FilmSnork is on Twitter

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Paranormal Activity 4 - Review (2012)

The first Paranormal Activity worked so well because it played on fears even the bravest of us have, things that go bump in the night.  A door closing, a sheet moving, a strange sound in the the night all had me scared and waiting for the film to hopefully return safety of a lighted room.  The second film did quite a good job of copying the format and keeping the fright factor very high.

Then came the third film, that's when it all went wrong.  Someone had the idea to answer questions.  If we have not learned from so many movie franchises before it, don't answer questions you don't want answered.  The third film (SPOILER AHEAD at least for the 3rd film) put a face to the evil, or better yet faces with what I am assuming is a coven of witches.  The less effective 3rd film went from a letdown to disaster in just a few shots.

Well luckily, the filmmakers saw their mistakes and fixed the problems, saving the franchise with an supremely scary fourth entry.  Ummmm.   At least that is what I was hoping I could tell you right now.  That is not the case.  The fourth film not only continues the downward spiral, it accelerates it.  Replacing scares with unwanted, laughably bad mythology the series has lost the found footage feel that made its predecessors effective.  Has no one seen the Blair Witch Project 2?   When a found footage film starts to feel so self-important that it abandons what made it work in the first place, fans tend not to like that.

Oh yeah, here's a tip for the producers from ole FilmSnork himself, NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR RECURRING CHARACTERS!  We do not want to learn whatever happened to little Hunter, especially when your casting director decided to cast him with the standard creepy little kid actor (think The Omen's Damien, but more hammed up.)  Just another poor decision that further reminds the audience this is not a real story, just another slick Hollywood film and as usual, when Hollywood tries to be slick it fails.  There is also a bizarre Xbox Kinect tie-in (product placement in Paranormal Activity, really??) that provides incredibly annoying green dot covered scenes that wear out their welcome the first of the several dozen times it is used.

The film is not a complete failure, Alex, the lead, played by Kathryn Newton is very natural and if not hampered down by other poor casting and other poor decisions could have been a successful lead.  There are also a couple of mild scare, but they only serve as a reminder of what they films could be.  Let's hope we have seen the last of this series.

3.5 out of 10

No comments:

Post a Comment