This weekend we have 2 new movies, Paranormal Activity 4 and Alex Cross. I know a lot of you groan when you hear that they’re still pumping out Paranormal Activities year after year. I can side with you partially because you know they are just milking the found footage cash cow and there is no originality left. But look at the series so far. It’s managed to be pretty consistent (like it or hate it). The Rotten Tomatoes for each, in order, have been 82%, 59%, and 68%. That is pretty high for a low-budget, low on ideas series. Complain all you want about the annoying actors, but the night scenes are entirely effective.
The first one made me afraid of every thing that goes bump in the night. I didn’t think the 2nd one did enough to separate itself from the first. The only memorable part was the cupboards opening quickly. The third one equaled the first in terms of WTH moments. I’ll never play Bloody Mary, dress my kid as a ghost in a sheet, or trust older women. Can the series keep up the pace? Or has the formula gone the way of Saw? Oh yeah, and there’s a movie called Alex Cross too I guess.
|I always knew video games made kids worse.|
The first PA was set in 2006. The second was set before and during the first movie. The third was a prequel set in the 80’s. Who knew VHS quality was so good back then? Now we have PA4, which is set 5 years after the first PA. The last time we saw baby Hunter, he was being carried away from his home by demon Katie.
This movie follows a new family and strongly features the new lead, Alex (Kathryn Newton), a teenage girl who has taken up a convenient habit of videography and Skyping with her sorta boyfriend. Right around this time, a creepy neighborhood kid comes to stay with Alex’s family while his sick mom is in the hospital. Let’s not get into the plot too much, because we all know the plot of each movie is as follows. Introduce characters, hear a creepy sound at night, mixed with boring daytime scenes, and the night scenes get more intense leading up to the third act.
This series has gone with the notion that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. They do add a few different ways to show the found footage. The oscillating fan camera in PA3 was a great addition. The new feature in this movie is the night-vision-motion-sensor dots shown from an Xbox Kinect. It’s a terrible idea, but as the viewer, you’re already suspending your disbelief, so you let it soak in and it works.
|There is no Dana, only Jailbait|
In terms of pacing, this movie closely follows PA2. Not much happens at all for the first hour. The leads do enough to make them likable, so it’s not difficult to slug through. And of course, the final 20 minutes in crazy intense. It’s a great finisher that had my audience screaming. In no way does the ending hint that the series will end anytime soon… and I almost don’t want it to.
If you have seen every Paranormal Activity movie, you know what to expect, and this movie will not do anything to tarnish the series. I’m more surprised by audience members who will walk out of this movie and loudly exclaim “Now that’s 2 hours I’ll never get back!” Really? You’re seeing a movie called Paranormal Activity 4, what did you expect?
I wanted to like this movie more than I did, I wanted to be terrified, but it was just slightly thrilling. Slightly thrilling, is that an oxymoron? I’d say rent this one, if you want a creepy feature, go check out Sinister.
|It’s pretty embarrassing when actor read their scripts in actual scenes|
I want to tell you about this movie, I really do. But sadly I forgot about the entire thing as soon as the credits rolled. The biggest problem with this movie is also a factor of what may bring the biggest audience to this flick, it’s lead star. Tyler Perry is so miscast here, it’s a little embarrassing. When this movie was announced last year, they had indicated that Idris Elba (Prometheus, The Wire) was playing the character made famous by Morgan Freeman in Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. But he dropped out, I’m assuming, because he read the script. I guess Cuba Gooding Jr. was busy so they got that guy who plays an old cranky woman in 7 movies a year. I’m sorry Tyler Perry, but you are not an action star.
Alex Cross is a prequel/reboot/adaptation of sorts. Essentially, Alex Cross is a successful homicide detective who thwarts the murder plot of a crazy assassin, played by a lean and mean Matthew Fox. The assassin directs his efforts towards Cross, his family, and his partners.
|D@^# you John Locke!!!|
I want to describe more of the plot to you, but it’s just not possible. There is nothing to this movie. You’re just supposed to know that Jack from Lost is a killing machine who hates being punched in the face, and Madea-Man always has a worried look on his face. Everything about this movie screams early 90’s to me. It could be that we, as audiences, expect more, and this movie doesn’t bother to surprise us.
The first 20 minutes of Matthew Fox was interesting and he seemed to be having a blast in the role or deranged killer, but it got tired, especially because they gave up characterization. I feel like I missed significant parts of this movie because they went for the PG-13 rating. If feels like much of the movie was left on the cutting room floor. The studios are already planning a sequel titled, Double Cross. I hope this movie doesn’t do well. Only do a sequel if you can find a lead actor with dramatic gravitas like Idris Elba. Oh yeah, and a better script could help too.
It’s not the worst movie of the year by far, but as I said in the intro, it’s forgettable to a fault. Miss this one.