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76 of 97 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2012
A big fan of this series (my name even gets a fan credit in #1!), I thought the trailer for PA4 was awful. And the "viral campaign" never took off like it did for #2 and #3. It was as if even those involved simply weren't very committed/interested in the film they were making.

The reviews were ALL tepid--even those that sort of praised it--and word of mouth was dismal. The "actual people watching the film" TV ad was so over-the-top, it became a joke.

And then the film itself was a mess. Why have the wink-wink "in jokes" of the kid riding the bike like THE SHINING? It takes us "out" of the movie we're watching...and ads zero to the film. Same with the first
fake" drag scene of the girl. Again, why remind us that we're watching a movie, why take us out of the experience?

And NOTHING happens for so long into this movie, it's just people talking and talking and talking. The few little scares are already shown in the trailer, which they have done before...but those are the ONLY scares! So we are not surprised.

And it's clear that the writers/directors had no real ideas of what Toby was to do this time. In other words, WHY does he levitate the girl? If the goal is to kill everyone, that just do it. The levitation scene is simply to impress US, the viewers. But we've seen that before, in a dozen films...and in the trailer! So there is no shock or surprise. And why bounce the ball down the stairs? And why is there scene after scene in the dark with the xBox? Toby is "better" than moving some dots around but they feature that xBox feature into the ground.

Finally, the ending (no spoiler, if you've seen PA3)...is the SAME ending as PA3. We learn nothing. In fact, you can remove PA4 and you've learned NOTHING. When PA5 comes out, hopefully the filmmakers have learned from the dismal box office, word of mouth and reviews for PA4 to PUT THE SCARES BACK IN. And have a REASON for the film.

All the above being said, I WILL buy PA4 and here's why: I wasn't that impressed with PA3 in the theater but the extra footage--not much, just a few scenes of Toby messing with the girls more--made for a MUCH more "sinister" film. Not sure why they were cut from the film, but they really add to PA3. Same with PA2--and maybe these movies are just better seen at home.

So, here's hoping that PA5 will really deliver. They know what a mess PA4 was, so let's hope they have learned their lessons.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2013
I have to admit, I'm a big fan of the PA franchise. I had never seen this one before buying it, and I have to say it wasn't bad. Actually, it was pretty good.

At first my wife and I were afraid that it was going to be an unbearable teenage romance, but it wasn't. It was actually really well done, and there were some genuinely creepy moments. There are a lot less of the startle scares that the other PAs are known for but that's fine. This one was just creepy.
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38 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Paranormal Activity has become the "Police Academy" of horror films, with a sequel each year targeted at a particular type of audience, with a similar plot and familiar characters each time out. This year, the pickings are very slim, as this is by far the worst film of the four. Scares are few and far between, the acting is terrible, and the film is ALMOST IDENTICAL to Paranormal Activity 2, with the same exact ending as Paranormal 3.

With a budget this big and a devoted audience, it is an insult to the integrity and to the intelligence of the loyal fans to put out a lackluster film such as this. They have obviously run out of ideas and are already rehashing the same scenes over and over again. Unless you are a huge fan of the franchise, don't seethis film. Not only are the first three better, but they are almost identical.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2013
I really like the PA Trilogy, especially 1 and 3.
This one...not so much.
It provided zero substance to the ongoing story and it wasn't even scary.
At some parts, I was hoping that someone would get killed in the movie.

Another very distracting thing was the teenagers.
It may be just me getting old but the teens cursed waaaay to much, to the point that it was a distraction in the movie.

By now we know the formula, night falls, scary low frequency sound, and then a boom (sometimes followed by a s scream).

If I were you, I would stop with 3....I wish I did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2014
Short version, it's a horrible movie. No good scares, no logical story, nothing of interest at all actually. I guess the acting wasn't atrocious, but it wasn't good enough to make the rest of the movie worth while.

The long version(very long version). I have watched a lot of horror films in the last few weeks. I have a lot of time at night to sit back and see what each one brings to the table. I'll be upfront with this, I have not watched any of the other paranormal activity films with the exception of the first half, and last 10 minutes of the first one. I got bored and fell asleep so I honestly don't know if it was actually scary and I just missed all the good scares, or if it was just as boring and lame as I think it is. Regardless, this review will be from someone that isn't reviewing based on the series, just on the movie itself.

It starts off with I'm guessing footage from the film before or something. Something about a woman and her son get a visit from her sister, then stuff gets crazy and apparently she-hulk (the sister) throws lady against camera and takes her son, then they disappear.

Next we jump to the main character, a 15 year old girl, which immediately sucks, cause at least with bad horror movies they usually have some hot lead characters that you can enjoy, but in this case it's just creepy. It gets more creepy when she starts recording everything that's happening in the house without her family knowing. (additionally the only bath scene is with the 7 year old little brother, so...yeah...)

Well, the entire story is some demon shenanigans about she-hulk and some new boy (apparently hunter disappeared or something, demons suck at keeping track of children, who knew?) moving in across the street from Alex(aka not legal yet) and her family. Over time the boy across the street (robby I think) starts coming over and becomes friends with not-quite-legal's little brother. Even more shenanigans ensue as well as a demon summoning and that brings us to the last bit of the movie. This is where the "spoilers" really come in I guess.

So at a point earlier in the movie not-legal sees a bunch of cars at their neighbors house, this confuses her because supposedly her neighbor is sick which is the reason robby is staying over at their house. So she follows her nose and gets scared away when asked if she needs help. This doesn't really matter unless you feel like trying to get some kind of meaning out of the ending(what little there is to be gotten). Jump back forward and everyone is dead in really boring and not scary ways with the exception of not-legal's dad who goes over to the neighbors house to make sure everyone is ok after seeing his son and their neighbor going into the house, and not-legal who gets smacked basically through a door by a ghost and then somehow gets out of the house and to the neighbors house with no problems. She goes in to find her brother and dad only to see her dad getting dragged through the halls and then vanishing. She gets chased out of the house by the neighbor who looks like a vampire or something, finds her brother, and then a whole lot of vampire looking things (I'm guessing they're demons, I don't know) only to get disappeared by neighbor demon lady.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2014
I enjoyed the original Paranormal Activity very much. I loved that it let your mind make things scary instead of just presenting ever more gore like most other horror movies do. I have come to realize over time though that the things that made the first one so scary were, in addition to only letting you see just enough to have you on the edge of your seat, its pacing and the mystery behind the whole thing - it was only in the second one that they actually tried to make a plot. The sheer visceral impact of it was terrifying if you watched it attentively and in a dark quiet room.

The second one lost a lot of its scares by having many cameras, thus losing the limited perspective which helped keep your mind wondering what "that shadow" was that you may have just seen. 3 was a bit better since it went back to basics but the cat was already out of the bag. Knowing what to expect meant that we didn't care so much what that shadow was anymore.

Now we have PA4. I will usually admit that scary movies are more scary to most people than they are to me since I have been watching them since I was 6 years old and have seen hundreds. In this case, however, I can honestly say that this is just not at all scary. Outright boring in fact. Not only is the cat still out of the bag in terms of story, plus we have many cameras again, but there really isn't anything actually happening here. That's right, not only little paranormal activity but little activity at all. None of the characters matter. Nothing they do matters. It is just people walking around, some shots of them sleeping, a very unnecessary XBOX Kinect endorsement, and really nothing to even tie it to the old story line in the end.

I didn't expect much from it and I am sure you aren't either but if you are just looking for a horror to watch then go re-watch Alien or The Descent if you want to be scared, Evil Dead 2 if you want something silly and campy, or the Sixth Sense if you want something more dramatic and thoughtful. Basically, stop encouraging them to keep making these.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Unless you have the IQ of a turnip, you already know this series is fake. However, the producers in their wisdom have decided if they can cut off more heads with bad camera angles and implore worse sound they might still convince us of the reality of this film. If you go on U-Tube or watch the amateur submissions to some America's video TV show, you will see that we are better photographers than this series makes us out to be.

In the beginning, Hunter is kidnapped as an infant. We then jump to 5 years later. The film starts out mostly of a young male filming a teen female (Kathryn Newton). She has a younger brother Wyatt (Aiden Lovekamp). When Robbie (Brady Allen)the creepy young boy next door shows up with his imaginary friend weird things begin to happen. Alex, our teen girl allows the young man (Matt Shively) to set up cameras around the house to film the weird things that are going on and to cut off everyone's head. While weird things were caught on camera, they never went back to view the films which was the whole purpose of setting up the cameras in the first place.

Special effects, and by by "special" I mean ride the short bus special, included the chandelier moving, doors opening, chairs moving, covers coming off, and a bad levitation scene. No pool crawler getting out of the pool by itself.

This was by far the least of the series. If you were a big fan of the other three, you might find enjoyment in this one as this is upgraded to color. These films are cheap to make and pay for themselves in the opening weekend. Don't expect the franchise to go away anytime soon. Kathryn Newton did a good job in spite of the script and horrible camera shooting.

Parental Guide: F-bomb, C-blocking. No sex or nudity.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2013
I've seen all the PA movies and this had absolutely nothing new to offer. All the same scary effects each movie has done before and the story line was boring. By far the worst of the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 13, 2014
I enjoy a good scare and did like the first 2 movies. This movie just repeats the same old stuff. Creepy noises - check; creepy eyed kid - check; imaginary friend - check; nightvision cameras - check; broken neck - check; levitating - check; tossed into a wall - check; and on and on.

There's either a NAMBLA convention in town or a pedophile devil coven in the neighborhood looking for fresh young meat. "Katie" with the help of Robbie and a band of demonic Stepford wives, latch onto a dysfunctional family with a young boy. The gullible family who barely parent their own kids take in Robbie when his mom goes to the hospital. Teenager "Alex" and her boyfriend Ben begin to tape everything because Robbie is so darn creepy and the hijinks ensue.

It runs the same course as the previous 3 movies except the "scares" in this movie aren't so much scary as they are predictable up to and including the obligatory neck break and wall toss. Nothing moves forward with this movie except to show you that nobody cares about solving these odd murders AND the xbox kinect is good for ghost hunting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2015
I actually can't believe I watched the entire movie. I was hoping there would be some hidden redeeming quality, but all was for not. Let me see if I got the formula right: 1.) add ignorant/clueless parents. 2.) add another teaspoon of shouting out your position in a frightful situation, just in case the bad guys couldn't initially find you. 3.) add another 1/4 teaspoon of loud sudden bangs and crashes. 4.) Finally, add a really cute blonde lead actress with gorgeous blue eyes and mix it all up and what do you get? You get one huge dud of a movie that manages to keep your attention throughout the entire movie while you hope for some hidden redeeming quality. At least I didn't pay for this one. I watched all four PA movies plus The Marked Ones and if I had to pick, I would say stop after the first one while you're ahead.
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