The law of diminishing returns applies to most movie franchises and in this case with the 'Paranormal Activity' franchise which has now spawned four movies from it's humble beginnings with one more announced for next year. The studios find it attractive because the movies are dirt cheap to produce the audiences I guess have settled into the franchise comfort zone and expect something with each part. This vicious cycle will continue till the studios don't find it profitable anymore to make these movies, which looking at the minuscule budgets might be never.
This time around much of the found-footage is generated by apple laptops scattered through a suburban home where 15/16 year old Alex lives with her family peacefully that is until evil moves in next door. This evil will be familiar to those who have watched the earlier Paranormal Activity movies, is none other than Katie who also brings along an adopted 6 year old. Once the creepy neighbours settle in, things start going bad for Alex and her family with whispers and movements in the dark, all recorded by the laptops.
I appreciate the fact that the directors try to build suspense by dragging time out to the maximum but I think on some occasions the pay-off just doesn't match the wait. Most of the time, there's little to do other than to stare at dark rooms hoping something happens which you know is going to be substituted by â€œbooâ€ moments hoping to make you jump.
The series' plot takes a nosedive in this entry, which makes it seem utterly forced and unnecessary. At least the earlier ones had a larger picture in mind, this one unfortunately doesn't. The acting uniformly is amateur at best, which isn't exactly a bad thing considering the hand-held camera gimmick.
It's not an improvement over the third one and this series continues to slide downwards. There are few moments of good scares but overall lacks bite.