I have actually loved the Paranormal Activity series since seeing the unexpected hit back in 2009. The second film was a good continuation that was full of creepy moments and the third provided an excellent back story and was probably my favourite. So I was really looking forward to seeing where this forth entry would take us.
It is based 5 years after part 2 with a new family who live next door to series regular Katie who is possessed by the demon, she gets suddenly taken to hospital so they are left looking after her creepy "adopted" son Robbie. From here weird things start to happen and so more of the continuing story unfolds.
So why the average score? Well for a start, what made the previous 3 films so good for me was the subtle scary moments that really stuck in my head for days afterwards, giving me feeling of paranoia and really played on my mind when in the comfort of my own home. In this one the style seems to have all been forgot and they've got for quick scares and jump moments every couple of minutes that does get old pretty quickly. Another thing that made this not as good as the previous films is it is now becoming all too familiar so the shock value that we had before is lost it's effect so I didn't really find it very scary at all. The parents are also so oblivious to everything going on despite being constantly told by the daughter so this became a little ridiculous and annoying towards the second half of the film.
It's not all bad though. The lead characters (well the 2 teenagers at least) are quite convincing and were fun to watch. The use of modern technology such as the Xbox Kinect, Skype and camera phones were well used and were an interesting change to just camcorders and security cameras used in the previous films. The were a couple of moments that held the suspense and had me focussing on something only to be surprised by something else elsewhere on the screen, so misdirection was definitely a strong factor in this production.
I think 2 stars is a bit harsh as there were definitely some well done portions in the film and I can't say I didn't at least mildly enjoy it, but 3 stars is too high simply because of the cheap jumps as opposed to the building tension and so-so storyline, that I felt didn't really add anything to the overall storyline. I wouldn't say that this is necessarily a bad film but it is certainly a lot less effective and entertaining as the last 3. I'm glad I saw it but I really think that the writers and producers should really consider putting this one to bed now before fans of the series like myself just get bored with the whole thing and the first 3 films lose there cult status because of a string of average sequels that we are inevitably going to get. There's a lot of things left unexplained (I could list these but would be leaving spoilers) so there's no doubt going to be a Paranormal Activity 5 next October, I just won't get my hopes up too much with that one.