OSW Review | Microsoft Kinect presents Paranormal Activity 4
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Microsoft Kinect presents Paranormal Activity 4


Plot: When an odd boy stays with the family across the street, odd happenings start to occur around the house.

Cast: This time the protagonist is also the film’s target demographic, a young teenage girl Alex (Kathryn Newton). What little exposition is done by herself and her typical douchebag male friend, Ben (Matt Shively). Her younger brother Wyatt becomes increasingly distant as he spends more time with creepy kid Robbie.

Thoughts on the Film:
• The film leans HEAVILY on startling, lots of quietly walking around, people appear/there’s a bang. There is actually a scene of Alex walking around in the dark, slowly, waiting for the jump scare. When her mam asks her why, she literally says “I don’t know”. We know – lazy writing.
• There’s numerous blatant advertising in the film (pepsi, Kinect etc). It’s very noticeable.
• New Film PoV : From one static camera (PA1), to security cameras (PA2), to a camera on a rotating fan axis (PA3), to now, multiple static cameras, “webcam view” (someone’s face takes up most of the screen, we also see the background behind her) and infrared Kinect vision. Both are actually quite cool, with great potential for scares. Unfortunately the film never delivers.
• Pragmatic things like the parents don’t mind everyone’s laptops running 24/7 and their Kinect/laptop/light switch setup wouldn’t work in reality bugged me. It’s more noticeable if the film is poor. They must have two laptops in Wyatt’s room as there’s two different static camera positions.
• Time spent with young American teens is grating, but I’d imagine it’s accurate.
• Nobody listens in this film, so the film can progress like the writer/director wants. Sigh! We get a shoe-horned “parents don’t get along” to explain why they dismiss these shocking occurances. “Hey! This thing almost killed me!” “Just go to bed.” It’s annoying at this point.
• Audio-wise, I get it’s part of the scare, but the combination of people whispering far away from the camera, and really loud bangs make the film a frustrating experience.

Plot-Wise: ***CONTAINS SPOILERS***
• PA3 expanded on the background of the franchise but this one offers almost nothing – very disappointing. What’s (not) happening in the house can’t carry the film by itself. There’s about 4 lines in the film that deal with backstory.
• So… Hunter? After Katie killed her family and her sister’s family, she abducted Hunter. But apparently she left the woods, put on her Sunday best and went to the adoption agency. And who’s the f**k is Robbie? Katie didn’t have kids, Hunter is the first born male child in generations. This annoyed me – I held judgement until the film was over but it was never explained. BOOO.
• The film ends the same way as #3, except much crappier. The all-female PA fan club show up – it was really very lame. As is the really played out “my face is a demon face” effect.

Overall: This film should never have been made – this is the definition of a cash-grab. The film has plot retconning just to make the film – they’re clearly out of ideas. Avoid this film.

Details

Release Date
October 29, 2014
Type