William Eubank does more than justice to the fan-favorite horror franchise in found footage horror movie ‘Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin.’ Based on an original screenplay by Christopher Landon, the film’s story follows Margot, who revisits her hometown for the first time in her life to know more about her mother, and decides to make a documentary film while at it. After being contacted by her titular next of kin, Samuel, she revisits the mysterious Amish community where time stands still.
However, as she gets plunged into a literal rabbit hole, the sleepy village unearths a horrific secret underneath its beguiling old-world charm. The chilling vision becomes a bit too scary as the story paces forward, featuring a fresh cast ensemble led by Emily Bader, Roland Buck III, and Dan Lippert, backed by a raw score and innovative camera techniques. A jarring camera characterizes the ending as the visceral horror unfolds in a blinding snowstorm. If you are having trouble comprehending the shocking finale, let us decode it for you. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin Plot Synopsis
Margot and her boyfriend Chris are hoping to make a documentary film about Margot’s past. Her mother, Sarah, left her outside a hospital. The security footage of Margot’s mother abandoning her disturbs Margot to this day. She wonders what compelled Sarah to take such a drastic decision. In the present day, she meets her blood-relative Samuel. Sound guy Dale appears shortly after, and he claims to have had COVID five times. While Dale keeps the party entertained with inappropriate jokes, Samuel leads them to the small Amish community of Beiler farm, from where Margot’s mother Sarah hailed.
While the world has moved on, the community still lives in temporal flux. Jacob, the patriarch of the commune and the father of Sarah, welcomes the crew. They find accommodation in a rustic and cobweb-filled room. Late at night, Margot wakes up to discover red lights moving in the distance. When Margot asks Samuel about the lights, he tells her about a bear that claimed some livestock. Margot takes a tour of the barn, and Dale gets a proper Amish haircut. They get along with the local children and nuns pretty well, but all of them seem to be hiding something. Before the crew can fathom the dreadful secrets of the village, the horror spirals out of control.
Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin Ending: Who is Asmodeus?
While checking the drone out, the crew finds the church, around a mile away from the farmhouse. The church is locked, with the German words “so weit nicht weiter” carved on the door. The phrase cryptically means “so far, not further.” Dale does not know much German, but he is good at picking locks, thanks to the teachings of cousin Greg. However, before they can enter the church, Jacob comes around to tell them that the church is off-limits. That night, Margot and the team discover a strange ritual involving a two-headed goat at the barn.
The mystery deepens, and Jacob’s warning further intrigues Margot. While Samuel gives Dale a horse-riding lesson, Margot and Chris sneak into the church and discover strange murals drawn on the floor depicting a demonic figure named Asmodeus and scenes of ritualistic sacrifices. Upon further probing, Chris finds a hidden compartment underneath the altar. Seizing the chance, Margot asks Chris to lower her into the abyss. She hears a strange noise in the darkness before panicking and asking for help. Back at their room, Chris replays the video and discerns the noise to be of an animal.
The following day, Margot walks into Jacob’s room while he is elsewhere and finds a computer in a small adjacent room. She finds mail correspondence between Jacob and Samuel, and Jacob seemingly knows everything about Margot’s life. She is upset, and Chris suggests they should leave. On that night, a ghoulish shadow attacks Margot in her room. Chris and Dale wake up to find Margot in a state of shock and her bedsheet drenched in blood. The doctor tells them about Margot’s unusually heavy menstrual flow, but they don’t believe it.
Chris and Dale venture out in the snow to look for a ride to town, and the guy who gives them the ride also tells them that the folks at the Beiler Farm are not Amish. Chris and Dale use the computer at the store to come to the realization that Beiler Farm is a community of demon worshippers. According to the myth, the Norwegian village of Beskytter experienced a massacre. It was thought to be the work of Asmodeus, the prince of demons. They trapped the devil inside a woman’s body, who would now be passed on from mother to daughter in the bloodline.
Is Sarah Still Alive?
Margot visits the barn early in the story to find a young girl brushing her doll’s hair. The doll’s name is Sarah, and when Margot tells the girl that it was the name of her mother, the girl cryptically says that Sarah is still there. They hear strange noises on the rooftop for three consecutive nights, and Margot ventures out into her mother’s old room. She captures a ghastly specter on camera, and while Dale thinks it’s scary, Chris is eager to dismiss it as a lens flare.
The following morning, they interview Jacob on camera. Jacob tells them about Sarah, who was apparently a feral and free-spirited woman who did not care for anyone but herself. To defy the commune’s endogamous practice, she slept with a boy from town and got pregnant. As the pregnancy was against the customs, Jacob forced her to give the baby up for adoption. The account takes a while for Margot to digest, and she comes to realize that her mother was without agency in an oppressive society. Sarah is presumably dead, but Margot feels that her mother is still alive.
Chris is too eager to dismiss the supernatural phenomena. Later in the story, he realizes that Sarah has been subjected to a ritualistic sacrifice to contain the demonic god Asmodeus in her body. In the jarring and disturbing finale, Chris and Dale come back from their trip to the battery store, but Sarah is missing. While Dale parts to install the battery, Chris goes into the demonic church to look for Margot.
After a bloody encounter with Jacob, Chris finds Margot at the bottom of the abyss. He manages to bring Margot back to her senses, but a skeletal creature chases them into the snowy woods as they climb up. Chris and Margot run into the barn, but that does not save them. The creature gets hold of Chris, but Margot calls her by the name of Sarah, and that seems to stop her momentarily. At this point, we realize that Sarah was down in the demonic dungeon all this while.
Is Dale Dead or Alive? What Happens to the Townsfolks?
While out in the forest, the ghost gets hold of Dale, while Chris and Margot manage to escape. However, while starting the car, Chris realizes that the key is still in Dale’s possession. They go back to discover Dale dead but retrieve the keys. As they head back to the farm, it has turned into hell. Fulfilling the prophecy of the demon coming out, neighbors are killing each other, much of the livestock is dead, and the houses are burning.
As they get into the car, a bewitched Mary attacks them. But thankfully, the car starts, and they escape the burning hell. A police patrol reaches the location to see the extent of the damage. A child cries at the barn. As the policeman probes in, we discover the child to be none other than Samuel. On his nod, the policemen blow their heads off. The demon has seemingly possessed Samuel. The last shot depicts him driving out into the woods, presumably searching for Chris and Margot. This sinister cliffhanger leaves viewers craving for more.