The Paranormal Activity series - Thoughts? [SPOILERS]
Say what you will about the series... But I love them. I mean, when you think about it, yeah they aren't profoundly chilling and haunting like The Orphanage, or Seven, or Funny Games. The Paranormal Activity films are cheap and easy cash grabs, but up until Paranormal Activity 3, I always found something extremely masterful about the way they manipulated the audience. Like magicians, they knew how to keep your eyes focused on one thing while they pulled the rug out from under you. The sense of dread throughout the films was palpable, and every time the evening rolled around, the audience held their breath, and their knuckles got a bit whiter.
Simple changes in filming the unfolding horror only made the scares more tangible. The ever-panning camera on the desk-fan in PA3 created some of the most terrifying moments of the series.
Roger Ebert said this of the first one and it stood true until PA4...
"It illustrates one of my favorite points, that silence and waiting can be more entertaining than frantic fast-cutting and berserk f/x. For extended periods here, nothing at all is happening, and believe me, you won't be bored."
And then... Paranormal Activity 4... What... the... HELL.
What a joke. A serious disappointment. I was hoping that maybe it'd at least surpass 2 (the worst of the bunch, IMHO... until now), but I honestly think it was the worst Found Footage film I've ever seen.
- Why did Alex stop looking at the footage? I know she was having troubles but her boyfriend was over often enough. She KNEW she had footage after the whole car garage that she could've used to show her parents she wasn't crazy.
- Why did her brother have a bunk-bed anyway?
- Why did they take the time to cover her parents marital troubles and never let that come to a head?
- The stupid jump-cuts intending to make you jump but instead became annoying very quickly...
- Not one iconic haunting scene... Seriously, nothing of the caliber of the bed scene in PA1, the kitchen in PA2 and 3... or the ghost in sheets... or the panning camera... Nothing.
- The Kinect was underutilized and could've amounted to so much more...
- Who on earth leaves their laptops open and on 24/7 in many rooms of the house?
- Who leaves their X-Box on 24/7?
- What happened to Robby? Was Robby NOT Hunter? Alex's brother was Hunter? WHAT HAPPENED TO ROBBY? His 'mom' came back and he disappeared except for that quick shot in the treehouse.
Awful... Just awful... It wasn't scary, it was not very funny, and it didn't expand the mythology at all until the the very end, but we know so little already it didn't make much sense.
I will still go see a 5th one if the reviews say it's worth going, if only because I do believe there is still gas left in this vehicle, but you could easily skip this one and not miss a beat. Waste of my time and probably yours.
What do you guys think?