Right, this review is going to be a spoiler free version and tomorrow I’m going to be posting a spoiler version so if you don’t want to read that then please avoid it. The reason I’ve chosen to do it that way is because I have quite a few strong feelings/opinions about this film and I need somewhere to vent it all. So yeah, here we go!
This is the fifth film in the Paranormal Activity series, not including the spin-off ‘Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones’. In this film we follow the lives of a different family that are completely unrelated to the one that appears in the first three films. This time we see the story of Ryan, Emily and their daughter Leila. Ryan’s brother Mike also comes to stay and there’s a girl named Skyler but I really couldn’t figure out how she was related to the family, please tell me if you know. Ryan and Mike find an old camera in a box that they thought was full of Christmas decorations but this camera can pick up things that can’t be seen with the naked eye. Soon Ryan suspects that something suspicious is going on so he starts recording pretty much everything.
So it’s pretty much a similiar set-up of all the Paranormal Activity movies really which makes sense because obviously we need realism as to why they’re documenting every second of their life. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to that basic plotline, especially as they switch it up between which character documents everything, for example in the first one it was Micah, Katie’s boyfriend, but in the fourth one Alex, the daughter, filmed everything.
I want to start this with positives first: I liked that Ryan and Emily actually worked together and faced what was happening. You have no idea how much I hated how in the first four films, although faced with evidence they couldn’t ignore, there was always at least one character who refused to believe what was happening in the house which seemed relatively stupid so hooray for Ryan and Emily who both just get on with it instead of trying to repress it. I hope that didn’t count as a spoiler?
Unfortunately, plot wise, that’s one of the only positives I have. I, personally, have been a fan of the Paranormal Activity franchise ever since I started enjoying horror films instead of being too scared to watch them. I liked the first four films and I especially loved the spin-off so I was practically counting the days until this film came out. I kept up with the news on iMDB and watched as it kept getting pushed further and further back. I, like most fans, hoped this meant they were working hard to create a quality sequel. Well.
The film doesn’t particularly make a lot of sense. I want to save most of my points for the spoiler version of this review so that I don’t ruin anything but it didn’t fit with the first four films. Well I mean, they tried to make it fit and by doing so they bent the first four to fit this one instead of creating a film that would fit in with the story they’d been telling since the first one. I have a theory that by the third or fourth one they’d completely changed their minds about what story they were telling, possibly so they could continue making more films. It has been stated that although this is the last film following this particular story there may be films set in the Paranormal Activity universe.
Because my review for Poltergeist was a bit crap because I hadn’t seen the film in 3D, only 2D, I decided to watch this film in both formats so I could write a better review and quite frankly I feel like I deserve a reward for sitting through it twice. I watched it first in 2D and then again in 3D and quite frankly, it doesn’t make all that much difference. If you’re on a budget, then just buy a 2D ticket. Better yet, don’t bother going and seeing the film.
As stated in my last review, I’ve decided to start leaving a little FUN FACT on all my horror reviews so here goes nothing: Apparently Demi Lovato was offered a role in this film and it is also the first and only Paranormal Activity film to be available in 3D. There, that’s two fun facts for you.
Now normally I would have something positive to say and I would at least recommend this film to someone but honestly, I’m so disappointed in this film that I just wouldn’t recommend going unless you seriously loved the first four films. If you were relatively critical or sceptical about them then definitely don’t go, trust me. Wait until this film comes out on DVD and then wait for it to be reduced to £5 and even then, think carefully before buying it.