Going in, the major plus is that the family being haunted this time has no apparent connection to Katie’s messed up life and family, as the second and third film did (second being her sister’s family, third being Katie’s family when she was a child for those needing a refresher, just don’t ask me for many details beyond that). That’s how they get you into the seats anyway, but surprise! We will never be rid of her! That is how hauntings work, right?
With each entry, the story behind Katie’s haunting that went way past the footage of the first film gets deeper and deeper. Or is it higher and higher? The thing is, each film adds more to the mystery of this world set up without actually sharing with the viewer what is actually going on, leading to a “WTF” ending each time. The first movie was a good WTF, this time around, it’s more like PA3, in a “why the F am I still putting myself through these if this is the payoff?” sort of way.
It would be one thing if the meat of the film did something to really separate itself from the rest, but usually the only change really ever seems to be in how they can work in natural ways for these stories to be filmed. This time around they do this by bringing in a tech savvy crush for the main girl to awkwardly flirt with, but in addition to being the comedic relief he actually gives a legitimate reason for there to be as much footage as there is (laptop cameras are integrated into the sleuthing on the teenage girl’s part, as well as conversing between the two when they’re not in the same place. AKA there is a lot of looking over shoulders in fear of what may be sneaking up). Plus, the XBOX gets a major shout out when the technology of the Kinext also becomes a means of creating a lot of “what the heck was that!?” video. But other than that, it really is just same old same old.
Unfortunately with the use of Katie’s story as a connecting factor running through these films, as well as not that much of a difference in the other films when you get down to it, PA4 never really has a chance to be anything more than a mediocre continuation of a story that ran its course a while back.
Final Grade: C- Follow @BewareOfTrees
My personal questions that either I need an explanation for (because I can be easily confused) or are just up for theories: [SPOILER ALERT! Only those who have seen the film can answer these questions.]
1 – Who is Robbie?
2 – Who is the little boy spirit that is Robbie’s playmate? Before we’ve had the demon to deal with, who is still around, and Katie, but where did this little boy ghost come from?
3 – What the heck is this female demon army?