You don’t have to see this movie to know it’s absolutely awful. You don’t even have to see the trailer. The fourth installment in a series of films completely devoid of creativity and intelligence, Paranormal Activity 4 is the single most predictable film in the history of made-for-TV movies that aren’t actually made for TV. PA4 only made it to theatres because the creators knew that idiots like me will pay “just to see what happens” despite realizing beforehand that it will be a frustrating, nonsensical mess in every aspect. Spoiler alert.
Every character makes the worst decisions in 99% of the situations they face. There is zero communication between any two characters besides the main character, a young girl, and her boyfriend, and even that is a stretch.
So. A mom lives in a big ole house with her husband and her son, Hunter. Her sister, Katie, gets possessed and kills the parents. She steals Hunter away into the night and is never seen again.
Fast forward. A new family is living in the same home or across the street or something. One cute blonde girl (one of two redeeming characteristics of the film — she’s so cute you could watch her eat cereal for four hours without getting bored), her little adopted brother Wyatt, and her two parents who hate one another. She has a boyfriend (comedic relief) who frequents the house.
Family sees a really young boy walking home from the park alone and don’t stop to pick him up. They’re just all, “Wow, he’s pretty young to be alone.” Dude. He’s like, four. Who does that? What kind of people pass up a toddler wandering down the side of an interstate by himself?
Weird lonely kid shows up in girl’s playhouse in the middle of the night. She’s all, “Whatever” about it and returns him to his home, attributing his behavior to his single and frequently absent mother without batting an eye.
Ambulances and police show up at house across the street. Single and frequently absent mother is mysteriously transported to the hospital because “she’s sick or something.” Creepy loner kid begins temporary residency at cute blonde girl’s house.
Weird stuff starts to happen. The kid is often found standing in various downstairs rooms in the huge house at all hours of the night. Talk of an ‘imaginary friend’ who is obviously a super-evil ghost. Stuff starts moving around. Ghost Hunters type events begin to occur — a bang, a shadow moves, a ball falls down the stairs on its own.
Girl tries to tell parents about the new ghost living in the house and is ignored. That makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is how, after the dad is almost stabbed in the head by a flying knife sent forth by what he clearly understands to be a ghost, and his daughter is almost murdered by the same evil force, he decides to take her out to dinner to ‘talk about it’ rather than immediately get out. GET OUT!
The mother completely ignores his alarm despite having mysteriously lost the very same knife while cooking and after hearing weird noises around the house that she is clearly freaked out by, but this is supposed to hold up because the parents don’t get along and the audience is supposed to believe that their communication and marriage are so wrecked that they can’t even agree on the fact that a goddamn demon is trying to kill them in their own home.
Creepy little kid convinces (an adopted) Wyatt his ‘old family wants him back’, which Wyatt tells his sister, who fails to tell her parents. That is definitely the type of thing one tells one’s parents. The girl is still walking around her house alone despite the attempted ghost-murder, stuff moving around, multiple videotaped instances of creepy ghost sh*t, and a general feeling of evil unease in the household.
Mom gets murdered by the ghost. Mother of creepy kid, who is obviously Katie, hides the body. Dad and daughter arrive home from dinner to see Katie leading Wyatt into the house across the street. Instead of doing anything rational like calling the police, the dad follows her into her pitch-black residence and leaves his daughter behind in the dark street. She enters her own house, alone, and finds the dead body of her boyfriend in her closet (also killed by ghost). She then proceeds to run across the street into Katie’s evil hellhouse despite the fact that there are absolutely no lights on and no one is answering her cries for her father.
Dad is being beat up by the ghost. Daughter, still filming, follows him through the dark and plastic curtain-covered house, screaming. She makes it up to a bedroom on the top floor when Katie bursts into the hallway, howling with a CGI-demon face. Daughter jumps from the window, finds her brother, who is acting creepy, and pleads with him to follow her (although he is clearly possessed) until a horde of demonic women show up and eat her. The end, and the worst ever.