Paranormal Activity 4 Directed by: Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman Rating: Not Yet Rated Release Date: October 19, 2012
TRAILER SCORE: 6/10
Thoughts by TSR: All the Paranormal Activity films have enough effective moments to keep me coming back every October. The third film rather successfully went back in time, and now this one looks to be jumping ahead a bit (relative to the events of the first two). It’s not exactly clear how this one ties into the greater mythology – with the series’ penchant for using footage that isn’t even in the final films, guessing can be a dicey proposition – but judging from the last shot it appears we might be returning to the Katie/Hunter story. While that would be as good a place as any to take the series, I do wish it was clearer as to whether or not that is what’s going on here.
I shouldn’t be surprised that the trailer is playing coy. The marketing for these movies never gives much away – something that can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, yes, it’s great that it doesn’t spoil any of the big scares. That being said, it would be nice if there were a couple genuinely scary moments. The webcam stuff could be cool (though apparently webcams are also used in the upcoming horror anthology V/H/S), but the way it’s utilized here only manages to show how unconvincing the actress is.
All that said, I still have faith in returning directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman. They used the oscillating fan cam to great effect in Paranormal Activity 3, so I look forward to seeing what they do with webcams and voiced security systems in this fourth film. I just hope the activity these new toys capture isn’t exactly the same as what came before.