Paranormal Activity : Next of Kin

Paranormal Activity : Next of Kin
Original title:Paranormal Activity : Next of Kin
Director:William Eubank
Running time:98 minutes
Release date:29 october 2022
Abandoned by her mother at birth, Margot goes to film a documentary in the isolated Amish community where she was born. With her film crew, she wants to understand her mother a little better and meet her distant family.

Mulder's Review

The cinematographic saga Paranormal Activity has never ceased to amaze us with its worldwide success despite the more or less successful and often repetitive films. Not that the principle of a found footage film mixing horror and supernatural has nothing to tell, but rather that the epileptically thin scripts are content to follow characters who are not very interesting when faced with events that go beyond them. A real fashion effect of the 90's, we can wonder if this one has not done its time and shown its real limits. Certainly, having thin budgets and playing on the credibility of the spectators to attract them to the cinema to see films seen and seen again by proposing them to be really afraid like riding in a ghost train of a fair seems to work but the result often proves to be very disappointing. 

Created by Oren Peli, the first Paranormal Activity was released in 2007 and was followed by six sequels including this latest film Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin released directly on Paramount+ without going through the cinema. These films are based on the same concept of putting a traditional American family in front of the demon Asmodeus from the Book of Tobit. The numerous cameras of the characters filming the action allow the spectators to follow an often uninteresting or even boring story. The undeniable contribution of the scriptwriter Christopher Landon allowed to give life to two good parts in this saga (the third and fifth part) and especially made this series a real financial success by bringing for the whole saga thirty times its global budget. While it was expected that Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (2015) would be the last installment, Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin arrives six years later with a desire to revive the film saga and bring a new look. Far from being a film solely from a found footage angle, Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin benefits from traditionally shot scenes that turn out to be quite successful. 

In Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin, we discover a documentary filmmaker Margot (Emily Bader) who is looking for her parents. She receives information that her mother is in an Amish community in Pennsylvania and decides to go there with her boyfriend and cameraman Chris (Roland Buck III). However, they will find themselves facing a community close to a cult and will be trapped by supernatural events and an evil creature. 

The script itself signed by the screenwriter Christopher Landon rather talented as evidenced by his films that he wrote and directed Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015), Happy Death (2017), Happy Death Day 2U (2019) and the excellent Freaky (2020). Yet it is the way this film was shot that is the real problem with it. By wanting to obey the predefined rules of the Paranormal Activity film saga, the direction is disappointing and the horrific effects do not really manage to scare us. It's a pity because the director William Eubank surprised us with his two previous and successful films The Signal (2014) and Underwater (2020). Despite the fact that William Eubank undeniably knows how to put forward the action and play with the basics of found footage. 

Yet Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin had good assets with a talented director and a screenwriter who already knew this saga as a writer and director of the part Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014). We feel a real desire to get out of the fact of stupidly following the characters and make them oppose to supernatural events more or less scary. Trying to create a real spooky atmosphere through the Amish was also a good idea, but the sound effects and music should have been used with more skill. Perhaps more inspired actors and less structural problems would have been needed to create a successful horror film. It is therefore easy to understand why this film was released directly in the United States on Paramount+ a few days before Halloween in order to capture the attention of the audience. However, the film has been promoted in France by being screened at the 29th Gerardmer Fantastic Festival which will take place from January 26th to 30th 2022 and it will be offered on OCS from February 3rd.

Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin
Directed by William Eubank
Written by Christopher Landon
Based on Paranormal Activity by Oren Peli
Produced by Jason Blum, Oren Peli
Starring Emily Bader, Roland Buck III Dan Lippert, Henry Ayres-Brown
Cinematography: Pedro Luque
Edited by Todd E. Miller
Production companies : Paramount Players, Blumhouse Productions, Solana Films, Room 101, Inc.
Distributed by Paramount+ (United States), OCS (France)
Release date : October 29, 2021 (United States), February 3, 2022 (France)
Running time: 98 minutes

Seen on October 31, 2021

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