Being the huge fan that I am of the Paranormal Activity series, you can imagine my sprint to the theater on Thursday night to the premier of the fourth installment of the PA series.
So nervous that tickets would sell out, I arrived at the premier 45 minutes early to secure my seat, soda, and jumbo popcorn. When I entered the theater, in all honesty I was shocked at the lack of people in the theater. Maybe one third of the seats were taken. At first I was dumbfounded, but then relieved – a better seat for me and more room for my popcorn.
The movie began rather typically for the PA series: they did a light fill-in for viewers to catch them up on things they may have missed or forgotten. Instantly, I was back in the PA world of terror, and this time they were amped up the fear.
The haunting broke out of the immediate family, terrorizing neighbors across the street who are taking care of a neighbors son while his mother is in the hospital. They kept to classic PA stunts like falling chandeliers and creepy child’s closets, but with the addition of new technology revamped their element of fear.
Introducing the use of MacBooks and their recording services through secret accounts, the family was essentially spied on in a completely different element. The recordings were set up through laptops, cell phones, and other recording devices and all linked to a singular account, making the collection of video extremely easy and accessible.
PA also introduced the in-home security system, alerting homeowners when doors would open and close. That was enough to send you over the edge, making those of us who grew up in homes with security systems doubt their usefulness in protecting a home from paranormal invaders.
But what has to be the most terrifying was the use of the infrared technology established by Xbox Kinect. The new interactive Xbox technology uses a system of dots spread across a room to pick up motion. The motion gave you the ability to act as the controller and move your avatars as if you were literally in the game. By using the dot graphing system, the Xbox emits mini laser lights to pick up these motions, and those lasers can be seen when a camera is used on night vision mode. The whole room turns into an intricate system of dots, and you can see every movement of a person, or a paranormal.
Different from previous movies, you actually get to see “Toby” walking around and playing with the kids. This eerie addition gave Toby even more presence, making him almost real. The image still haunts audience members.
Of course there is a sickening twist in the end – you won’t see it coming. However, it the light of not setting off the spoiler alert, I will stop while I am ahead. Paranormal Activity 4 will answer questions from previous films, leave you hanging on for more, and leave you afraid to sleep alone that night.