The franchise has hopped around in time quite a bit, with the last movie taking place in 1988. This teaser shows that the fourth installment will take place in present day, or close enough to it, with a 2011 timestamp in the corner of the screen.
That's not all, though, as there's plenty of technology more sophisticated than a VHS camera mounted to an oscillating fan; the central gag here has the adolescent protagonist on a Skype call while scary stuff happens around here, thanks to the creepy new neighbors. It also provides a valuable lesson in home defense for the modern teen. When your alarm system is telling you that every door in the house is open while lights flicker on an off, take a moment to stop staring at your computer screen.
To see all the found footage visuals in high definition, skip on over to Apple, where the trailer premiered.
After the franchise saw a definite dip when the first sequel hit theaters, directing duo Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost revitalized the series commercially with last year's Paranormal Activity 3, which brought in more cash globally than Oren Peli's original Paranormal Activity (Peli's film had a greater domestic total and was more profitable because it was, to put it simply, dirt cheap to produce). Schulman and Joost are back as directors on the fourth film, working from a screenplay by Christopher Landon, a franchise fixture who also contributed to the last two movies.
Like television airings of It's a Wonderful Life around Christmas, the Paranormal Activtity films have become a Halloween fixture, usurping the Saw series as the go-to horror entertainment in late October. It's indicative of an interesting cultural shift that we've moved from the grisly, convoluted quasi-moralism and torture-porn of Saw to the low-fi supernatural hijinks of Paranormal Activity, don you think?
Anyways, the latest Paranormal Activity arrives on October 19th.