By Elizabeth Nailling
The incredible hype that surrounded the 2009 release of the first Paranormal Activity had dramatically subsided by the time the fourth film of the series hit theatres this past Friday.
In contrast to the 52 million dollar debut of Paranormal Activity 3 last year, the fourth sequel opened with just 30 million dollars at the Box Office, the biggest drop between two consecutive films in the series yet. Moreover, the film received a Cinemascore grade of “C”, which is the worst score the series has received yet.
However, the extremely low cost of filming the movies in this series (five million dollars in the case of Paranormal Activity 4) ensures that the series will continue to film movies until the costs outweigh the profits. Good news for all you Paranormal lovers out there!
Although I have a low tolerance for scary movies and was quite frightened by the pop-outs and creepy moments of the movie, I definitely see why Paranormal Activity 4 would be dubbed with a “C.”
As is characteristic of the series, there are frequent stretches of time throughout the movie where nothing seems to really happen, causing many awkward laughs and sighs of “C’mon…” in the movie theater.
This is obviously frustrating, but it makes the pop-outs and eerie moments in the film more unexpected, increasing their effect on the audience.
The confusing ending is another aspect of the film that earns it a “C” rating and is also typical of the series. It is a shocking and graphic ending that brings the film to an abrupt end with little explanation of what had just happened. I, personally, had a rather positive opinion of the movie until minutes before the movie ended, as it had much more of a plot than I expected. However, the ending caused me to leave the theater with the impression that it was “a stupid movie.”
The plot saves this movie from a “D” rating, as there are a lot of parts that create an effective rising action to the climax of the movie.
Without giving away too much, there is a return of the characters Katie, the woman who murders her entire family while possessed by a demon, and Hunter, the nephew of Katie whom she kidnaps at the end of the first Paranormal Activity.
Their shocking involvement in the plot constantly keeps audience members on the edge of their seats.