Paranormal Activity 4: A Heart-Pounding Sequel or a Doomed Series?

Kim Watkins, News Editor

There is always a risk to be had when making a sequel to a highly popular film and the producers of the “Paranormal Activity” series are, once again, pushing the limits of horror to reach the high that the original achieved. The question is, did it work?

“Paranormal Activity 4” is the most recent film in the franchise and was released on Oct. 18. It features a brand new family, the Nelsons. The characters include Alex, the young, pretty daughter and protagonist of the film; Wyatt, Alex’s younger brother; Holly and Doug, Alex’s unhappily married parents; Ben, Alex’s silly, yet charming boyfriend; Robbie, the weird, creepy neighbor kid; and Katie, the original protagonist from the first “Paranormal Activity.”

The film starts off seemingly normal, as usual, with Alex filming Wyatt’s soccer game. There are some heartfelt scenes between the two siblings with a weary Alex trying to distract her younger brother from their parents’ bickering. Later on, Alex decides to throw a little party, and the audience is introduced to Ben.

The two begin noticing weird things with the new neighbor kid, Robbie, who eventually starts staying with the Nelsons after his mom has an accident. After these odd occurrences, Ben decides to record the goings-on with the computers in the house. Alex continuously worries about Wyatt while Robbie seemingly tries to keep him secluded from the rest of the family. All the while, Alex tries to convince her parents that something is wrong with Robbie, but to no avail.

The two boys journey over to Robbie’s house while Alex is babysitting. She notices the boys leaving and chases after them. After several scary moments she eventually runs into Katie and the boys. From this point on, things get more frightening with deaths, a demon, and more.

Even though the movie had good acting and humorous moments, and the franchise stuck to its horror roots, it lacked originality and a storyline.

With this movie being the first actual sequel, instead of a prequel like the second and third movies, there was some hope for a better understanding of the story. Some clues were given in the first three movies, but we never knew what happened to Katie and Hunter.

Unfortunately, the fourth movie leaves audiences even more confused and has us asking a slew of other questions.

If there is one thing to say about this movie, it is way past its prime. With no plausible conclusion to be had with this franchise, let’s hope we won’t have to endure a fifth movie.