Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)

(On DVD, March 2017) If you had been waiting for a true sequel to the first Paranormal Activity, then this fourth instalment almost delivers it. Fittingly enough for a series with a mythology as chaotic as this one, Paranormal Activity 4 picks up five years after the first one, through the viewpoint of a teenage girl who starts noticing strange things in her neighborhood. A murderous convent obviously show up in time, but not before a strange young boy and a ghostly presence. Paced more aggressively than its predecessors (with plenty of spooky moments throughout), this fourth instalment also feels a bit tighter. The use of webcams and a Kinect feels inspired, while Kathryn Newton makes for a sympathetic lead. It ends much like the previous volume, but there are a few chills and thrills along the way. This being said, I don’t think Paranormal Activity 4 has much to offer to those who aren’t already fans of the series … but then again, so it goes for horror series in general. I’m still reacting well to this franchise’s instalments, and part of it has to do with how they’re not glorifying the monster … at least not yet. On the other hand, I’m increasingly unsure that the series mythology will cohere into anything satisfying by the time they’ll milk the last drop out of it.

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