Thursday, 25 October 2012

Paranormal Activity 4 - The scoop and digest

This doesn't break the familiar chain of the previous films.

Reluctant newcomers should enjoy and veterans will answer whatever questions the former have.

Regardless of the audience, we'll ponder as to what may happen next.

If it ain't broke, there is little point in trying to fix a functional limb, right?

Plot details and/or spoilers will be caught on camera.

Those who are party to such activity include:

Kathryn Newton - Alex

Bradie Allen - Robbie
Matt Shively - Ben
Stephen Dunham - Doug
Alexondra Lee - Holly
Aiden Lovekamp - Wyatt
Katie Featherston - Katie

We are reminded of events in PA 2 and that Katie and Hunter's whereabouts remain unknown.

It's not 28 Days Later but five years later...

Like the rest, there isn't particularly a story, but day to night transitions combine frivolity with much malevolence.

I'll take you through what will taste juicier than a prime fillet steak.

The mother allows a young boy called Robbie to stay while his mother is taken to hospital, and for reasons unknown, she was subsequently set for self destruct by you, for reasons unknown.

Not for reasons unknown, I told you, that I set down here on company orders not to quote the script from Aliens...

Sorry, will that reason become known?

Whatever, it's a big mistake.

So the family with a big heart take this young waif in.

The boring is necessary, but let's proceed to the exciting and increasingly nasty.

Events occur both during the night and day.  Daylight can be just as interesting as when the sun goes to sleep.

The night will go bump and things will go crash, bang and add the required wallop.

Not too long after Robbie moves in, Kinect and infra red tracking provide disturbing results.

We see a strange image of 'something' apparently sitting next to Robbie.

Ben has web chats regularly with girlfriend Alex and sets up similar equipment strewn around the house after that weird image is revealed.

Thereafter, that's when the fun starts for the audience, but for those involved, begins a supernatural nightmare.

In no particular order, things are going to get hairier than Boris the Spider.

We see a dining room chair move by itself and in the same breath, a child's bike moves equally unmanned.

Both kids get up during the night and chat to Carol Anne in the television (okay I made up the Poltergeist bit).

Robbie confuses Wyatt's back with a canvas and paints a strange symbol on his back.

It is also revealed that the same thing was drawn in the sandpit.

After some good old-fashioned Googling, it seems to be part of an old cult.  Fans will recall that it was first introduced in PA 3 with the witches and demonology angle.

Instead of a trail of breadcrumbs, Robbie leaves a trail of toys leading to a small room and it looks like he's decided to follow Mick Dundee's lead and sleep on the floor.

What would shit anybody up is a chandelier falling and nearly killing you.  Doug blames it on cowboy fitters but Alex blames Robbie.

He certainly is a strange little sod and has more menace than a hungry crocodile.

A chopping knife disappears for mother and reappears for father.

Katie is found at the 'deserted' home and hereafter, Wyatt seems to doubt that he's really Wyatt as during that brief meeting with crazy Katie, she tells him that he was adopted like Robbie...

Could Wyatt be really Hunter?

Well Katie certainly gets him thinking.

Before events come to a head, other interesting scenes include Wyatt been forced to practice holding his breath in a bath tub and Alex blissfully unaware that she can actually levitate.

The deal breaker for poor Alex is when a car starts in the garage for no apparent reason and makes the air that she breathes a tad suffocating.

Oh, the car radio wasn't playing The Hollies.

Taking evasive action, she saves her own life by forcing her way in via a golf club and smashes this Christine type through the garage door.

The climax and excitement in full.

Katie sneaks upstairs unbeknownst to Holly and calls for Hunter.

Holly feels an unwelcome breath and the entity takes her for a fatal rollercoaster of a ride.

She descends and drags Holly off screen to an unknown place.

Ben lets himself in and ascends upstairs to Alex's room.  He tries to access video footage on her laptop but Katie is behind to prove he's no owl.

She drags the awful bird of prey impersonator into the closet.  She ticks the next box on her mission by finding Wyatt and convincing him that he is Hunter.

Alex and Doug arrive home after enjoying a meal and father mistakes Katie for Holly carrying Wyatt across the way.

Father chooses to follow 'mother' and Alex decides to explore their home.

I hope she gave him a final kiss goodbye....

Alex calls Ben and unfortunately, his phone is heard very close by and naturally she goes to investigate.

Suffice to say, the closet makes her feel very unwelcome and swiftly prevents access.

There's a force in there and it's not from nature.

It's all a bit much for her, or indeed for anybody and it's time to check out.

Panicking, she runs across to the house that will cure her sanity and place her at ease.

Yeah if that's right, then James Bond goes through less changes than Doctor Who.

Dad is clearly in a bit of bother and we see an unseen force showing him around the house...

After a fruitless chase, here's Katie.

She's stationary at first but then charges her like a woman possessed with a nasty demonic visage.

Alex manages to thwart her using a blinding invention known as a door.

She escapes via a window and stumbles upon Wyatt.

Despite her pleas for him to come with her, he's more reluctant to obey than a malteser is been the heavier way to enjoy chocolate.

She observes a large crowd of Katie's blankly faced friends and Katie embarrassing a rhino charges again before the camera runs out of battery and that's it for another absorbing and entertaining instalment.

I conclude that Robbie is a red herring and is sent by Katie to achieve the capture of Wyatt who is presumably needed to complete the ritual and/or sacrifice.

Will the next feature Hunter as an adult and will this highly successful franchise finally conclude?

Hmmm, that depends but it will probably go on an ill-advised Saw marathon.

Directors Henry Joost and Areil Schulman play it safer then ten men behind the ball protecting a slender lead in the final minute of stoppage time.

Do they pay for such negativity?

No sirree as it's the best yet.

Be under no illusion, changing the tried and tested formula that keeps fans flocking like migrating geese is sensibly resisted.

There's nothing that you haven't seen before in previous efforts but the variety of events ensures it serves up very effective entertainment.

I know where events will pick up in the inevitable fifth but until my crystal ball is fixed, events remain inconclusive.

This cannot and should not be compared to Sinister as unlike that creep fest, it's designed to push jump instead of to make skin crawl.

I personally prefer the latter emotion any day of the week, month or year.

Whatever, I'll definitely be there to pick the bones out of the next...

As a final thought, I wonder how much Microsoft paid to have Kinect advertised?

I'll bet my last toe nail clipping that it was more than Nintendo or Sony....

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