I’ve been waiting this entire Halloween season for a new Horror Movie to be hilarious, while also being frightening. I finally found it in the latest entry into the Paranormal Activity franchise with Next of Kin.

Paranormal Activity is an American supernatural horror franchise that began in 2007 that followed one family, documentary-style, as they were haunted by a demon. The first 3 films follow Katie and Kristi as their family is haunted by an entity. In the following 2 films (4 & 5) we dive deeper into the occult that caused the Featherston’s this turmoil. With Next of Kin, this is the first Paranormal Activity film that strays away from the original lore telling a completely new story with all new characters and demons.

Written by Christopher Landon (who has written the majority of the Franchise) and Directed by William Eubank, Next of Kin, following the documentary style of its predecessors, follows a young woman named Margot (Emily Bader). Margot was adopted as an infant, but thanks to a 23 and Me test she has found her next of kin – see what they did there? So, Margot, her best friend and filmmaker buddy (Roland Buck III), along with the hilarious audio guy (Dan Lippert) head off to an Amish Town so she can reconnect with her long-lost family. However, things are not as they seem and Margot and friends are in for a demonic twist of fate.

Say goodbye to Toby and hello to Asmodeus, a demon of biblical proportions. As the “prince of lechery” Asmodeus is the demon of lust it is said that people who fall unto his ways will be sentenced to an eternity in the second level of hell. So, this “Amish” occult has taken it upon themselves to keep Asmodeus trapped on their land for all eternity. I really like that the film chose a demon that crosses into multiple religions and an unlimited amount of stories. For me, doing this adds an extra level of creepy realism.

I absolutely loved this film. Next of Kin is super suspenseful, uses the documentary style to enhance the tension and give the audience some great jump scares. I found myself upset with the choices the lead made by going into randomly unlocked rooms and dark caverns, but, honestly, would it be a good horror movie if I wasn’t yelling at the dumb wyt girl? (Sings) “This is why I don’t f*ck with white people….” 

I especially enjoyed the smart setups for kill zones and really fun “action movie” type shots that were initially introduced in a completely different way. Then, over the final 20 or so minutes of the movie, the film builds to a fantastic finale. And unlike its predecessors, it shows us the demon. Let me tell you. This creature is a thing of NIGHTMARES. I will not describe it for you but instead will let you be surprised.

Personally, I absolutely loved Next of Kin. However, does it belong in the Paranormal Activity franchise? I don’t think so. Everything docu-style that hit theaters after 1999 wasn’t called The Blair Witch Project Takes Manhattan. So, not everything docu-style with a demon needs to be forced into the Paranormal Activity family. Next of Kin would be successful on its own. It is that good!

Thanks so much for reading! Make sure you stick around with That Hashtag Show for more updates on pop culture.