‘Paranormal Activity 4’ Trailer: The Return of Faulty Wiring and Shadowy Figures, With Bonus Video Chat

Today is a great day for fans of lights going on and off and stationary webcam footage, for today is the day that the trailer for the new Paranormal Activity has dropped. If you remember, last year, directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman went retro and took the series back to the boxy camcorder days of the ’80s, which was a fun way to add some zest to the experience of thinking that you might have seen something move over there in the background for a minute, but then it was gone. Well, this year they’re back in the saddle, directing Paranormal Activity 4, and it turns out they’ve found yet another way to spice up amateur looking footage that leads up to a figure standing behind the main character and then a fade to black: they’ve added video chat.

Yes, Paranormal Activity 4 takes the story of haunted sisters Kristi and Katie and brings it back into today’s world. This time around, the remaining family members seem to have moved next door to a teenage girl or something, and also there’s a kid who has electro powers like Powder…but none of that is really important. The Paranormal Activity movies aren’t so much traditional storytelling as they are the crafting of an experience. It’s all about sitting on the edge of your seat, never knowing when something freaky is going to happen next, and then screaming your lungs out when something suddenly does.

It’s a unique kind of trip to the movies that’s certainly not for everyone, and surely you already know how much interest you have in spending another Halloween watching the same old thing shown the same old way (plus video chatting). This trailer, which is pretty indistinguishable from the trailers for the first three films, probably isn’t going to sway anyone either way. But, you know, it’s out, and this is the Internet, so we should probably kill some time by watching it anyway.

Paranormal Activity 4 hits theaters on October 19th. [Apple]

Weaned on the genre films of the 80s. Reared by the independent movement of the 90s. Earned a BA for writing stuff in the 00s. Reviews current releases at

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