Oren Peli’s low-budget 2009 horror Paranormal Activity was a welcome injection of adrenaline to the horror genre.
Made for a reported 15,000 US dollars and shot in the Israeli-born film-maker’s home, the first film grossed almost 200 million US dollars worldwide, giving birth to a franchise that has churned out sequels at a rate of one film per year.
This eagerly anticipated fourth chapter retains directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman and propels the narrative forwards five years after the events of Paranormal Activity 3.
Fans will be delighted by a steady drip-feed of jolts and the return of one old face to provide a clear link between the instalments.
However, while Paranormal Activity 4 is unsettling and honours the established mythology, there’s very little here we haven’t jumped and shrieked at before, and the flimsy storyline doesn’t develop the characters.
Plucky teen Alice offers to take care of a sick neighbour’s son, but soon realises that something is not right about the child.
So, she and her boyfriend rig cameras around the house to spy on him, discovering something disturbing.