Movie Title: Paranormal Activity 4
Director: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
Date Released: October 19th, 2012
Date Seen: October 21st, 2012
Part 1 – Spoiler Free Quickie Review
Even though I HATED the last movie, and the second one was stupid as shit… I still paid to go see this one. I think I need to talk to a doctor because clearly there is something wrong with me. While I do not think PA4 was as bad as PA3…. that’s not saying much.
The plot, stupid. The scares, some jump scares but not even that many. There was one or two omg moments, just because you thought something was going to happen but didn’t (the knife, if you’ve seen it)… or one very twisted (ha) kill towards the end… otherwise, meh. The movie dragged on and I kept checking my phone to see how much longer. Things finally started happening in the last about 5 minutes. No questions were answered, just some quick “action” and then it ended. Not even that much of a scary end compared to the others.
The product placement in the movie was RIDICULOUS. First of all, the family is a super privileged white family (says a privileged white girl). I mean, all the family members, even the 6 year old, had apple computers. The mom even has a couple of computers – one is JUST for sitting on the counter for use when she’s cooking. Dear lord. At one point, someone even says “wow, that is an amazing computer.” The boyfriend of the main character, Ben (Matt Shively), I think was only put in the movie so that 1. they would have an excuse for the girl to always be on the computer (and thus recording things) and two, so they could use him as a personal ad. He was always drinking pepsi, with the label perfectly facing the camera and his fingers carefully avoiding the label. At one point he’s eating popchips with the bag again, facing the camera beautifully. And don’t even get me started on the Xbox Kinect. That really was the main character, as it’s in 75% of the scenes. Another blatant product placement, the dumb girl Alex (Kathryn Newton) runs across the street without looking – and nearly gets hit by a car. Now, a normal person would be like “oh sorry” or “damn car”…. but not “Damn Prius!!!’ Seriously!? Ah. We then get a nice view of the prius driving off. God.
Soooo what would I say? Don’t you dare pay to see this movie. If you’re going to pay for it, get like 10 friends together, everyone donate 10 cents to the pot… and then go to redbox, and all spend that dollar to go see it. Don’t waste your money at the movie theater to go see it… please.
Part 2 – In-Depth Spoiler Ridden Review/Synopsis
If you want a no-opinion synopsis… go to imdb…. but this will have my stupid comments in it so get over it. They’ll probably be better than the movie was anyway….
Alex (Kathryn Newton) is with her mom, Holly (Alexondra Lee), watching the 6 year old son, Wyatt (Aiden Lovekamp) play a soccer game. Apparently Alex just likes to record everything so is scanning the field, we see the glimpse of a kid being a creeper watching all the boys play soccer and then he’s gone. The dad, Doug (Stephen Dunham), shows up after the game. Clearly there is some family tension but whatever. That night the parents go out. Alex’s boyfriend, Ben (Matt Shively) comes over for sexytimes… oh wait, they’re 15…. he comes over for sexy times, but doesn’t get them. At some point Alex leads him outside to show him the play thing in their backyard, and says this stupid line about how it’s a castle, and she’s the princess and he should come rescue her (so apparently she has the mentality of a 7 year old girl). They go up there… and that creepy kid from earlier is up there, Robbie (Brady Allen), in the top of the play house. Alex walks him home, across the street. The next morning her mom explains that according to Robbie’s mom (who we later see is Katie (Katie Featherston) from the other movies), Robbie used to always do this at his old neighbors house and just didn’t know it wasn’t a normal thing. That night, while Alex randomly walks around the house at midnight talking to her boyfriend on skype, she hears sirens outside and we see tons of cars and sirens at Robbie/Katie’s house. In the morning, Robbie shows up and mom (Wyatt/Alex’s mom.. if it’s Katie, I’ll say Katie) introduces the two boys who start becoming friends. We find out that something happened to Katie, obviously, and will be gone for a few days in the hospital. Katie asked Holly to look after Robbie since they don’t have any other family and don’t really know anyone here. Alex doesn’t like it, but whatever.
So over the next few days weird shit starts happening. Obviously. It wouldn’t be a PA movie without weird shit. Doors slamming, random noises, chandeliers falling, Robbie staring at Alex and getting in bed with her while she sleeps… you know, normal demon child type things. I actually found the weirdest and most disturbing part is the fact that Ben knows how to set up all the computers in the house to continuously record everything that goes on and then lets Alex download the videos. Seriously apple, that’s the product placement you want to go with? “Our computers are so awesome, they can record your whole family all the time without them even knowing it!!!!” It was just creepy. The parents fight more, a weird thing happens with a knife (it flies up into the ceiling, then nearly falls down on the dad a couple of nights later). Robbie starts really befriending Wyatt – he even shows him is invisible ghost friend, who the two boys chase around the house some nights or talk to. You can see the shadow of the boy usually due to the kinect tracking dots. The most annoying thing about the invisible friend – is when it “talks” there is a high pitched beepy noise. Like, those noises that people had on their cell phones for a while that old people can’t hear. I hate that noise. It hurts my ears. So I kept having to cover my ears up every time one of the boys was “talking” to the ghost thing.
One of the best scenes in the movie happens towards the end of Robbies stay – the entire family is downstairs eating dinner. But not Robbie. There is no explanation, and not even a place set for him. It was just like “well you can stay in our house but we’re not going to feed your crazy ass.” Two times during the stay too, we see Robbie draw the deathly hallows… I mean the “cult” symbol that we saw in PA3. It’s a triangle with a circle in it… seriously, just add a line and you’ve got yourself the deathly hallows. You un-original symbol thinker people. Ben and Alex look up the symbol and it involves some cult ritual where they turn a boy with paranormal abilities into a demon with a human sacrafice of a virgin. The best part is Ben trying to get Alex to have sex with him so that she can be safe…. It’s pretty funny. So go PA people for finally having one entertaining moment. So one day, while being the normally crappy babysitter she is, Alex sees the boys run across the street to Robbie’s house. This is when she nearly gets hit by the perfectly product placed Prius. Inside the house, she looks around, can’t find the boys, does find a closet with a lock on it – then hears the boys playing in a back room. She starts to scold them for leaving the house – and then Katie shows up. Surprise, she’s home now. Alex tells her mom how weird it was and she didn’t look sick and blah blah blah. Alex asks Wyatt about what they were all talking about – Katie says that Wyatt and Robbie have a lot in common… because they were both adopted. Over the next couple of days, Wyatt talks to the ghost thing at night… and eventually find out his real name, before he was adopted…. Hunter… dun dun dun!
Now the last 10 minutes or so the really weird stuff happens. Wyatt makes Alex levitate in her bed…. Katie sneaks into the house one night to tell Wyatt (now calling him Hunter) that she’ll be “waiting for him until he’s ready”, while he cries in the closet (this song popped into my head). While that is going on, poor Alex is locked in the garage, with the car magically turned on and it is getting all carbon-monoxide filled… and IT TAKES HER 20 MINUTES BEFORE SHE SMASHES A CAR WINDOW. Seriously?! 20 minutes?! You did nothing for 20 minutes THEN decide to smash a car window to get in the car and back through the garage door? 20 minutes? She needed to die then and there. I’m also wondering, if the ghosts/demons/whatevers were planning on letting her die… because we all know she has to end up being the virgin sacrifice they need… oh well.
The next day, because Alex is all upset and stuff her dad takes her out to dinner. While at dinner, Katie sneaks upstairs again and talks to Wyatt. A ghost downstairs slams the mom around and kills her. Katie drags her body away. Ben comes over, trying to find Alex, and in a slightly freaky move, Katie appears behind him and quickly snaps his neck. That was gross. When Alex and her dad get home, they see Katie walking into her house with Wyatt. The dad heads over there while Alex checks out the house – she finds her boyfriends dead body in the closet (again, just for shits and giggles), and then heads over to the house across the street. She gets in there, sees her dag getting dragged through the house, can’t find him after a good chase, hears Wyatt scream, heads towards it, sees Katie – who suddenly has a demon face (quite freaky although quick). She finds Wyatt outside, tries to get him to leave, but he won’t, then turns around and there are all these demon-witch-cult people coming at her. She gets attacked, I think by Katie, the camera falls, and the movie ends.
So, other than the millions of unanswered questions, my favorite whole unanswered question was Robbie. Why did Katie put Hunter up for adoption – to become Wyatt – and how did she get Robbie. Did she decide that Robbie had more demonic potential than adorable baby Hunter, so got rid of him, then decided later “oh haha just kidding”. Was it necessary for Hunter to be raised by a good family? If so, why didn’t you just leave him with your sister and then go get him. Whatever. I don’t really care at this point. It was a stupid movie.
I burst out laughing when the movie was over. I’m angry at myself for paying to see this crap. Don’t make the same mistake I did. However, I do give it a 3/10 because the franchise has still gotten me to see all these movies in the theaters – so it’s doing something right, I guess. It is fun to make fun of, at the very least.