Metascore
40

Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 22
  2. Negative: 5 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Oct 18, 2012
    70
    The film is heavily reliant on jump scares, but its best moments are the ones before them, when the tension builds without the benefit of escalating music to queue you in to the approaching shock.
  2. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Oct 20, 2012
    67
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: Andy Webster
    Oct 20, 2012
    60
    Paranormal Activity 4 will please the fans, and that should sustain this low-budget, highly profitable franchise.
  4. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Oct 18, 2012
    60
    This film's strong suit is that it finally feels contemporary.
  5. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Oct 18, 2012
    60
    Catfish pair Joost and Ariel Schulman keep the franchise firmly on track with a satisfyingly scary fourth instalment.
  6. Reviewed by: James Rocchi
    Oct 17, 2012
    60
    Paranormal Activity 4 may mean more of the same, but in a modern horror landscape too often made up of equal parts of gore and boredom and resigned straight-to-video, it's a chiller designed to be seen in a crowded theater, and that alone makes it superior to its peers.
  7. Reviewed by: Matthew Leyland
    Oct 16, 2012
    60
    Aside from the usual self-slamming doors and flying bodies, there are enough creepy kids and hiding knives to distract from a plot that's increasingly mobile yet running on the spot.
  8. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Oct 20, 2012
    50
    The ending steals actionably from "The Blair Witch Project," the movie that helped spawn these first-person chillers.
  9. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Oct 19, 2012
    50
    This is hardly reinventing the wheel, but it is serviceable, if you're looking for a few shivery communal scares.
  10. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Oct 18, 2012
    50
    There's virtually nothing new in the dull Paranormal Activity 4 except for a modification in the method of documenting the spooky shenanigans.
  11. Reviewed by: Adam Markovitz
    Oct 18, 2012
    42
    PA4 develops the story ever so slightly (not enough to satisfy fans) and delivers a few good scares (not enough to satisfy newbies); mostly, it plays like a overlong prologue for the already-in-the-works PA5. Here's hoping this is just the tension-racking lull before the next big scream.
  12. Reviewed by: Chuck Wilson
    Oct 20, 2012
    40
    Screenwriter Christopher Landon, along with co-directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, make a truly lame attempt at establishing a supernatural mythology to explain all this, but their real energies go to amping up the jarring sound cues, darting shadows, and last-shot shocker (so goofily weird this time that you'll laugh out loud) that make this franchise a perennial crowd-pleaser.
  13. Reviewed by: Ben Kenigsberg
    Oct 20, 2012
    40
    Apart from a hi-def night-vision gimmick, returning directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman don't take advantage of either upgrade.
  14. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Oct 19, 2012
    40
    But the real problem behind Paranormal Activity 4 is that its entire raison d'être has gotten old; producer Oren Peli, who directed the first one, even included some gentle digs at the found-footage genre in his superior "Chernobyl Diaries," released earlier this year.
  15. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Oct 18, 2012
    40
    There's a point at which movies become only merchandise, and the Paranormal franchise may be heading for that nexus, that nadir.
  16. Reviewed by: Justin Lowe
    Oct 17, 2012
    40
    Fairly mild in tone and riffing -- if not quite ripping -- off a collection of horror classics that includes "The Shining," "Rosemary's Baby" and "Poltergeist," both the franchise's premise and its execution nevertheless remain rudimentary, with the narrative and character backstories representing more of a sketch than a fully realized vision of the supernatural world that Katie inhabits.
  17. Reviewed by: Geoff Berkshire
    Oct 17, 2012
    40
    Less reliant on slow-burn suspense and larded with fake-out jump scares, this is the first sequel in the series that fails to advance the overall mythology in any meaningful way.
  18. Reviewed by: Chuck Bowen
    Oct 19, 2012
    38
    Paranormal Activity 4 sadly continues the series' downslide, most drearily with a mid-film twist that enables the filmmakers to go about essentially remaking the second entry.
  19. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Oct 20, 2012
    25
    They could have called this Paranormal Inactivity.
  20. Reviewed by: Drew Taylor
    Oct 20, 2012
    25
    Paranormal Activity 4 is listless, dreadful and boring, an almost painfully inert and superficial ghost story that lacks specificity or scares. Time to turn the camera off, guys.
  21. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Oct 18, 2012
    20
    PA 4's best idea, besides reintroducing the slow-walking, statuesque Katie, is a strange video trick involving lots of little lights filling a darkened room. It's tough to describe, but the cameras, of course, capture a figure the characters can't.
  22. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Oct 24, 2012
    11
    This is one horror franchise that's burned itself out, and then some – not even the rare shock cuts to nothing much at all will startle anyone over the age of 8.
User Score
4.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 183 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 55
  2. Negative: 25 out of 55
  1. Dec 3, 2012
    3
    Q:"What horror should we watch and make my GF be afraid while I am laughing?".A:"Paranormal Activity 4".It is hard for me to believe that after the first movie and the whole "This is real footage" lie people are going to actually enjoy another film of the Paranormal Activity series.As a horror movies fan I was not afraid or impressed.A few scenes kept me awake during the movie though. Full Review »
  2. Oct 22, 2012
    2
    If you're after a theme park attraction where you jump on train and get some meaningless scares along the way, this one will satisfy you. But if you're actually after a "movie", you better go to a real theme park. I'm pretty sure I've been to some theme park attractions where the acting and the storyline was better than this. Full Review »
  3. Nov 14, 2012
    1
    Really? I'd rather watch orthodontic surgery. If you are watching this you are either a desperate loner with nothing else to do, or you walked into the wrong theater. This movie made my wife jump out of her skin, but then again she's not that smart. Full Review »