So I’ve been sitting on this review for about a week now. After I saw Paranormal Activity 4, I had an initial strong reaction of annoyance to it, and I really wanted to give my brain some time to decide if I was making rash judgments. You see, unlike a lot of horror reviewers and fans, I don’t really consider myself a horror snob. I enjoy films at a broad spectrum no matter the budget or mainstream opinion. I don’t turn my nose up at things just because others do. I, unlike a lot of fans of obscure films, will openly admit that I have really enjoyed most of this franchise. I felt the first film was a well-done recharge to the “found footage” genre, and for me the 2nd film was an extremely well sequel that pieced details together like a well-structured puzzle. The third film, although a little to “following a format” and ignorant to prior storylines, I felt was a necessary step in the back-story department in order to make this film go any further. So now here we are, further in the film department, but not really anywhere else, and because of that even a week later I feel my initial judgments of this film were warranted. With out traveling to much into Spoilersville, USA, I’m going to attempt to fill you in on why I wanted to cry all over the person sitting next to me.
Paranormal Activity 4 opens up strong and promising. I for one was really looking forward to this film, and admittedly probably more than one should look forward to a 4th film in an installment. The concepts of this addition returning back to the present storyline and almost present time (2011), all while making Katie and Hunter a main focus really excited me. As the initial trailers streamed across the screen, I found myself getting even more fidgety and eager to see how Katie and Hunter’s present life was going to be shown, what development has taken place after the 5 year gap, who the unfortunate family next door was, and most importantly some more development on this crazy feminist, Sarah McLachlan fan looking cult. Boy was I wrong.
As the final credits streamed, and people around me yelled for their $11.50 back, I was left in equal aww of what had just happened. To sum it up, after over an hour, nothing really happened at all. PA4 goes nowhere, or should I say nowhere we haven’t been before. For me, this film was pointless, and if it weren’t for the main actress, Kathryn Newton as Alex, I would say I would have been utterly bored. Alex, and her kind of doofusy boyfriend Ben (Matt Shively) were likeable characters, and their likeableness to me was the saving grace of this film. Sure, there are some creepy points to this film, and Katie’s character rocks it when she is on-screen, but that was a big problem for me as she is absent most of this film. Yes some will argue that her absence was done to make scenes that she was in more creepy, and I will say to an extent this works, but if we’re looking at this as a sequel to help tie together present time and learn more about the path that has led us to this point then no it doesn’t.
There is a twist to this movie that I won’t give away. This twist though, I called well into “act 1″, and for most observant viewers you probably will too. Although a cool twist, this twist will leave you with a million more questions that surprise surprise won’t get addressed either. So there you have it folks, we have a film that successfully progresses into nothing and will probably borderline piss you off. It is a full-length film that circles around what could have been a 10-minute story detail and then elaborated into a great movie. Also, I feel I can’t sum this review up with out stating my disappointment with whoever put together the trailer for this movie. Paranormal Activity 3 did an excellent job at keeping almost everything out of the trailer. They even went as far as making up scenes to throw viewers off. PA4, however, has the damn ending to the movie in the trailer! Now that’s just rude and an epic fail in my book. No wonder this installment had the biggest drop off in the box office from week 1 to 2 than any of the other films in this franchise. Here’s to Paranormal Activity 5, and hopefully getting this shit back in order. If not, Saw could have someone in the running to take the award for “Most Nu Metal of Horror”. Sad.
Paranormal Alfredo 2
One thing I won’t do is make bad food to go with semi bad movies. For that reason, I cannot bring myself to pair a recipe with PA4. However, what I am going to do in this rare occasion is post a sneak at one of the recipes I did in my cookbook “Cannibal Kitchen: A Horror Lover’s Cookbook”. As I stated earlier, I really liked Paranormal Activity 2. The way it fills in all the blanks of the first movie, and manages to tie past with present day is fantastic. I’m getting excited about it all over again! I love a good Alfredo. However, just like movies, many restaurants have a hard time making them. They’re usually soaked in oil, water downed, and yet still very bland in the flavor department. It’s a crime against humanity I tell you. This Alfredo recipe has a bold rich flavor, and balances out the creaminess of an Alfredo sauce with the heartiness of chicken and the light taste of broccoli.
Paranormal Alfredo 2 Ingredients:
– 1 lb Fettuccini
– 2 Cups Heavy Cream
– 1 ½ Cup Parmesan cheese
– 4 Ounces Cream Cheese
– 3 Garlic Cloves Crushed
– 1/3 Cup White Onion, Diced
– ¼ Cup Fresh Basil, Diced
– 2 Tablespoons Butter
– ½ Teaspoon Lemon Juice
– 1 Teaspoon Parsley
– 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
– 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
– ½ Teaspoon Thyme
– ½ Teaspoon Oregano
– ½ Teaspoon Rosemary
– ½ Teaspoon Salt
– ½ Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
– 1 Cup Broccoli, Chopped and stems discarded
Cursed Chicken Ingredients:
– 4 Chicken Breast, Boneless and skinless
– 1 Bottle Italian Dressing
Trim any excess fat off the chicken, and then place in a container. Make small jabs into the chicken using a knife. Next, pour the bottle of dressing over the chicken. Toss to coat, and then cover. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F. Place chicken in a baking dish, and cook for 40-45 minutes or until no longer pink. Melt butter in a large saucepan over high heat. Add onion and garlic. Continue to sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes. Next, add the heavy cream and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, add remainder of ingredients, except broccoli, cheese, and fettuccine. Continue to cook the cream over medium heat, mixing occasionally for another 5 minutes.
In the meantime, cook the broccoli by filling a small saucepan with 2 Cups of water. Bring water to a boil, and then add broccoli. Cook for 5 minutes, or until desired softness. Strain the broccoli, and then add it to the Alfredo sauce. Toss to fully coat the broccoli. Lastly, add the cheese and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until mixture begins to thicken, 8-10 minutes.
Cook fettuccine according to package directions, drain, and then transfer to the Alfredo sauce. Toss to completely coat all the noodles. Add additional salt and pepper to your liking and serve with chopped chicken over the top.
If you’d like to get your hands on more content of my horror themed cookbook, you can pick up your copy here.