Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)



Critic Consensus: While it does manage to wring a few more screams out of the franchise's surprisingly durable premise, Paranormal Activity 4 provides fans of the series with dismayingly diminishing returns.

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Movie Info

The fourth installment in the popular horror franchise.
R (for language and some violence/terror)
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Box Office:

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Critic Reviews for Paranormal Activity 4

All Critics (103) | Top Critics (18)

We're still seeing things through handheld devices and built-in laptop cameras, even though nobody seems interested in looking at the footage the cameras were supposedly recording.

Full Review… | October 22, 2012
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

Even for a something about supernatural shenanigans, this ending is embarrassing.

October 21, 2012
Boston Globe
Top Critic

They could have called this Paranormal Inactivity.

Full Review… | October 21, 2012
Top Critic

The mood is often playful, with teases and fake-outs that are sometimes humorous and usually right before shocks. Violence is rare, quick and devoid of lingering close-ups.

Full Review… | October 21, 2012
New York Times
Top Critic

There are at least a half-dozen or so decent jolts to be enjoyed over the film's running time, but prepare for a long wait to actually get to them.

Full Review… | October 19, 2012
Top Critic

The mythology has deepened, largely to the negative, and the formula is as rigid as the fixins of a fast-food sandwich-tastes the same in every city. But the effects are eternally reliable.

Full Review… | October 19, 2012
AV Club
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Paranormal Activity 4

A great 10-minute short expanded into a tediously boring 90 minute feature that only reflects the studio's desperation (and lack of inspiration) to milk this franchise for all its worth.

Edward Boxler
Edward Boxler

Super Reviewer

Story fatigue had already crept into this series well before this installment. Once again we are presented with lots of found footage from computer webcams. Shots of seemingly empty rooms, doors that close by themselves and loud bursts of noise following a period of silence. A couple jolted me awake. The script's contribution this time is to introduce the camera from a Microsoft Kinect video game console with the infrared tracking dots bathing the room in an eerie green light. The outline of an unexplained figure is about as scary as this gets. The human star is Alex, a teen girl played by Kathryn Newton. She is an appealing presence and conveys the natural vibe of a real teen. The same goes for actor Matt Shively who plays her boyfriend Ben. They are understandably freaked out by the strange goings on while the rest of the family inexplicably dismiss flying knives and possessed children as nothing, natch. The Featherston sisters, Katie & Kristi, have historically been the focus of the supernatural activity in this franchise. Kristi appears only in flashback and Katie is relegated to a minor character. The drama isn't advanced in any meaningful way. We're merely left with more of the same parlor tricks you've seen in 3 installments before. Except this time they're done with less enthusiasm. Despite the lackluster performance at the box office, PA5 is coming this October.

Mark Hobin
Mark Hobin

Super Reviewer

Told almost entirely through Skype on computers and cell phones, "Paranormal Activity 4" is not just the worst of the series, but it just an overall poor film. The acting is fine, but the plot makes almost no sense, because it tries too hard to intertwine the story lines from the previous films. Nothing about this film works, and even though some of the previous instalments relied on cool jump scares to make it watchable, this film doesn't even try to accomplish that, because it waits until the last moment of the film to be even remotely terrifying, and that is be being as generous as I possibly can. This film is only 80 minutes long, and when a film that short, feels too long, there is something wrong. Everything about this film from the directing, to the script, is just so sloppy. I don't know how the studio green lit this piece of shit.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

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