After four movies of this demonic entity's quest for Hunter Rey's soul, we've taken a moment to zoom out and look at the Midwives coven. You see, between parts three and four, the franchise has shifted from a ghost series to a witch series, and The Marked Ones wanted to explain some things about that coven.
Review by Crispy
Added: June 22, 2016
In a low-income, California community, young Jesse is celebrating his high school graduation. Along with his friends Hector and Marisol, their entire apartment complex is having a huge party in the courtyard. Well, almost the entire complex. In the apartment below Jesse lives a strange woman named Ana, who most of the family suspect of being a witch. Regardless, the family parties on and Jesse gets a new camera. While filming themselves playing around with some fireworks one night, they hear a gunshot and see their classmate, Oscar, booking from the scene. Ana has been murdered, and kids being kids, the first thing they do is sneak into her apartment to investigate. Apparently, they were absolutely right about her being a witch, and she is into some crazy shit. That seems to be the least of their problems, however, as pretty soon Jessie has learned some new parlor tricks. He can blow up an inflatable mattress with a single breath, he can send somebody flying with a single punch, and he's imbued with a new-found feeling of bliss. Obviously, everything has a price, and Jesse soon finds he's in well over his head.
Other than a few brief conversations with Jesse, our big bad ghost isn't really in this movie. In my opinion, this was a horrible decision. When people put on Paranormal Activity, they're typically looking for a slow burn ghost movie. Sue, five movies deep, viewers were absolutely getting a bit bored with the concept, but that doesn't necessitate a complete genre shift. Hell, those '80s slasher flicks were desperate for a way to freshen up late in their franchises, but they never turned Jason into a werewolf or anything. Also, this entry takes a bit more of traditional cinema verite approach with a handheld camera instead of using stationed cameras. In my opinion, these movies tend to hurt suspension of disbelief; at some point, when you're running from something trying to kill you, you'd think you would forget the camera and throw it to the side, let alone holding it up to your face and making sure you're getting a good shot.
Like I said, with the entity no longer a factor, the main focus is now on the M.O. of Lois' coven. Meeting up with Ali Rey, who's naturally been doing her research since losing her parents, they learn that they're called the coven of the Mid-wives, and they work by putting curses on women pregnant with their first born son and then claim them when they turn eighteen. That's all well and good, but it's completely at odds with what Katie and Kristie's family has been dealing with. It's obvious that the entity's involvement in that particular case is because it's something special, so spending time exploring what else they're up to is a complete waste of time.
Sure, it's kind of nice to keep things fresh in a franchise when you're up to the fifth entry, but unfortunately it was taken in a direction nobody wanted it to go. Even worse, it's in a completely different direction than the rest of the series. It's not terrible by itself, but it's pretty pointless in the grand scheme of things. 5/10.