By ALAN SAMUEL
Halloween is the witching season. Though no Saw film is here Paramount Films tries to make up the “loss” with Paranormal Activity 4, the latest “shocker” now freaking out folks at the Empire Studio 12, Colossus and Cineplex Odeon Theatres around B.C. At least that’s the hope of executives at the studio.
Be thankful for little things. All seems to be going well for a decent family living the good suburban life here. A normal mom and dad do their best to raise their children properly. Being neighbourly the clan literally pick up Robbie, a likeable silent type did who is on the nomadic side. Brady Allen plays this lad coyly but from within you can just sense something’s not right here. Robbie also a mysterious mom called Katie who is equally standoffish. Katie Featherston portrays equally obscure woman effectively.
At the heart of Paranormal Activity is the way these two families interact. Girl of the hour Alex is suspicious of their new neighbours and slowly with the aid of friend Ben the two concoct a plan to uncover the truth. Proper fear comes of age with the performance by teen Kathryn Newton who does her best to tell her parents that something terribly wrong is going on.
Fans of the Paranormal movies may appreciate this film. Joint directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman share the blame in this fiasco that takes 88 minutes to unfold. Good horror movies need “jolt”moments and this time out those fatal encounters are too far and few between. There are creepy performances and the mood is decidedly sombre and evil but it takes forever for the thrills to materialize. Blame this uneven tale that never really inspires on the writing which just isn’t up to scary standards.
Patient people who enjoy these sorts of outings may yet appreciate Paranormal Activity 4. First-timers to the series will find it lacking in suspense despite a solid build-up of tension. Bottom line here is that the story has good mood and acting but no real fright moments for the horror set.