20. Paranormal Activity 4
Directors: Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost
Stars: Kathryn Newton, Brady Allen, Matt Shively, Katie Featherston, Sprague Grayden, Micah Sloat
Release date: October 19
Under any circumstances, the thought of a fourth entry into a horror franchise would elicit groans and fuck-outta-here disinterest, but Paranormal Activity 4 is a special case. Credit the film's pair of directors, Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, the young dudes who went from making the controversial, is-it-real-or-not, Internet-minded documentary Catfish to shocking cynical genre heads by turning last year's seemingly innocuous Paranormal Activity 3 into an inventive, genuinely creepy success, as well as series' best overall entry.
So the fact that Joost and Schulman felt compelled to return for another round of supernatural found-footage heebie-jeebies is encouraging, assuming they've done so with more ideas as effective as PA3's oscillating fan camera sequence and its subgenre-changing third act narrative turns. Unsurprisingly, Paranormal Activity 4 is shrouded in secrecy, though we do know that it takes place in the present day and concerns a teenage girl, her Skype device, and some strange neighbors who've moved in next door.
Hopefully Joost and Schulman haven't gone the way of, say, Saw IV, which, for lack of a more eloquent analysis, blew the big one.