Cinematic Releases: Paranormal Activity 4 - Halloween Horror #5

Every Halloween for the last four years, we've been given another Paranormal Activity movie. Each time, we're taken deeper and deeper in to a suburban world in which a dark presence lurks. Sadly, this franchise never takes any chances and always seems to rely on the exact same scare tactics from movie to movie. Doors open. Doors close. Things go bump. Scary? No. Tedious and boring? Yes.

For the first hour or so, I thought that Paranormal Activity 4 might be the rare instance that the producers actually push forward with something different, but was sadly let down with another boring retread of the exact same movie we've seen four times over. If they had just taken a chance like Paco Plaza did with [Rec]3 by moving away from the handheld video devices, this could have succeeded. It doesn't. It's just another cash grab that'll make millions entertaining the masses that wouldn't know a good horror film if it came up and chewed their face off.

There are a few strong points in this film that definitely make it a tad bit entertaining. The female lead, Kathryn Newton, is actually the best actress they've had in this series. Her performance makes the film semi-watchable. Also, the humor they've added definitely adds a dynamic that's been lacking in the other franchise entries. But, the thing I liked the most were the glaring tributes to horror films of the past like The Shining and Poltergeist. If you see the film, you'll instantly know what I'm talking about. Yet, it's still not enough to pull this trash out of the gutter and make it a respectable genre entry.

Don't let the commercials fool you. The last ten minutes of this film is a rushed mess that absolutely lacks any horror flair and does nothing to advance the Paranormal Activity story any further. Don't waste your money. Stay home and watch the debates. They're much more scary.