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'Paranormal Activity' franchise review: Part three

Paranormal Activity 4
Paranormal Activity 4
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Thank you for returning for the next installment of the “Paranormal Activity” franchise review. If you have missed them, there are links at the end of this article that leads directly back the previous two articles.

Paranormal Activity 4” begins with a quick summary of previous events stating that Kristi and her husband were killed and Katie kidnapped Hunter while their whereabouts remain unknown. Viewers of this film are introduced to a new family, Holly and Doug, their daughter Alex, and son Wyatt. Wyatt has a friend Robbie, the new neighbor’s child, who comes over to spend the night and the boys start experiencing strange happenings with an “imaginary” friend reminiscent of Toby, Katie and Kristi’s companion who ended up being a demon. Alex’s friend, Ben, sets up cameras around the house to catch the paranormal activity as it happens.

As scenes progress, although the audience is led to believe that maybe Robbie is really Hunter, it turns out that Wyatt was actually Hunter and had been put up for adoption while Katie went to prepare things for the day he was ready. Robbie helps Wyatt prepare for his possession by drawing the symbols for a ritual that allow his connection to the demon. Finally it is revealed that Katie is the “mother” of Robbie and that Wyatt/Hunter is to come home.

Each of the “Paranormal Activity” films looks for that one unique thing that draws in a viewer. With “Paranormal Activity 4”, that comes in the form of Microsoft’s Kinect, the peripheral motion sensor and camera for the Xbox 360. Setting a video camera to night vision setting and turning off all the lights in the room while the Kinect was active showed the tracks of the sensors that the Kinect sends out to map the room. This was really cool and allowed for some startling scenes involving Wyatt/Hunter and the spirit that follows him around. This film mechanic allowed the viewers a first-hand look at the demon, the real star of the franchise so far.

“Paranormal Activity 4” was a pleasant surprise instead of a tired rehash of the same old story. Thank you for taking the time to read this continuing review of the “Paranormal Activity” franchise. The next article will be a complete review of the next installment, “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones”.