The Paranormal Activity franchise is one of the greatest long running found footage series of films in the horror genre. However, like most long running franchises they became a victim of their own success. Despite franchise stand outs like Part 3 and The Marked Ones, the PA franchise became problematic the longer it went on. What was once innovative became old hat and formulaic. By the the time “Ghost Dimension” came out people were sick of the franchise and the series had run its course with fans.
Fast forward to today and the creative mind behind “Freaky” and “Happy Death Day” Christopher Landon teams up with Director William Eubank (“Underwater”) to deliver a fresh new take on the found footage franchise.
The series moves away from hauntings in the suburbs to a remote Amish community that is creepy without all the evil spirits that come later.
Serving as the seventh installment and a reboot of the Paranormal Activity series, the film stars Emily Bader, Roland Buck III, Dan Lippert, Henry Ayres-Brown, and Tom Nowicki.
The film follows a young woman trying to discover what happened with her mother, who disappeared years ago, until she discovers a terrifying truth about her mother’s past. The girl, Margot, discovers she hails from an Amish family and decides to shoot a family documentary with the aid of her boyfriend and a stoner sound tech.
When it’s revealed the family has underlined intentions, secrets are revealed and the family documentary turns into an expose on what this secluded family is really hiding about Margot’s mother.
Like previous films in the series, it sticks with the found footage storytelling aspect but sometimes switches to actual movie mode with background music. Seemed like an odd choice since it really didn’t add anything to the story and felt out of place here.
The PA franchise has always been painstakingly secretive about the demons pestering their protagonists, however here (for the most part) the demon’s intention is made very clear. Despite their odd and fake Amish appearance the family on the commune here doesn’t appear to be entirely evil but rather the safe keepers of a malevolent demon who can only be trapped in a female and then thrown down into a cave which is hidden in a creepy old church behind an equally creepy forest. If the possession isn’t achieved then the evil spirit hops between hosts on the commune and terror engulfs everyone.
Which is basically what happens. When Margot and her team mistakenly think the cult killed her mom she wants to expose them but instead uncovers an evil that destroys the entire commune.
The shocks and scares here a spread out and the shit doesn’t really hit the fan until the last 30 minutes of the film. But when it does it’s intense and the demise of the town isn’t just super violent it’s one of the scariest aspects of the film.
Now the ending here might leave most scratching their heads with what is going on and where does the franchise go next, however unlike Ghost Dimension, Next of Kin reinvigorates the franchise with new scares and plot threads that will leave fans wanting to know where the franchise will go next.
HipsterZOMBIEJoint Experience highly recommends checking out “Paranormal Activity – Next of Kin” streaming now on Paramount +.
Paranormal Activity Next of Kin last 30 minutes will scare the hell out of you!