I finally caught this one. Like Insidious, it did a lot of things right before falling apart in the final third. The first hour is intriguing and admirably restrained. And the super 8 films are authentic and disturbing. I was really enjoying the first hour.
But it all crashes down with the terrible scene where the spirits are running all over the house. Everything after that is stupid and obvious--including the ultimate resolution, which is visible from 100 miles away. There are plenty of clues early on. And I knew where it was headed very early. But after the spirits start to appear ANYONE can guess what's about to happen. I haven't seen many films that telegraph upcoming plot points that blatantly. It shares one more weakness with Insidious too--an overly broad supporting turn. Like the Beavis and Butthead ghost hunters, Deputy So and So seems to have wandered in from a different movie. His quirkiness is obviously intended to provide some levity and small town atmosphere. But there's nothing authentic in the performance or conception of the character.
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the similarities to The Poughkeepsie Tapes. They both mine the found footage vein and feature similar looking villains. It's clearly an influence on this film.