Directed By: William Eubank, Written By: Christopher Landon, Starring: Emily Bader, Roland Buck III & Dan Lippert.
I’ve come to expect very little from any movie that bears the Paranormal Activity title. So far, I think I’ve enjoyed two of these films, the original, which I thought was a very efficient low budget spook show, and part three, which I believe to be the strongest of the franchise.
The problem with these films is that I find myself sitting through countless nights of nothingness, waiting for a door to move a few inches, and that’s not very entertaining. Only towards the end do we get any form of payoff, and it’s a big ask to expect someone to sit staring at static footage when the only reward is a couple of minutes of somebody being dragged out of bed, or dragged down the stairs, or dragged into a cupboard. How many different ways are there for someone to be dragged somewhere by nothing?
So, the question is, does Next of Kin do anything new and exciting to revitalise the series? The answer is a resounding ‘NOPE.’
If anything, it finds a way to be even more boring than its predecessors. It brings nothing to the table. At least the previous movies tried to add something to spice things up. Case in point, the camera on the oscillating fan in part three, or the use of the Xbox Kinect in part four. The closest this film gets to trying something original is setting it on a farm inhabited by an Amish family. An idea that could have been fun had they actually bothered to do something interesting with it. Spoiler alert, they don’t. Towards the end, it comes to light that they aren’t really Amish, but I was so bored by then that I can’t even remember if anything came of that revelation.
In all honesty, Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin is so dull that I’m boring myself by writing about it. I don’t even know what I’m writing about. There is a demon in the film, kind of, but it doesn’t do much. The family is creepy but not as scary as the movie wants you to think they are. The biggest crime is that I couldn't give two fucks about any of the characters. I sat watching, completely dispassionate as to whether the protagonists lived or died. No shits were given. I can’t spoil the ending even if I wanted to because I simply can’t remember what happened to any of them, and I only watched it the other night.
Next of Kin is much like an episode of Big Brother, when all the housemates have gone to bed, and you’re stuck watching an empty beer bottle floating around in a hot tub. The only scares come in the form of forced jump scares that involve the camera operator turning to find someone unexpectedly standing in front of them. Seriously, this happens a lot, and it gets old fast.
There was one potential scene involving *insert generic main girl’s name here* hiding under a bed. For a split second, it looked like things might pick up, but they didn’t. There is another set-piece involving a hole in a church floor where it seemed that events might get freaky. They didn’t. Next of Kin is like being told a joke by someone who can’t remember the punchline.
I honestly don’t believe that this film was initially written as part of the PA series. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they tagged the Paranormal Activity moniker onto the film in post-production, hoping to make more money. However, it doesn’t feel like part of the series. It’s more of a generic found footage movie crowbarred into the franchise.
I can’t be bothered to go on about this dismal turd of a movie any longer. Hopefully, things will pick up in Paranormal Activity 8: Paint Drying.
Watch this film or don’t. I don’t care.