I recently went to the local movie theater and watched Paranormal Activity 4. As a parent, I think it is important for some films to be viewed by an adult before allowing a teen or younger child to watch it. On a selfish note, I wanted to enjoy a night away from home with some of my close friends.
That said, I headed to the theater with two friends. We figured we could hold each other through the scary parts. After I sacrificed my arm and leg for tickets, a drink and a popcorn, we were ready to watch the movie. After 20 minutes of movie trivia and 20 minutes of previews (Mama looks very promising, by the way!), Paranormal Activity 4 finally got started. I have to mention that there was a group of 7 young people sitting in the row in front of us. I would peg their ages as 6 to 18 (5 of them were between about 6-12).
Paranormal Activity 4 was pretty much like the others. It picked up from where part 2 left off – what happened to the sister that stole the baby. I found it to be quite entertaining. I don’t want to give too much away, so I will focus on the age-appropriate factor. First, I think it is entirely up to the individual parent to decide what their kids will and won’t watch. Second, as far as this movie is concerned, the youngsters in front of me seemed to be much better about handling the scary parts than I did.
There were a few F-bombs dropped here and there, along with a few instances of other foul language. There wasn’t any nudity, at least not any that I saw. There were, of course, frightening, startling scenes – scenes that caused me to cringe and resist the urge to jump into my friend’s lap and hide my face in her jacket. But that’s just me – I’m a big baby.
This movie, in my honest opinion, is something that I would feel comfortable taking my older kids to watch. My younger ones – no, not so much. For one thing, this movie has quite a few slow scenes and younger kids would probably get bored. I know I let my mind wander to thinking about what my family was doing or whether or not I should go refill my popcorn. I don’t think there was anything too inappropriate about Paranormal Activity 4 – my teenage son will likely think it’s boring. I think that it was a perfectly good attempt to keep this particular collection of movies going – but, as with many 2, 3, 4, or more part movies, the first will always be the best.
If you have been wondering whether to take your older kids to see this movie or to allow your teen to attend it with friends, go ahead. I doubt it will cause bad dreams. The ending scenes are quite climatic, but that holds true with all of the Paranormal Activity movies. Give it a chance and enjoy it for what it is – another installment of a movie that just won’t end.