“Paranormal Activity 4” is set over a two-week span in November 2011, five years after the original. The first took place in California, but this one is set in Henderson, Nevada.
The fourth installment centers on a suburban family’s 15-year-old daughter Alex (a fantastic performance by Kathryn Newton). Alex and the flirty boy-next-door Ben (Matt Shively) are freaked out by the little boy who lives across the street, Robbie (Brady Allen). Robbie is always showing up in strange places, is seen walking the streets alone and is consistently being a creep.
When Robbie’s mother ends up in the hospital from a mysterious accident, he stays with Alex’s family. Robbie stays in Alex’s younger brother Wyatt’s (Aiden Lovekamp) room and Alex isn’t happy about his stay. Ever since Robbie has stayed with Alex and her family, weird occurrences have been happening. Of course, Alex is the only one that notices and her parents are completely obliviously to everything that’s going on.
“Paranormal Activity 4” has some fun and unique scary scenes that add a new layer to the series. There are some especially freaky parts that involve a knife and a car, which ended up being the best scenes in the movie. There is also some reappearances in “4” that fans will love, but I won’t give anything away.
This installment is definitely not as freaky or horrific as the original, but Newton adds a fresh layer to the series. The young actress was the perfect choice to lead the audience through the paranormal story that has infected her home.
I will admit that I jumped throughout the film and covered my eyes at time, but most of the scares are a little cheesy and done through the editing. Also, in the first two films, the cameras that document the crazy activity are done through ones that have been set up in the house, whereas in this one, the found-footage is done through laptop cameras.
Overall, “Paranormal Activity 4” was probably made to add another $50 million+ to the franchise versus having a legitimate story to tell and fans of the series will most likely enjoy the film.