The Reel: Paranormal Activity rated a letdown

Ben Conniff

Anyone who is following me on Twitter knows that I’m in the middle of my own “31 Nights of Halloween” marathon. I’m trying to get around to watching at least one scary movie a day throughout the Halloween season.

I’ve decided to do it for fun since I love this time of year and wanted to share some of my movie ideas with friends. (Not all of my future reviews will be of horror movies, I promise!)

My most recent “31 Nights of Halloween” movie was “Paranormal Activity 4”, the latest entry in the popular found-footage horror franchise. I’ve been a fan of “Paranormal Activity” films since the first one was released in 2009, so I was eager to head to the theater as soon as possible to check the new one out.

I sat down for a 9 p.m. showing and the entire theater was on edge. By the end, people around me were losing their minds with terror, but sadly I wasn’t among them.

It didn’t chill me to the bone like “Paranormal Activity 3” or “Sinister” did.  

I also thought the majority of the scares were in the trailer, but some cool exceptions included a dangerously pesky kitchen knife and an intense ending —something that at this point should be considered routine for fans of the series.

Although this ending was pretty terrifying, I thought the ending to “Paranormal Activity 3” was scarier and done with more cinematic care from its directors, who also returned to direct part four.

I was looking for a continuation of the plot from the earlier films, and I didn’t get that.

Where did the coven come from? What happens to Katie and Kristi during their time with Grandma? The list goes on and on. If anything, “Paranormal Activity 4” adds to that list rather than draws any conclusions.

If you see this movie, make sure to stay through the credits. It’s a maddening scene that will pose even more questions, but speculation is half the fun.

Certainly next Halloween will bring us “Paranormal Activity 5”, which I hope puts the series back on track. However, after seeing “Paranormal Activity 4”, I think they’re starting to venture into the “fans only” territory that has led many good horror franchises to die.

Ben Conniff is a Villa Hills sophomore majoring in marketing with a minor in film studies. For more his commentary, follow him on Twitter @thereelbennyc.