Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin
|Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin|
|Directed by||William Eubank|
|Written by||Christopher Landon|
|Based on||Paranormal Activity|
by Oren Peli
|Edited by||Todd E. Miller|
Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin is a 2021 American found footage supernatural horror film directed by William Eubank, written by Christopher Landon, and produced by Jason Blum and Oren Peli. Serving as the seventh installment of the Paranormal Activity series, the film stars Emily Bader, Roland Buck III, Dan Lippert, Henry Ayres-Brown, and Tom Nowicki.
Although Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension was promoted as the final installment in the original series, Paramount Pictures announced in June 2019 that a seventh installment and stand-alone sequel was in development, with Blum and franchise creator Peli. Landon was hired to write the script in early 2020, while Eubank was announced as the film's director in February 2021. The cast was announced in March that same year and principal photography wrapped by July 2021.
Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin was released in the United States on Paramount+ on October 29, 2021. It received negative reviews from critics.
Margot and her cameraman friend Chris want to make a documentary about Margot's past. Her mother, Sarah, abandoned her outside a hospital. The security footage of Margot's mother abandoning her disturbs her to this day, as she wonders what drove Sarah to make such a drastic decision. In the present, she meets her blood relative Samuel, who, through a genetics site, discovered that he has a living relative. Soon after, they are joined by Dale, who would be the soundman for the documentary. Samuel leads them to the small Amish community of Beiler Farm, where Margot's mother came from.
Jacob, the patriarch of the commune and Sarah's father, welcomes the team, where they find lodging in a rustic room. Late at night, Margot wakes up and discovers red lights moving in the distance. When Margot asks Samuel about the lights the next day, he tells her about a bear that has claimed some of the livestock. Margot visits the barn and finds a little girl brushing her doll's hair. The doll is named Sarah, and when Margot tells the girl that that was her mother's name, the girl cryptically says that Sarah is "still there." In the night, strange noises are heard in the attic, and Margot ventures into the old room, which was her mother's. She catches a ghost on camera, and while Dale thinks it's terrifying, Chris is eager to dismiss it as a lens flare.
The next morning, they interview Jacob on camera, who tells them about Sarah, who was apparently a free-spirited woman who cared for no one but herself. To defy the practice of marrying someone within the commune, she slept with a boy from the neighboring village and became pregnant. Since pregnancy out of wedlock was against custom, the community intended to force Sarah to give up her baby to a married couple within the group. Sarah instead abandoned her baby at the hospital. Margot is slow to assimilate the story and realizes that her mother had no say in an oppressive society. Sarah is presumed dead, but Margot believes her mother is still alive.
While reviewing drone footage, the team finds a church about a mile away from the farm. The church is locked, with the German words "so weit nicht weiter" engraved on the door. The phrase cryptically means "this far, no further." Before they can enter the church, however, Jacob approaches to tell them that the church is forbidden. That night, Margot and the team discover a strange ritual in the barn in which a newborn two-headed goat is sacrificed.
The mystery deepens and Jacob's warning intrigues Margot even more. While Samuel gives Dale a riding lesson, Margot and Chris sneak into the church and discover strange murals drawn on the floor depicting a demonic figure named Asmodeus and scenes of ritual sacrifice. Upon further digging, Chris finds a hidden compartment under the altar, leading to a moat. Seizing the opportunity, Margot asks Chris to lower her into the pit. She hears a strange noise in the darkness before panicking and calling for help. Back in her room, Chris replays the video and discerns that the noise is from an animal.
The next day, Margot enters Jacob's room while he is elsewhere and finds a computer in a small adjoining room. She finds correspondence between Jacob and Samuel, and it appears that Jacob knows all about Margot's life. She becomes upset and Chris suggests they leave. That night, a ghoulish shadow attacks Margot in her room. Chris and Dale wake up to find Margot in shock and her sheet soaked with blood. The doctor tells them about Margot's unusual menstrual flow, but they don't believe it.
Chris and Dale venture out into the snow to find a ride into town to get a new battery for the vehicle, and the guy giving them a ride also tells them that the people at Beiler Farm are not Amish. Chris and Dale use the store's computer to come to the conclusion that Beiler Farm is a community of demon worshippers. According to myth, the Norwegian village of Beskytter suffered a massacre. It was thought to be the work of Asmodeus, the prince of demons. They trapped the demon inside the body of a woman, who would now pass from mother to daughter in the bloodline.
Chris realizes that Sarah has been subjected to a ritual sacrifice to contain the demon god Asmodeus in her body. When Chris and Dale return from their trip from the store, Margot has disappeared. While Dale leaves to install the battery, Chris enters the demonic church to search for Margot. After a bloody encounter with Jacob, Chris finds Margot at the bottom of the pit. He manages to bring Margot back to her senses, but a skeletal creature chases them into the snowy forest as they climb. While in the woods, the creature attacks and kills Dale, while Chris and Margot manage to escape, and seek shelter in the barn, but that doesn't save them. The creature attacks Chris, but Margot calls her name Sarah, and that seems to stop it momentarily. Margot then pushes the creature, which falls onto a spiked row of farm tools, becoming impaled there.
While trying to start the truck, Chris realizes that the key is still in Dale's possession. Returning to the woods, they discover Dale's body but recover the keys. When they return to the farm, it has been turned into an inferno. Fulfilling the prophecy of the demon's release, the neighbors are killing each other, much of the livestock is dead and the houses are burning. Then, fortunately, the car starts and they escape from the burning inferno. Later, a police patrol arrives on the scene to see the extent of the damage. A child cries in the barn. When the policeman inquires, he discovers that the child is none other than Samuel. Nodding, the policemen blow their heads off. The demon has possessed Samuel. The last shot shows him driving into the woods, presumably in search of Chris and Margot.
- Emily Bader as Margot
- Roland Buck III as Chris
- Dan Lippert as Dale
- Henry Ayres-Brown as Samuel Beiler
- Tom Nowicki as Jacob Beiler
- Kyli Zion and Kirby Johnson as Asmodeus of the Book of Tobit
On June 19, 2019, Paramount Pictures announced that a seventh installment of the film series was in development, with Jason Blum and franchise creator Oren Peli. In February 2020, Blum revealed that Christopher Landon was writing the script. On February 12, 2021, it was announced that William Eubank was attached to direct the film, with the film also confirmed to be a reboot rather than a continuation of the previous films. In March 2021, Emily Bader, Roland Buck III, Dan Lippert, and Henry Ayres-Brown were cast in undisclosed roles. By October 2021, Tom Nowicki was revealed as part of the cast.
Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin was released in the United States on Paramount+ on October 29, 2021. The film was originally set for a theatrical release on March 19, 2021, but was delayed to March 4, 2022, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In February 2021, it was announced that the film will be released exclusively on Paramount+. In May 2021, ViacomCBS CEO Robert Bakish said the film would premiere before the end of 2021. In September 2021, the film's release was officially moved up to October 29, 2021.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 28% based on 39 reviews from critics and an average rating of 4.5/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin gives the long-running found-footage franchise a new level of visual polish; unfortunately, effective scares are few and far between". On Metacritic, the film has a score of 37 out of 100 based on reviews from 12 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
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