One of the worst things that can happen to a horror franchise is for it to be dragged out and overused. We’ve seen it happen to many before, classic horrors literally slaughtering themselves; Scream and Saw were murdered by many pointless sequels, making the original masterpieces redundant. It seems like this is exactly what has happened to Paranormal Activity. The original was one of a kind; it’s creepy atmosphere and handheld perspective gave a breath of fresh air to the dying genre. The second didn’t hold so well, but the eeriness of the third made up for that. The franchise hit rock bottom when the irrelevant fourth was released and it seems the fifth has followed that path too. The re-branding of the films suggested that maybe the fifth would be a spin-off or maybe a different narrative completely, just following its predecessor’s style.

This was not the case. From the first minute, depicting a party of Latinos in a clearly haunted apartment complex, we identified it was off to a rocky start. 2D characters killed the mood and because of their emotional detachment and lack of appeal and backstory, it became clear we just wouldn’t care about their untimely doom. Every cliché was filled when the “demon” (who may as well be the film’s protagonist) began contacting characters through a child’s toy. An echo of the third one maybe? Regardless, the medium just wasn’t as effective as it used to be.

The film became completely predictable when Jesse and crew climbed into the apartment of the recently deceased coven member. Throw in the odd drunken encounter and a hint of violence and you have the whole Paranormal Activity mix. Although, a glimmer of hope was thrown in during the last twenty minutes. Links to the still unexplained coven storyline were made and helped us make a little more sense of it in our heads and the eventual gunning down of the demented left us wondering why someone hadn’t just done that earlier and killed the franchise in a dignified way. The last thirty seconds will haunt you for life though, just a warning.

The franchise’s (hopefully) dramatic end left many burning questions but it seems that we’re not going to get any more of the story. The fact that on its second day of release there were only four people in the theatre gives us an indication as to how this chapter failed to hit home with horror fans. Definitely not worth extortionate cinema prices to see a group of Latinos gun down some old ladies.