Paranormal Inactivity

Leah Moose, Lifestyles Editor

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Fourth movie creeps along in plot progress

After viewing “Paranormal Activity 4” (PA4), one admittedly nasty saying comes to mind. “With a face only a mother could love” is similar to how I sum up this movie – it is a film only a die-hard fan could approve of.
If you have been dying to see the fourth installment of this franchise, be prepared for several disappointments.
For starters, the plot barely creeps forward. The suspenseful moments use cheap tricks to score screams, and major questions from the past films are not answered.
PA4 focuses on a family, seemingly unconnected to the families in the past three movies, who happens to be neighbors with Katie (Katie Featherston) and her creepy, young son Robbie (Brady Allen). The daughter Alex (Kathryn Newton) and her teenage boyfriend Ben (Matt Shively) follow in the footsteps of past “Paranormal Activity” characters and catch unusual, supernatural events in Alex’s home.
Except this time, their method of catching the moments on tape is modernized – considering the film is set in 2011. Video chat and mobile devices are used instead of the series’ typical choice of a classic camera and tripod. Despite the new method of filming, similar moments of doors opening and closing and creepy children whispering into the dark take place.
The film focuses on the main characters, Alex and Ben, and their young romance. PA4 differs from the others in the series in its blatant attempt at humor. At times, this directs one away from the creepy suspense. In fact, the overall “scare” moments fell a little flat.
A majority of the moments where the audience was truly frightened were mere startling actions – they had no intent of actual creepiness or gore. A main character jumping on camera, a loud crash in the distance or even the family feline crossing the shot sums up these startling moments. The suspense or scary atmosphere depended on these rather than actual action.
However, the last 15 minutes or so were unlike the beginning pace of the movie. Much like PA3, the ending was scarring and glued the audience’s eyes to the screen. Without giving too much away, more of the infamous demon’s face was actually shown racing towards the camera right before credits rolled. More questions were created as a result, of course.
The main question that puzzled me at the end of this movie is what will happen to Hunter, the kidnapped baby from PA2.
While it has been confirmed that a “Paranormal Activity 5” is in the works (does this trend remind anyone of the Saw series?), what family or character it will focus on is a mystery. One speculation is another movie set back in the past showing why the demon is fixated with this family (more specifically Grandma Lois- shown in PA4) and could potentially be set in the ‘30s. It could also showcase the mysterious time of Katie’s teen years. Of course, it could continue with the plot left off in PA4.
The possibilities are indeed endless – this series could potentially go on as long as the producers want to make money.

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