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

TRANSCENDENCE - TERMINALLY BORING

In the motion picture industry, it's often difficult to make the career transition from cinematographer to director because, often, when cameramen direct, they make the fatal mistake of concentrating visual imagery, as opposed to storytelling. And Willy Pfister, renowned collaborator of Christopher ...

REVIEW, CHINESE PUZZLE (CASSE-TêTE CHINOIS)

Those of us who ever wandered what life brought to L'Auberge Espagnole's characters Xavier (Romain Duris), Wendy (Kelly Reilly), Martine (Audrey Tautou) and Isabelle (Cécile De France) are in for a great treat. There is a third part to this story, which director Cédric Klapisch is eager to ...

REVIEW, TASTING MENU (MENú DEGUSTACIó)

"Tasting Menu" might be compared by some to "Babette's Feast," Gabriel Axel's film about a remote, 19th Century Danish community whose religious views forbid them to eat more than gruel but who are upended by a fantastic meal prepared by their French housekeeper. But Roger Gual's movie does not cent ...

SABOTAGE - ARNOLD'S MUCHO-MACHO COMEBACK

Arnold Schwarzenegger plays John "Breacher" Wharton, veteran leader of a dauntless squad of grubby undercover DEA agents, who discovers, after effectively hiding the 10 million dollars they skimmed off after a massive raid of the "money room" at a Mexican drug cartel safe house, that someone has hei ...

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER - INTRIGUING ESPIONAGE THRILLER

Marvel's new cinematic adventure not only continues the superhero saga but also plunges into a Cold War conspiracy which could deliver covert technology into the hands of an enemy agent. Set two years after "The Avengers" alien attack in New York, U.S. Army Officer Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chr ...


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