Top critical review
79 people found this helpful
They forgot to make this one scary
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.