Paranormal Activity 4 Review

You’re never alone. This is the truth that Alex (Kathryn Newton) must face when she and her family let the creepy neighbor kid stay over while his mom is in the hospital.

“Paranormal Activity 4” starts out with Alex playing around with a camera at her brother’s soccer match. You see the family, including Alex’s mom, Holly (Alexondra Lee), her dad (Stephen Dunham) and her little brother Wyatt (Aiden Lovekamp). A few scenes later, they’re driving home, and Alex points out a creepy little boy who lives across the street.

Robbie (Brady Allen) has always been the kid that nobody plays with.

He seems to be talking to himself all the time and he never really wants to talk to anyone older than him (younger brother Wyatt is his only confidant during the film). When Robbie’s mom gets in an unexplained “accident,” he stays over at Alex’s family’s house.

This is when things start to get creepy.

The lack of traditional horror movie setups was especially freaky. There was hardly any music in the film, which added to the eeriness of the whole situation. The movie looked literally like Alex had filmed it and uploaded it to YouTube yesterday.

While Skyping, Alex’s boyfriend, Ben (Matt Shively), notices that Robbie comes into Alex’s room after she’s fallen asleep. He thinks this is strange, so he tells Alex the next morning. Because they think Robbie is generally pretty creepy anyway, they set up cameras all over Alex’s house.

They catch several unexplainable things on camera.

They see Robbie walking through the house at night, shadows and a childlike outline following him down the stairs. After these occurrences, Alex and Ben stop checking the footage and the viewer sees things that they don’t.

Including knives disappearing, Robbie talking to the ghostly child, Wyatt acting strange, chairs moving on their own and Wyatt getting pulled underwater in the bathtub. Strange things continue to happen until the real plot is revealed in the last twenty minutes.

Stylistically, the entirety of “Paranormal Activity 4” is filmed either with a handheld camera or the security cameras placed around Alex’s house.

Scary scenes were often quickly followed by normal shots of the family eating dinner, Wyatt doing homework, or Alex and Ben hanging out in her room. The directors, Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, did an excellent job of making me worry about Alex and her family.

Overall, the movie is a good scare, but is not the best of the series.