The Paranormal Activity Franchise

So with Paranormal Activty 6 on its way shortly, I thought “why not? I’ve seen most of them.” And so, let’s go through the first five instalments of a franchise that started off with the most profitable movie of all time, and well hasn’t changed an awful lot since then.

Paranormal Activity (2007)

When a couple move into their new house they soon realise that some odd shit is happening. The boyfriend decides that he is going to video it all to see what is really going down, then stuff really spirals out of control from then on. What the first Paranormal Activity is, is a masterpiece in pacing. Very rarely is a slow build-up in tension used quite so effectively. We get to know the characters, we get to like them and so when it all starts to kick off you genuinely feel and fear for them. And while on paper it doesn’t really start to kick off at all until about 7 minutes from the end, the film will have you in such a state as to literally shit yourself just at the sight of a door moving. There is enough in Paranormal Activity to convince you that the found footage sub-genre as a whole is brilliant and interesting.

9/10

Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)

When a family move into their new house they soon realise that some odd shit is happening. The dad decides that he is going to video it all to see what is really going down, then stuff really spirals out of control from then on. Sound familiar? That’s because it’s the same as the first film. Like literally the same, only this time there are more people and cameras. Oh yeah, and this time it’s abysmal. Let me tell you why. Where in the first one you grew to know and care for the characters, in this film there are none. It’s not even that the characters are just plain and stereotypical, they just don’t exist. I have seen both of these films twice, and the second far more recently but I still couldn’t tell you tell you the character’s names for it, or what they are like or anything. And because of this when stuff starts happening you just don’t care. Another element is that there is no build-up. There is no subtle small movement in the top corner, it starts off with probably its biggest jump scare, and so from that point on you doubly don’t care because nothing is a big as the start. The end product is just outrageously dull, you are essentially watching four people you couldn’t give a flying fuck about milling around with some loud noises that you couldn’t give a flying fuck about happening in the background.

1/10

Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)

I’m not even going to bother with the synopsis for this one. It all the same except this time it’s apparently set in the 80’s, and one of the cameras does a panning thing. When about to watch this I was all ready for a mind-meltingly boring experience, however this is not what I got. Actually Paranormal Activity 3 is decent. There are some proper scares in there, and some actually quite clever little creepy set pieces. Yes it’s broadly the same, yes the characters aren’t as good as in the first one, yes it’s not original in the slightest, yes you’ve seen it all done better elsewhere. But you know what if you fancy a decent enough horror movie that isn’t going to give you nightmares but might make you jump, here you go.

6/10

Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)

I’ve not seen this part of the franchise, so for all I know it could be brilliant. I doubt it.

Paranormal Activty: The Marked Ones (2014)

By now you know the drill, people move into somewhere new and stuff happens. This time there is the twist of it being teenage focused. It’s not very good, but it isn’t awful. For my full review click here: https://jonathansfilmreview.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/paranormal-activity-the-marked-ones/

4/10

I wonder what will happen in Paranormal Activty 6.

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