Toby is back in the latest installment in the Paranormal Activity franchise. After two sisters, Kristi and Katie’s parents die they’re taken in by a coven and a special “teacher”. The teacher teaches the young girls how to channel through Toby. The teacher tells them to try to see what Toby sees in a strange, almost hypnotic ritual that occurs on a nightly basis.
Flash forward twenty years to a new family that’s preparing for Christmas in a new house. The family consists of mother Emily (Brit Shaw), father Ryan (Chris J. Murray), daughter Leila (Ivy George) and Emily’s best friend Skyler (Olivia Taylor Dudley) who Leila calls aunt. Ryan’s brother Mike (Dan Gill) comes to stay with the family for two weeks.
While Ryan and Mike are setting up Christmas decorations outside Mike comes across a box in which he finds a special camera and some old VHS cassettes. It turns out that the new camera is specially rigged to see paranormal activity which plays on the screen as looking like black ether. The VHS cassettes wind up showing footage of the young girls in the coven who are able to see twenty years in the future and describe what’s going on in the Fleege family through the eyes of Toby. The more the brothers watch the recordings the more they become convinced that something isn’t right. They become obsessed with the camera and start to realize that the spirit activity and two sisters are somehow connected.
Leila starts to make friends with Toby which after a while starts to concern her parents. As things progress the paranormal activity begins to get more violent and Leila’s behavior becomes more erratic until she’s almost possessed. It turns out that the family and Leila were targeted all along by the coven bringing up an interesting sub topic of either time travel or remote viewing. Emily and Ryan call in a priest, Father Todd (Michael Krawic) to try to get rid of the evil entity. Through Numerology it turns out that Leila’s birth date happens to be 666 and she was “marked” to be the catalyst to complete the ritual that will bring Toby to life. Even though the priest performs a banishing and casts a Circle of Solomon for protection, what we assume to be a demon proves to be to powerful and for Leila it’s too late.
We’ve read some reviews that say the movie (which some speculated was to wrap up the franchise) was inconclusive. We definitely disagree. Also, some reviews said that they didn’t like the CGI effects, but we thought they were pretty interesting and were a little bit similar to what paranormal investigators see when they use the modified Kinect System. Although this installment was as scary as some of the other films in the franchise we had a fun time watching it and thought it tied everything together pretty nicely. We also liked the occult references and some of the (no pun intended) paranormal activity.