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‘Paranormal Activity 4’ Review: They’re Not Even Trying Anymore

Posted by on October 19, 2012 at 3:17 am

“HEY GUYS, DERPY DERPY DERP, I’M JUST MINDIN’ MY OWN BUSINESS, NO SCARES HERE.”

The Paranormal Activity series has become a shell of itself. Once a promising setup, these flicks are now a sequence of minutes copied and pasted from previous iterations with a few bits altered and characters changed to keep it fresh. The scariest part of the film was about two-thirds of the way through when I had to hold in a wet cough and I couldn’t find my cough drop, buried somewhere between my wallet and car keys. Then, when I had said cough drop, the movie was extremely quiet and I didn’t want to be that guy who was undoing the paper wrapper on his lozenge while the kid was wandering the house with a laptop in complete silence waiting for a jump scare.

As far as the movie goes, let me let Paramount’s President Of Movie Development explain how things are done.

[NOTE TO PRODUCER/DIRECTOR OF PARANORMAL ACTIVITY FROM PARAMOUNT PRESIDENT OF MOVIE DEVELOPMENT. Hey Guys, We Have A Great Series!!!! Let’s Not Rock The Boat, OKAY???? I’VE INCLUDED SOME NOTES FOR YOU TO BASE #5 ON. HUGE SUCCESS!!!!]

———

[COLD OPEN: Characters from previous movies have TOUCHING MOMENT, include KATIE, the FREAKY DEAKY PSYCHO LADY who is SUPER CUTE]

[SIDE NOTE: SEND KATIE FEATHERSTON PHONE# to N @ FEZ]

[TITLE CARD: Feature DATE and MENTION PERSON who was NEVER SEEN AGAIN]

[BEGIN FILM. Set up NEW FAMILY in NEW HOUSE. Include MALE COMIC RELIEF – this year’s in the form of FUNNY DUDE MATT SHIVELY – and replace DOUBTFUL SPOUSE from previous films with DOUBTFUL PARENTS]

[EXPLORE QUESTIONABLE FAMILY STRUCTURE or FREAKY PAST INCIDENTS IN FAMILY’S PAST]

[CONTRIVE REASON to capture FREAKY FOOTAGE, in this instance, a PHONE or HANDHELD CAMERA, always running WITHOUT EXPLANATION]

[SUBTLY CREEPY EVENTS and INITIAL JUMP SCARES]

[EXPLORE strange new element, namely CREEPY KID]

[LET CREEPY KID STAY IN HOUSE, let DOUBTFUL PARENTS deny OBVIOUSLY FREAKY STUFF from FREAKY FOOTAGE]

[CONTRIVE REASON to set up CAMERAS EVERYWHERE in the house, monitoring AT ALL TIMES]

[TITLE CARD: NIGHT + <Insert Number Here> and DATE. Optional: GROAN ALOUD when you see this as AUDIENCE PARTICIPANT]

[SPEND NEXT HALF OF FILM cutting between STATIC CAMERA SHOTS in which scares are concealed as ONLY MOVING THING IN FRAME. It’s like WHERE’S WALDO, but LESS FUN.]

[SPEND NEXT FEW DAYS in story RESEARCHING WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON. Come up with SOMETHING INFINITELY MORE STUPID AS YOU PROGRESS]

[ESCALATE SCARES]

[THROW PEOPLE UP AND DOWN, LEVITATE THEM]

[TITLE CARD: Night++]

[JUMP SCARES]

[KILL SOMEONE]

[KILL EVERYONE ELSE]

[Don’t feature ANY GRAPHIC VIOLENCE. Seriously, think about ANNOYING KIDS IN THEATER, their stomachs are obviously TOO WEAK.]

[SCARIEST SCARES]

[FEATURE SOME NEW STORY THREADS to RATIONALIZE NEXT YEAR’S MOVIE and RATIONALIZE PREVIOUS FREAKY DEAKY FROM OTHER FILMS. Do all of this POORLY.]

[WRAP UP by EXPLAINING NOTHING]

[END FILM]

4/10 FleshEatingZipper

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