The Paranormal Activity franchise – one of the most popular horror film franchises in recent times after Oren Peli created the independent film Paranormal Activity for a film festival in 2007. He created it in his home for $15,000 then sold it to Paramount/Dreamworks for $350,000 – not a bad profit! While Paranormal Activity 1-3 have had generally good reviews across the board, there’s a split in opinion with 4.
Paranormal Activity 4, set in November 2011 follows the story of Paranormal Activity 2 – where at the end, a possessed Katie killed her sister and her husband, and taking Hunter. We’re introduced to a family that consists of a girl named Alex, her adopted brother Wyatt and arguing parents Holly and Doug. When things start to get weird, Alex gets her boyfriend to set up all the laptops in the house to record 24/7 in the hope of catching something weird on camera.
In terms of the scare factor, it doesn’t have anything on previous Paranormal Activity films. It’s all a bit expected, and the only real scary parts are when jump cuts are used and there are loud noises. The storyline has many holes in it, and is very hard to get into the film as a whole – what once was a riveting franchise that had everyone on the edge of their seats is now failing miserably. Oren Peli needs to direct the now announced Paranormal Activity 5, as Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman have lost touch with the kind of fear that Paranormal Activity is supposed to instil gradually as the film progresses.
It’s all becoming a bit too Hollywood and thus the “real life” feeling is dying out. The darkness and sound effects that were so effective in the first Paranormal Activity film have become outdated and predictable. Overall, Paramount need to rethink their approach to the Paranormal Activity franchise and go back to its roots in time for Paranormal Activity 5 before they ruin an amazing franchise.