Todorov’s Narrative Theory

Todorov created a narrative theory which allows a more complex interpretation of film texts especially, through the filmic equilibrium and disequilibrium.
1) Everything starts off as it should be in a state of equilibrium. 5) A new equilibrium is established as the disequilibrium is resolved.

2) Disruption of the equilibrium occurs.

4) An attempt is made to repair the damage to the equilibrium.

3) A state of disequilibrium is recognised.

How can Todorov’s Theory be applied to Paranormal Activity 4?
Stage 1 – Equilibrium Alex and her family live in suburban Henderson in America and have what is shown to be a normal family life. Stage 2 – Disruption Alex’s family gain new neighbours and they find the little boy, Robbie, who has just moved in hiding in a tree nearby to their house. Robbie is constantly staring at Alex’s house until his mum falls ill, is taken to the hospital, and leaves Robbie in the care of Alex's Family. Stage 3 – Recognition of the disequilibrium Supernatural goings on occur in Alex’s house to her and her brother. They find out that Robbie has something to do with it due to a symbol he has wrote on Alex’s boyfriends house. Stage 4 – Attempt to repair the damage Alex researches the symbol as is constantly filming strange goings on within her house caused by Robbie to try and make sense of it. However Alex later discovers her boyfriends dead body and is suddenly tripped and pulled by an unseen entity. Stage 5 – A new Equilibrium She begs a friend to run away with her before they get attacked again.

How is an equilibrium established in the opening title sequence of Paranormal Activity 4?
A teenager called Alex is shown to be living a perfectly normal and tranquil normal life in a suburban neighbourhood. With her boyfriend Ben constantly by her side they discuss local new stories and the history of their American neighbourhood of Henderson. This establishes an equilibrium is she is shown to have a family composed of a mum, dad and brother, an adoring boyfriend and having a common conversation about local daily news stories and the history of their neighbourhood.

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