I don’t know about you, but I’m a big fan of the “Paranormal Activity” movies. More than any other horror franchise these days, each film in this series has scared the bejeezus out of me, even though anyone who’s watched at least one of the films knows when a big scare is likely to happen. There’s that moment of quiet when the camera is recording something that would otherwise seem like wasted tape, and then… BAM! A shadow darts across the wall or you catch the glimpse of something monstrous and evil make a slight movement behind a curtain and that’s just it, folks. They got you again.
With “Paranormal Activity 4″ hitting theaters this weekend, I put together a recap of everything we’ve learned in the series thus far about the characters, their history with the supernatural entity haunting them, and what we might expect in the new chapter. Naturally, this recap of the franchise is full of spoilers, so don’t read it if you haven’t seen the films yet. While it’s meant to get you up to speed with everything you need to know for “Paranormal Activity 4,” it’s intended to be a reminder of certain elements, not an alternative to watching the earlier films. They’re well worth watching, so you’re only doing yourself a disservice if you skip over them.
Here’s an excerpt:
By the time the credits roll on Paranormal Activity 3, we’re led to believe that the mysterious, heavy-breathing, body-throwing, chandelier-shaking demon received a standing invitation to Katie and Kristi’s family reunions by their grandmother, Lois, who was part of a coven of witches. After making a deal with the demon involving her family’s firstborn male heir, Lois’ daughter Julie and Julie’s boyfriend, Dennis, failed to live up to their side of the bargain and provide the necessary Y-chromosome for the arrangement. Of course, Julie and Dennis didn’t actually know anything about the deal, so whose fault is that?
Nevertheless, the demon causes no small amount of trouble for Julie and Dennis before they realize – far too late for the poor couple – that their failure to produce a male heir has made them disposable to Lois and the demon. Julie and Dennis meet gruesome ends in the final moments of Paranormal Activity 3, which serves as a prequel to the events in the first two films.
You can read the rest of my “Paranormal Activity” guide at Movies.com.