Frost Bites 2024 · Horror · Horrorthon365 · Microreview · Movies

Frost Bites 2024: ‘Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin’ Is an Amish Horror Bait-and-Switch

[Before I fell and fractured my elbow so badly I needed a titanium implant to fix it, I’d already written a bunch of microreviews for my #Horrorthon365 project. I’m just gonna go ahead and post them even though I’m not sure I’ll be able to see this project through the way I’d planned. And if you’re so inclined, you can contribute to my elbow reconstruction fundraiser here.]

Confession time: When I was younger — after reading ‘The Novel’ by James Michener and seeing the Harrison Ford film ‘Witness’ — I became mildly obsessed with the Amish. I used to say that I wanted to be an Amish housewife when I was older, which people always assumed was a joke. Because even if you haven’t met me, an outspoken queer multiracial Sri Lankan/Lithuanian woman, could you imagine? But. I was actually serious about it. I love the idea of living a simple life, staying in the same place, knowing where you belong and being part of history in a straightforward way. All of this was the opposite of my multiracial, multicultural, transcontinental, complicated and rootless existence.

So of course once I realized there’s a ‘Paranormal Activity’ installment set in Amish country, you didn’t have to ask me twice. ‘Next of Kin’ might be the seventh part of the franchise, but it could easily stand on its own with excellent production value and a chilling story. Margot (Emily Bader) was abandoned by her mother as an infant, and connects with a distant Amish cousin on Rumspringa thanks to an ancestry website. She decides to make a documentary about her search for family, which takes her to her mother’s childhood home. Deep in Amish country she finds a hell of a lot more than she expected, pun intended.

I was expecting this to be a mediocre found footage film, but ‘Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin’ is actually pretty excellent. And the Amish setting was icing on the cake for me.

✨Asmodeus/5 stars. Highly recommend this Paramount+ original.✨

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Zuzu Zombie’s #Horrorthon365 project is a collection of eclectic genre watchlists with accompanying microreviews to suit the changing seasons. Horrorthon365 was sparked by a gnarly hand injury and carpal tunnel surgery gone awry, hence the flash-style reviews. After a wicked fall at home and brutal elbow fracture that required surgery, posts will be sporadic until I’m healed. In the meantime, browse the entire collection here