You’ve been seeing a variety of extremely weak teaser trailers for PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 over the passed couple days that served as nothing more than awareness for the eventual release of the theatrical trailer. Well the day has finally come to lay our eyes on what exactly Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost have in store for us in the fourth installment of the popular franchise. I really hate to admit this as we go into yet another sequel for this series, but it’s got me, big time. By this time you would think I’d be rolling my eyes and ready to move on and to some extent I am- but there’s just something about this that hooks me every time.
Spoilers for the series could follow and for the trailer, just in case you’re staying blissfully unaware. The trailer begins by introducing the tragic figures so far Kristi and Katie- Kristi and Katie, young sisters haunted by a demon named Toby (Kristi’s name for what she thinks is her invisible friend) that as they grow up they have vague memories of until it returns to collect Kristi’s first born son, Hunter, but before it can her husband transfers the spirit to her sister Katie who eventually murders her boyfriend after being possessed then returning to Kristi’s home and murdering both Kristi and her husband before kidnapping Hunter. All of this is tied mysteriously to some cult activity that we see at the end of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3.
Now here we are with PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 on the horizon and marketing that seems to hint that maybe, just maybe this could be the last one- the poster and trailer feature text that says “All the activity has led to this.” The trailer features more of the generic set up- set in 2011 a young blonde girl feels the need to record at all times because weird things are happening. The thing this time though is she has made the connection that these weird things coincide with some new neighbors that just moved in, one of them being a very young boy. The trailer ends in a series of events that are tailor made to make my skin crawl as the boy is staring off into nothing outside in her driveway until he turns quickly to the window and all the lights flicker and go out, all while a shadowy figure looms behind the girl who is Skype-ing with what we assume is probably her boyfriend. What I didn’t mention that adds that little extra spook factor is the house has a speaker system that announces when a door opens and while the lights are flickering the speaker sounds a few times to inform her that the front and back door have been opened and as the Katie shaped shadow appears the lights cut out and cue title card. Call me crazy, but this trailer sold me- even with all my doubts that this series can continue to deliver new and decent scares. The other nice touch is in the title card itself as the 4 shape shifts from a 4 to the mysterious cult symbol (seen in the third film) several times- a small detail that I found pretty cool.
Again, the set up for all of this stuff being caught on tape is definitely starting to feel played out, but at this point I don’t even care anymore. As long as it keeps sending chills down my spine I will continue giving it a shot. That’s not to say if it sucks I’m not going to call it out, but after Schulman and Joost delivered an entry to the series that rivals the first, I’m more than just a little excited to see where they take the series now.
What do you think of the official trailer for PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4?