Paranormal Activity 4 - Stale, Derivative

Paranormal Activity 4 - Stale, Derivative

After time-traveling back to the '80s in 'Paranormal Activity 3,' this fourth installment in the highly-profitable, found-footage horror franchise begins with yet another gimmicky flashback. This time it's to 2006, as a toddler is abducted by his Aunt Katie (Katie Featherson), who has murdered her sister Kristi.

Bookmark and Share

Paranormal Activity 4 - Stale, Derivative
(Paramount Pictures)

Returning to November, 2011, it follows the Nelsons, a suburban Nevada family caring for a creepy six year-old Robbie neighbor (Brady Allen), whose single mother, Mrs. Torrance (a.k.a. Katie), has suddenly been hospitalized. Bickering Doug (Stephen Dunham) and Holly (Alexandra Lee) Nelson have two children: Wyatt (Aiden Lovekamp), who is also six, and his 15 year-old sister, Alex (Kathryn Newton).

It's a bit strange that brooding Robbie has a malevolent friend, the invisible demon Toby, with whom he constantly converses - and that Wyatt rides his Big Wheel around the house following the supernatural presence. It's also weird that computer-compulsive Alex and her tech-savvy, Skype-chatting boyfriend, Ben (Matt Shively), set up motion-sensing webcams all over the house to acquire the bizarre found-footage.

Screenwriter Christopher Landon and directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, who collaborated on the previous installment, utilize far too many generic shots of inexplicably opening and/or slamming doors, dark hallways, and distant noises, along with the family cat ominously scampering past the camera for sudden surprise. The only cinematic innovation introduced in this low-budget sequel is the use of the Xbox Kinect video game system, which covers everything with a ghostly matrix of tiny green projection dots that are only visible on an infrared camera. So expect lots of menacing surveillance footage, very little of which has any significance and some of which elicits laughter. And the potential of a neighborhood coven of witches is never fully explored.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Paranormal Activity 4" drops to a stale, derivative 2, dedicated to the memory of Stephen Dunham, Alexandra Lee's real-life husband, who recently died of a heart attack.

By Susan Granger, © 2012.



Latest Additions to AZR

COMMUNICATE TO MUTE THE DARK SIDE OF THE IMAGINATION

Communication is the glue that holds relationships together. So, the question is - Do you believe that you communicate often enough and in the right way to create and sustain positive relationships in all areas of your life? ...

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY - SPACE FARING FUN

Marvel expands its cinematic clout to encompass another colorful franchise, encompassing a rag-tag team of intergalactic adventurers. Headed by Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star Lord (Chris Pratt), the quintet includes the green-skinned warrior Gamora (Zoe Saldana), vengeance-seeking Drax the Destroyer (WWW ...

REVIEW, LUCY

At the movie's conclusion, Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) states: "We've had life for a billion years. Now we know what to do with it." What does she think we should do with our lives? Presumably we should be able to stare at a gun and watch the bullets fall out harmlessly to the ground; look at a bun ...

REVIEW - A MOST WANTED MAN

A Most Wanted ManWhat is it like to be a spy? Some cynics say that it's a game indulged by its proponents; that our spies know their spies and vice versa, and the groups, however hostile their countries to each other, simply exchange information freely, thereby keeping their jobs. Others, less cyn ...

WITCHING & BITCHING (LAS BRUJAS DE ZUGARRAMURDI)

Witching and BitchingWhen Arthur Miller wrote "The Crucible," he presented us with a crackerjack story of actual events: the Salem Witch trials in which a relatively small number of people were burned at the stake, some after being outed by children. The play had no humor to speak of, it was deadly ...


View Local News Sources From 33,000+ Neighborhoods Nationwide!



Eg : Movie Review, Arizona, Fishing, etc.
Search results for

In Our Current Issue


Arizona Reporter on Twitter Follow to Arizona Reporter on Facebook Subscribe to Arizona Reporter on Yahoo News Arizona Reporter RSS Feed Subscribe to Arizona Reporter via Kindle!
View Local News Sources


Arizona Newswire

Latest Reviews
By Harvey Critic

HARVEY KARTEN
Member NYFCO

Arizona

Latest Reviews
By Susan Granger

Member NYFCO

James Mapes
Quantum Leap Thinking

An Owner's Guide to the Mind