Paranormal Activity 4 (2012) Movie Review
Written By: JASR
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman
Producers: Jason Blum, Oren Peli
Writers: Christopher Landon, Chad Feehan, Oren Peli
Date Released: October 19, 2012
Kathryn Newton as Alex
Matt Shively as Ben
Aiden Lovekamp as Wyatt
Brady Allen as Robbie
Stephen Dunham as Doug
Alexondra Lee as Holly
Katie Featherston as Katie
Rating = 2/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Paranormal Activity 4 (2012) takes place five years after Hunter Rey was abducted by Katie. The story follows Alex (Kathryn Newton) and her family who take care of a young boy named Robbie (Brady Allen) for a few days after Robbie’s mother is taken to the hospital. Meanwhile, Alex’s little brother Wyatt (Aiden Lovekamp) and Robbie become friends, and Wyatt introduces Alex to Robbie’s friend – an invisible entity named Toby. With the help of Ben (Matt Shively), Alex sets up cameras around the house that later capture footage of unusual and sinister events.
By now, viewers understand that the Paranormal Activity franchise relies more heavily on anticipation and jump scares rather than outright blood and gore. As such, this film contains no blood or gore to be seen. However, one notable scene that the audience should be aware of is when one character twists another character’s neck. That could be cringe-worthy to some sensitive viewers. Viewers should also watch out for jump scares and scenes where people are dragged by the invisible entity.
The Grave Review
While the second and third Paranormal Activity movies can easily justify why they were made, Paranormal Activity 4 (2012) seems to be a movie that was only created to keep fans entertained. Unfortunately, it may have disappointed fans of the franchise.
One can easily tell that the Paranormal Activity franchise doesn’t need this installment to complete the story. It seems to be a spin-off that forces itself to be part of the main event. However, that doesn’t mean this movie doesn’t have any praiseworthy factors.
The film shows a different perspective with the cameras. In the first three movies, it was an adult who wanted to capture the strange events in the house. In this movie, Alex, who is a teenager, is the one who wanted to capture unusual footage. This is an interesting angle since we get to see a teenager’s way of handling the footage – rather than that of an adult, which we already saw in the first three movies.
It’s good that this movie shows some clips from one of the earlier movies. This allows the movie to somehow stand alone and makes it more understandable for those who haven’t seen the previous films. The clips also serve as a refresher for those who may have already forgotten the events of the past movies.
Just like the other Paranormal Activity movies, this movie only shows us the events captured by the cameras. It therefore prompts the thrill of not knowing everything and leaving some things to the imagination. In one scene, we see Wyatt riding his bike around the house. We don’t see everything that happens next because the cameras can only capture certain angles, but we later see Wyatt off his bike and the bike rolling back towards him. The element of the unknown makes the audience imagine what could have happened over there. It’s an interesting factor because it makes us wonder what else could be going on that we do not see.
The reveal about Wyatt’s identity can make one say that the casting was pretty good. The actor who played Wyatt fits well with the reveal, and he did well in portraying the character. Speaking of characters, however, viewers are left with one big question about who Robbie is. Where did Robbie come from? How did his mother adopt him? It’s like the writers just conveniently wrote him into the story without explaining who he is and how he got there.
While it makes sense why Robbie’s mother has plans for Wyatt, it’s quite unclear how she knew where to find him. Just like how Robbie was written, this part feels like the writers just made everything so convenient for the story without giving any kind of explanation.
Overall, it feels like the creators of the film simply made the movie to have something new in the franchise, and while we love new additions to a story, this one seems too unnecessary and forced.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Paranormal Activity 4 (2012) two graves out of five graves.
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