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Non-Review Review: Paranormal Activity 4

I actually quite liked the opening set-up of Paranormal Activity 4. As far as horror franchises go, the Paranormal Activity series is still much more spry than most other long-running series, and there’s a certain charm to the opening hour of Paranormal Activity 4 that seem almost playful. It feels strange to talk about a movie featuring an ominous demon hunting a small suburban family in these terms, but there’s a surprisingly warm and endearing sense of humour to be found in the first two-thirds of the film. Things definitely come off the rails towards the finalé, as the movie (and the series) become too burdened down with mythology and story – and the last third certainly becomes a little over-crowded and generic, threatening to collapse under its own weight as so many modern horrors do.

While it’s nowhere near as innovative, clever or genuinely frightening as Paranormal Activity, Paranormal Activity 4 measures up reasonably well to the standard set by the sequels, ending up much stronger than Paranormal Activity 2, and about on-par with Paranormal Activity 3.

Something to watch over me…

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Non-Review Review: Paranormal Activity 3

Part of me wonders how far you can stretch a particular concept. I’m a big fan of the original Paranormal Activity, and I think it’s fair to argue that it was a massive game-changer for low-budget horror, somehow finding a novel twist on the “found footage” genre. However, there’s only so many times a particular trick will work. Paranormal Activity 3 works a lot better than Paranormal Activity 2 ever did, even if it comes with its own set of problems and its own diminishing returns.

Putting this spectre to bed…

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