Oren Peli’s low-budget 2009 horror ‘Paranormal Activity’ was a welcome injection of adrenaline to the horror genre. Made for a reported 15,000 US dollars and shot in the Israeli-born film-maker’s home, the first film grossed almost 200 million US dollars worldwide, giving birth to a franchise that has churned out sequels at a rate of one film per year.
This eagerly anticipated fourth chapter retains directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman and propels the narrative forwards five years after the events of Paranormal Activity 3.
Fans will be delighted by a steady drip-feed of jolts and the return of one old face to provide a clear link between the instalments.
However, while Paranormal Activity 4 is unsettling and honours the established mythology, there’s very little here we haven’t jumped and shrieked at before, and the flimsy storyline doesn’t develop the characters.
Protagonists are in the wrong place at the wrong time and their deaths are a mere interlude before the inevitable fifth film, which is apparently in the works for Halloween next year. At the end of the third film, set in 2006, Katie (Katie Featherston) killed her sister Kristi (Sprague Grayden) and made off into the night with her baby nephew, Hunter.
To read the rest of this article, and more, check out the November edition of The Phoenix!