Cast: Katie Featherston, Kathryn Newton, Matt Shively, Brady Allen,
Director: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
So here we go once again with another outing for Paranormal Activity , the new horror franchise which delivers year on year.
In Paranormal Activity 4 , Katie Featherston returns as Katie as the film takes up five years after a possessed Katie killed her boyfriend Micah and also stole her sister's son Hunter after offing her sister Kristi.
It's 2011 and the action switches to the suburbs and a new family about to be terrorised by ghostly goings on.
This time, it centres on teenage girl Alex (Newton) whose family is going through fractured times and is weathering a breakdown of her parents' relationship. However, Alex is starting off a relationship with Ben (Shively) and a lot of it is carried out on Skype chats.
Things take a turn for the creepy when Alex and her family are forced to take in neighbouring kid Robbie (Allen) for a while after his mum is hospitalised. Robbie befriends Alex's brother Wyatt and the pair form an uneasy bond.
And things get creepier as bumps and noises and all manner of spooky things start happening right after Robbie moves in - having left his mum Katie behind....
Paranormal Activity 4 is to be frank a bit of a disappointment after the creative highs of the third film.
The thing is with this franchise you know exactly what you're going to get - contrived use of cameras via a series of set ups and long drawn out scenes with a jumpy freaky ending to help you void your bowels and shoot out of your seat.
This time around, modern tech plays more of a part - there's no cam fan like in the third film but everything of the mundane daily life is taped via Skype chats or webcams. Perhaps the smartest piece of taping comes courtesy of the use of XBox Kinect which turns everything in the front room into an alien glow with green dots scattered around - this is a smart touch by the writers.
Once again, there are fake outs as the tension's gradually eeked out and extended as far as it can go - and I have to admit by setting a lot more of the creepier action during the daytime hours, the creative team aren't exactly resting on their spooky laurels and are trying to do something a little different.
And yet, there's not quite the edge to this latest Paranormal Activity
outing which you would expect. It's more of the same rather than concentrating on something a little new.
Long swathes of monitored action take place with little scares on hand - sure, there are bumps and knocks and doors close unexpectedly here and there, but the effect is somewhat akin to a low rent haunted horror house rather than a full on spooktacular.
Paranormal Activity 4 is an okay found footage horror film; it has a bit of tension throughout but to be honest, as an entry into the franchise, I'm afraid it's left wanting.