Thursday, October 25, 2012

Paranormal Activity 4 ★★★½

Release Dates

Australia: 18th October, 2012; USA 19th October UK 17th October
Other Countries: Release Dates

They’re back!  And the question everyone asks, “Is it scary?”   Not, “Is it good?” The amount of big people (grown-ups to be specific) who commented they would never see a ‘Paranormal Activity’ film because it looked too frightening was staggering.  They’d seen the trailer and had run for cover from that alone. 
Even my family refused to see it.  By five pm on the day of the preview they had all bailed.  So had my reliable girlfriend (hates being frightened, yet she has three children).  I was desperate.  With a puffed out chest, I proclaimed, “I am not afraid. I will go alone.”   But who goes to freaky films on their own?  What if it WAS terrifying?  Is it acceptable to grab the hand of a stranger?    So I did what any fearless reviewer does, I borrowed a friend’s six-foot and intrepid husband.   
This is the fourth instalment in the popular horror franchise filmed using ‘Found Footage’ which means hand-held cameras, iPhones or computer console cameras which give it a very real and intimate feeling. 
In this one, which is a direct sequel from 'PA2', Alex (Kathryn Newton) and her boyfriend Ben (Matt Shively) are the filmers.  Alex discovers Robbie (Brady Allen), the very peculiar neighbor's child, in their cubbyhouse late at night and takes him home to his Mum (Katie Featherston).   That night, Robbie’s mother is taken to hospital and Robbie is taken in by Alex's mum Holly (Alexondra Lee) for a few days. Wyatt (Aiden Lovekamp), her little brother, and Robbie become friends and that’s when the creepy things start happening; doors opening on their own, blurred images zooming across video playback, knives shooting up in the air.  Ben sets up video monitoring throughout the house via the computers in the bedrooms, kitchen and even the X-Box in the lounge in order to capture footage of whatever it is.  Of course, the disturbing events escalate but nobody will believe Alex that something supernatural is in their house.  You know where this is going don’t you?
'PA4' was a bit of a surprise.  I’m going out on a limb here but I think it’s the best of the series.  The scares come from the jump-out-and-startle-you kind of shocks but it is still quite an eerie little number.  Warning: there is a bath scene that will disturb many parents.  My fearless, borrowed-friend was moaning, ‘Oh no, no,’ at that part and his wife tells me he was sufficiently freaked out when he got home that he had a restless night, muttering “demon child be gone” in his sleep.
This is definitely not one for the kiddies.  It will cost you a fortune in electricity as they as they demand to only sleep with the lights on.  And yes, they have announced a number Five will be released in October 2013. I’d better start looking for new friends.

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