‘Paranormal’ good for Halloween
Published: Monday, October 22, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 22, 2012 21:10
Finally, after a year of waiting, “Paranormal Activity 4,” the latest installment of the popular ‘Paranormal Activity’ series, has been released. I managed to get myself a ticket on opening night, unable to wait any longer than was absolutely necessary.
Let me premise by saying that for anyone who has seen the first three films in the series, this review will be absolutely free of spoilers for the fourth film. For everyone else who hasn’t seen them, you might want to look away now. You’ve been warned.
Paranormal 4 finally continues the story that was started in the original “Paranormal Activity,” back in 2009. It’s not a prequel like the previous two films, but rather a direct sequel, taking place six years after the original film and “Paranormal Activity 2” and starring a new cast of characters. As the film starts, Katie and Hunter are still missing, but the focus of the movie is actually 16-year-old Alex, her boyfriend and her family. Her life is as perfect as a young girl’s can get, until a mysterious woman and her son move in across the street.
When the woman is rushed to the hospital one night, Alex’s mother offers to take in the young boy, Robbie, until she recovers. As with all of the previous installments of the series, mysterious (one might say, paranormal) events soon begin occurring within the house, and everything in Alex’s life takes a turn for the worse. Alex, fearing for her and her brother’s safety, sets up cameras within her house using the various computers throughout the house. You didn’t really expect a multi-million dollar series to suddenly risk everything and drop its selling point, did you?
As far as movies in the series go, this would probably score in my top two. The scares you’ll get out of this are about the same that you would in any of the others: enough to get you to jump out of your seat, but not nearly frightening enough to give you nightmares. What I really like about this is that we’re finally seeing the series progress. I’ve had enough prequels! I’m ready to unlock more of the mystery surrounding Toby and the Coven.
Unfortunately, this might also be “Paranormal’s” biggest problem with the series, currently (for some folks, anyway). The simple truth is that the movie has become more of a mystery-horror, rather than straight up horror series. Now, is this necessarily a bad thing? No, it isn’t at all. The only problem is that it makes the wait for the next movie incredibly frustrating, and frankly, although “Paranormal 4” did answer quite a few questions that I had from previous movies, it opened up even more doors, which might leave you feeling a bit lacking in the closure department. Fear not, however, as Paramount Pictures has confirmed that development of both Paranormal Activity 5, as well as a Latino-themed spin-off of the series, due to be released in October 2013, and Spring 2013 respectively. Hopefully, this will be enough to satiate our paranormal mystery-solving lust.
If you haven’t seen any of the other “Paranormal” films, chances are, this isn’t the movie for you. You’ll have a very tough time trying to decipher what’s happening, as the story has just gotten too complex to start with off the bat. I suggest you go and rent the first film, and continue from there. If you have seen the other three, I encourage you, for the sake of your own movie-watching existence, to keep up with the series. The mystery is deepening with each new installment, and I couldn’t be happier with it.