Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin

The activity is reborn!  

The horror is real here in the chilling desolation that is this cinematic version of Amish Country.  There is a strangeness that kicks about here in the dilapidated shacks and the colonial farmhouses which beg to be explored.  This is an area of ancient Americana where the community barn is bigger than the church, yet both remain spectacularly evil as they echo their arbitrations into the woods surrounding them.  

"creates a sense of dread that upstate New York hasn’t experienced since the folk horror of yore"

And it is here where we spend most of our time in Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin.  Directed by The Signal’s William Eubank and written by Happy Death Day’s director Christopher Landon, like on Beiler Farm is about to get upended thanks to some guests on the farm who refuse to put their cameras down when in mortal danger.  

Forget about the ghosts, though.  Next of Kin, as seen through high-resolution handheld camera work, has some other tricks up its sleeve for fans of howling mad horror and it begins with a young woman named Margot (Emily Bader), an adoptee who discovers that her mother had good reason to give her up and steer her clear of this community.  It might take a couple of nights, but there’s something dark and demonic that this Amish community - who aren’t as Amish as they seem - is not telling her about what they have hidden on their land.  Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin

With Chris (Roland Buck III), the documentary’s director, and the towering hysterics of sound guy Dale (Dan Lippert) in tow, the trio of investigators find themselves stuck in a week-long nightmare as intense isolation mixed with wintery chills makes for a haunted time for everyone.  It’s a chillingly quick tale as connections are discovered that Margot would rather remain in the dark.  

Forget about the Paranormal Activity label for one brief second here.  Paramount, Jason Blum, and Oren Peli probably did that in an effort to get eyes on this spectacularly effective horror flick.  It's purely a marketing move because, upon my completion of this spook show, I saw no real connection to the rest of the Paranormal Activity series.  You could make a thin and watery connection, but you would be stretching things way too far.  

Yes, we have demonic activity and, yes, there are apparently some spooks in the attic and such, but this film creates a sense of dread that upstate New York hasn’t experienced since the folk horror of yore as Margot discovers just what her mother was protecting her from.

Next of Kin is best appreciated as a stand-alone horror gem that begs to be freed from those haunted shackles of the other titles.  Co-starring Ayres-Brown and Tom Nowicki as the elder Jacob in the community, Blumhouse and Paramount will release Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin on Paramount+ on October 29.

3/5 stars


Film Details

Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin

MPAA Rating: R for violence and bloody images, and language throughout.
98 mins
: William Eubank
Christopher Landon; Oren Peli
Emily Bader; Roland Buck III; Dan Lippert
: Horror | Thriller

Memorable Movie Quote:
Paramount +
Official Site:
Release Date:
October 29, 2021
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: Margot, a young woman who was abandoned by her mother as a baby, travels to a secluded Amish community with a documentary film crew seeking answers about her mother and extended family.


Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin