Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin is officially out now exclusively on Paramount+, and the new film feels nothing like a Paranormal Activity film, which is a surprisingly good thing. The latest entry into the massive horror franchise sets itself apart with a distinct tone and fresh storytelling. It feels more like the old-school Blair Witch-style of found-footage storytelling with some folk horror elements thrown in. This tactic is different from the previous films, which primarily focused on strange things inside a house or singular building.
SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains significant spoilers for Paranormal Activity, turn back if you haven’t watched the new film yet.
In Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin, we follow Margot as she tries to figure out what happened to her birth mother. A distant cousin contacts her via an ancestry website, inspiring Margot to make a documentary on her family. Along with a few of her friends, Margot travels to the Amish colony where her mother previously lived. But it doesn’t take long for viewers to realize that there is something seriously frightening going on.
Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin ending explained: Does Margot find her mom?
While Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin doesn’t share much DNA with the other six films in the franchise, it does try to soft reboot the central conceit of the films. Back in the early movies, we found out that most of the “paranormal activity” stemmed from mysterious cults using ancient rituals and black magic to open pathways allowing young women to become possessed by demonic entities.
In Next of Kin, the cult-like Amish community Margot finds is home to the biggest baddest demon around, a being known as “Asmodeus,” or the prince of demons and all-around harbinger of doom. This community actually tries to prevent the demon from being unleashed upon the world where it can wreak havoc on a grand scale, but to do so, they have to sacrifice the women born into their community to keep the monster at bay.
We find out the cult has been using spellbinding practices to contain the demon’s essence inside the women’s bodies from Margot’s family. That’s what happened to Margot’s mother, Sarah, who she finds in a terrifying cavern below the creepy church. Each woman acts as a vessel, of sorts, to keep Asmodeus contained, and the plan is for Margot to become the next one.
Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin: What’s next for Asmodeus?
Margot’s friends, Chris and Dale, try to save her from the ritual, but in the process, they inadvertently break the seal keeping Asmodeus inside Sarah’s body, unleashing the demon on the world. With the being loose, it takes only seconds for its influence to turn the townspeople mad as they start brutally killing each other and themselves. They set things on fire, the livestock is running, you know, just little apocalyptic things. Dale is also killed in the slaughter.
In the film’s final moments, it looks like Chris and Margot escape, but the demon takes possession of Margot’s young cousin Samuel. He forces the police to shoot themselves in the head before stealing their car and driving off, potentially after Margot.
Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin is now streaming exclusively on Paramount+.