weird demon coven. None of this makes sense to me and quite frankly I thought the scene was pretty insignificant so I didn‘t pay too much attention. Anyhow, in my opinion, possessed Katie could have given him to anyone in the coven to take care of him so she didn’t have to get this Robbie kid to go and prepare him in this elaborate scheme. Oh well, that’s a rushed movie for you.
A quick mention about how the teens went about filming themselves. I have no idea if the way they did it was possible…however, who the hell leaves that many laptops open and running all day every day?
Ok, so there are obvious issues with the plot. But moving along….
The scares…there weren’t any. Not one scene surprised or scared me other then when the cat jumped on the laptop. There was a cool addition of the xbox kinect sensor and lights it omits in night vision, and we see actual ghostly figures (wait, it’s a child demon?!) but that’s about it. They weren’t scary in the least. The whole, throwing people at the camera is real old. At least this time around people weren’t standing over one another’s beds for 5 hours at a time. Mainly what we have here are people flying around, two on screen deaths, very few objects moving around on their own, a trail of toys, a train turning on by itself and a knife that goes missing for a few days. When it comes to ghostly activity I scare easy. Especially if I watch these sorts of things on my own alone. Which I partially did with this film. I was not scared once. Not even remotely.
And what was with the end? Alex goes to Robbie’s house? Of all places?!? I don’t care who was in there but that’s the last fucking place I’d have gone.
In case it matters (I have not researched this), I rented the movie from Redbox, so I have no idea if it was the rated version or the unrated version.
Gore/FX: Some of the ghostly effects, like with the Kinect sensor were cool. But there was no gore.
Sexual Content: Nada.
Acting: For the most part it was decent. A little iffy here and there though. If I recall correctly PA 2 & PA 3 had the best acting so far.
Overall: This one was by far the worst, and I don’t think I’ll bother with it again. There was nothing here for me to enjoy. I’m sure I’ll get suckered into another sequel or two when they come out. But I really don’t care much for these movies. I want to give this a 1.5 but that’s not really fair because it did have decent aspects of it, it just didn’t deliver a good plot or scares.
View The Trailer