By Shane M. Dallmann
Remember, PA3 was a prequel, so in order to move on with the story, we have to go back to the end of PA2, where Aunt Katie abducted baby Hunter in 2006.
Well, now it’s November of 2011, and a weird six-year-old boy is living across the street from fifteen-year-old Alex Nelson, her little brother Wyatt and her disinterested parents. Weird little Robbie allegedly lives with his single mother but seems far more interested in spying on the Nelsons. Well, that’s fine, because “Mommy” suffers an unseen but devastating incident that sends her to the hospital, and since Robbie has absolutely NOWHERE else to go, the Nelsons take him in for a few days while his mother recuperates.
Robbie has an invisible friend, weird things start happening, and Alex persuades her boyfriend Ben to rig every computer in the house (everybody, including Wyatt, has one, and Mrs. Nelson even takes on-line cooking lessons so that we can watch her slice up some red peppers and gasp when the knife disappears) to record everything that’s going on.
Oh, and the central visual gimmick this time around involves Ben rigging a game console to display its “tracker dots” all over the living room when the lights are turned out (so we can see otherwise invisible figures skulking about the room when they disturb the dots). It looks like King Kong snorted a giant glowstick and sneezed into the living room and it’s not nearly as scary as the oscillating fan device from PA3.
There’s a cat running around to provide screen activity and false scares–I thought it would have been hella funny if they’d used a horse instead of the cat.
And as usual, some of the things you saw in the trailer don’t happen in the film (Robbie suddenly looking up at Alex as she observes him through the window), and some of them do. Yeah, Alex levitates. And that’s it. There’s absolutely no REASON for her to levitate but the mere fact that she DOES levitate, even though SHE sleeps through it.
And there’s a SpongeBob cartoon playing in the background of one scene.
And it doesn’t work anymore. And none of the scares actually scare (“Rated R for ‘terror,’ my Aunt Fanny–this gets an R for about a hundred F-bombs). And the “story” has stopped being interesting. And even if you DO try to follow it, it doesn’t even make SUPERNATURAL sense anymore.
Sorry, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, but this is my stop. I had fun for most of the ride, but this is where I get off and I ain’t gettin’ back on.