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Paranormal Activity 4

It's closer than you think 

Year: 2012 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman 
Starring: Katie Featherston, Kathryn Newton, Matt Shively  
An image from Paranormal Activity 4

Just when you thought it was safe to turn your digital camera back on, the demon haunting begins again in the fourth instalment in the found-footage franchise, which is showing no signs of letting up.

The first true direct sequel of the franchise, Paranormal Activity 4 picks up after Paranormal Activity 2, which resulted in the possessed Katie (Katie Featherstone) murdering her sister’s family and kidnapping her young son Hunter. With their whereabouts still unknown, the film is told from the perspective of young Alex’s (Kathryn Newton) camcorder and laptop webcams, who begins to think there is something weird about the woman and little boy who have just moved in across the street. A set of circumstances sees the little boy, Robbie, staying with Alex and her family, and sure enough strange things begin to occur. Alex, along with her sort-of boyfriend Ben (Matt Shively), take it upon themselves to record what takes place within the house. But, as we well know, that sort of meddling doth not please those demon fellows.

Despite showing signs of strain, Paranormal Activity 4 remains a scary, funny bone tickling thrill of a roller-coaster. Schulman and Joost, directors of the previous instalment and the maybe-but-possibly-not documentary Catfish, manage to maintain a sense of freshness and originality within the well-worn tropes of the found footage franchise, constructing some very effective jumps and scenes of nerve shredding tension.

When viewed with a group of friends, who are equally willing to let themselves get wrapped up in the proceedings, Paranormal Activity 4 can easily be one of the most enjoyable experiences that you have in the cinema this year. Injected with enough knowing humour to construct a false sense of hope, this addition to the franchise is perhaps the jumpiest and most intense instalment thus far.

Andrew Gaudion

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Screenings of this film:

2012/2013 Spring Term (35mm)