Previously Published on Yell!
More in 'Reviews'
Look, the first Paranormal Activity was a cool idea, but aside from small technical differences, there’s really been no effort put into the sequels. In fact, with Paranormal Activity 4 we’re looking at what might as well be a step back, for a franchise that’s already outstayed its welcome.
So why even bother to keep making these? Why ask for people’s money, when they can just watch the first movie again? Or the second? Or the third?
Are people really following this series, flick for flick?
You know how the first couple screams in a horror movie are just cheap jump scares? The kind where somebody walks into a dark room, the music slows, and the tension builds, and you lean forward in anticipation, and then “BWAH-OH-CRAP-WHAT IS THAT-”
“Oh wait, it’s just Grandpa.”
And then you laugh and you shake your head in disbelief that you were scared by something so stupid, and then hopefully, the movie picks up somewhere along the line.
Well, in Paranormal Activity 4, 60% to 70% of the frights are basically that. A basketball bounces down a flight of stairs – almost as if by its own volition- and you catch yourself thinking:
“Oh no. A basketball bouncing.”
“…I wonder what it is.”
“It’s probably nothing.”
“…Like last time.”
*Scary music starts and suddenly A CAT (!) jumps into the frame*
Yeah. It really was nothing. Again. Real fuckin’ spooky.
It’s very difficult to be afraid of a movie that’s so derivative that it borders on self-parody. I mean, if someone tells you the same joke four times in a row, eventually you’ll just start laughing at the speaker for thinking he’s funny.
And that’s exactly what happens here. You’re not scared because you’re so engaged. You’re scared because you can’t get your money back, nor can you go back in time to reclaim those precious minutes.
It’s sad to see something so interesting become dull to the point that it’s laughable. Granted, the theater I went to was full of teens who screamed at all the “scary” parts, but they also talked throughout the rest of the movie. Now, I’m not sure whether they were genuinely scared and were just trying to alleviate their anxiety, or whether they just didn’t care (out of boredom) and only jumped because something popped out at them when they weren’t looking. Hell, maybe they’ve just never seen a decent horror flick.
Either way, in a case like this, if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ‘em all.
Pages: 1 2