[Movie Review] Paranormal Activity 4

As much as it pains me to say it, the Paranormal Activity franchise jumps the shark at this point. I simply don't know what the hell they were thinking.

With all but three of the major characters from the first three movies dead*, Paranormal Activity is forced to decides it has no choice but to shift its focus to a new family and, in doing so, create more plot holes than they can ever hope to fill.

*Micah, Dan, Kristi, Julie, Dennis, and Lois are dead. Katie, Ali, and Hunter (main characters) and Randy and Martine (supporting characters) are still alive.

Consider this your second and final spoiler warning, as I'm about to give away the plot twist.

In Paranormal Activity 4, the little boy that is assumed to be Hunter is revealed to be a red herring. The son of the newly introduce family, an adopted child named Wyatt, is actually Hunter.

Obviously, there's a bit of a problem with this twist: Why the hell would Toby kill Kristi, whom he groomed throughout her childhood and presumably at least tolerated, in order to get her son... only to immediately put that son into the care of a different family, all the while continuing to possess Katie? And who the hell is this Robbie kid? Does he have a point beyond throwing off the audience?

For that matter, what's up with the coven? They were introduced quite suddenly at the end of Paranormal Activity 3, and there's no hint whatsoever as to what the heck they're up to. Why exactly does this demon need a harem of power-grabbing, middle-aged women? Is he building some kind of army? Is he going overboard in some quest to steal the souls of housewives? Is he just trying to confuse me? (Good job, demon! It's working!)

Meanwhile, the characters were useless and obnoxious. While I enjoyed the satisfaction of finally figuring out where I'd seen the Final Girl's face before (she was the daughter on Gary Unmarried), her character, Alex, and the rest of the cast were all varying degrees of boring, annoying, or downright infuriating. The mother, with her inclination to trick her fifteen-year-old daughter into taking prescription sleeping pills when she's sick of listening to her, is the most glaringly terrible individual in the bunch.

I just... I really don't know. I'm glad that we finally got to move the plot forward, but I'm furious over where it went. What the hell happened in those five missing years? Where did Robbie come from? Is the figure captured with the Kinect Toby or someone/thing else? How did Toby/Katie lose Hunter? Why is the cult growing so quickly, and why are so many members there with Katie in the final scene? Did the Katie and/or the cult kill Alex? Where's Ali during all of this? What the hell is going on, and do the writers ever intend to tell us anything?

I guess there's just one thing left to say: They'd better get their act together next year, or I'm going to get a fanfiction itch.

And nobody wants that.

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