It’s the curse of horror movie fans. Any strong film will inevitably be followed by sequels that make you question the strength of the first one.
And while not quite as bad as most scary movie franchises, “Paranormal Activity 4” definitely follows the trend of diminishing returns when it comes to horror movies.
The original movie caught lightning in a bottle following a young couple and their supernatural experiences over video footage. It’s sheer suburban terror.
But while the families documented in parts 2-4 certainly wind up no better, the novelty has worn away – at least partially because the “found footage” genre has been so popular and overdone in recent years.
There are some good scares for fans of the prior movies and you’ll certainly jump in your seat a few times. Even so, you may feel a little déjà vu … as if you’ve seen the movie before. It remains less gore-filled than many in the genre, laying its thrills on a smart use of suspense instead.
Perhaps the neatest part of “Paranormal Activity 4” is how it has continued to adjust to new technology. Initially taking on consumer video, the franchise has now added gaming system video, video chat and smartphones.
- John Geddie’s house also makes strange noises, but they generally come from the needle-nosed dogs.