REVIEW: Paranormal Activity 4, or... Paranormal INactivity

I find the Paranormal Activity series to be very similar to a bad relationship. With the first film, things start off with a bang. Things are simple, and after it is all said and done, things pay off. After a grand finish, you head out, and agree to a second date. The second film, offers up more of the same. You're happy to see this girl, but you find yourself wishing that this go round, there had been something to set it apart from the first date. At the end, you still get what you want, so a third date is practically required. The third film, things are starting to fall into a somewhat awkward routine. Everything feels like a rehash of sorts of the first date, but you convince yourself it could get better, so you go ahead and sign up for that fourth date...

Welcome to date number four.

By now, you know what to expect. You sit there, watch the same routine unfold, and just can't bring yourself to get excited. There are a few jumps here and there, but they all lack the flair of that first time.  You keep hoping to recapture the magic, but in the end, you just don't get there. The bitterness and resentment only intensify, because of the quick "blink and you'll miss it" finish.

So, dropping all half-assed date analogies, this film was just not all that fun. There are bits that are interesting, parts that are grin-worthy. But, on the whole, it is a big old stinky rehash of a film we have seen before. The new bits, that are shiny and different, feel more like a fresh coat of paint on a run down building. I will give the movie props for an innovative use of the Microsoft Kinect. It honestly gives the movie some of its finer moments, but also leads to a lot of disappointment at missed opportunities.

In some respects, it actually feels like the film took steps back. For example, the entire film looks like it was produced by the good folk over at Skype, as 95% of the movie looks like a bad webcam. And with it looking like a bad webcam most of the time, you're also stuck staring at an underage girl for a large part of the film. So not only do you get the joy of being bored listening to dialog that sounds like it was rejected from a high school drama production, you also get to feel mildly creepy for watching this 15 year old girl sleep. Suffice to say, that if this film were found on a high school teacher's computer, as opposed to being broadcast on the silver screen.... Someone would likely end up in jail.

In the end, the best part of the entire film, is the last 30 seconds or so. If the film had that kind of energy throughout, then perhaps I wouldn't have left feeling like I had wasted s free ticket.

Recomendation: If you have a large amount of disposable income, and time to kill... then still don't waste your time. Instead, send me the money, and I will put it to a better use... like re-tiling my backyard, or buying enough beer to build a house out of beer bottles, or just about anything other than wasting time on this movie.

Is this film theater-worthy?: No. Please refer to previous answer.

Is this film Netflix Instant worthy?: A more appropriate question... and that is a marginal "yes" with the provision you are fairly drunk at the time.

Final thoughts: Is this the worst film of all time? No, Is it better than Green Lantern? Yes Will I ever want to see it again? Not a chance. Do I feel like wasting anymore time typing about this shit? No.

Frank's Final Score: 2.5 out of 10