Paramount Pictures | Release Date: October 18, 2012
4.6
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Mixed or average reviews based on 220 Ratings
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FilmMasterEdJan 5, 2016
It needs to be said, my expectations weren't high for Paranormal Activity 4…well, high considering this is the fourth feature in horror franchise that's part of subgenre (found footage) quickly wearing out its welcome. I found the first threeIt needs to be said, my expectations weren't high for Paranormal Activity 4…well, high considering this is the fourth feature in horror franchise that's part of subgenre (found footage) quickly wearing out its welcome. I found the first three Paranormal Activity movies fantastically haunting with their minimalist approach to displaying the titular phenomena, building from oddities that could be rationalized to totally terrifying and unexplainable violence caught on tape. The locked perspective of their cameras similarly made me feel trapped within their frame, and directing team Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman—of Catfish infamy—took this found footage aspect to a terrifying new realm in Paranormal Activity 3. With these two back for 4, I anticipated not only an intriguing continuation of the franchise's growing mythos, but also some innovative new scares within the format. Unfortunately, the most shocking part of Paranormal Activity 4 is how far it missed the mark.

The feature begins with a brief refresher of the end of Paranormal Activity 2, where a fully possessed Katie (Katie Featherston) slaughters her sister then kidnaps baby Hunter before strolling off into the night and out of range of the late family's security system cameras. Cut to five years later in Nevada where Alex, an adorable 15-year-old girl (Kathryn Newton) who inexplicably always carries her video camera, begins documenting the bizarre events that plague her and her family after the weird little boy-next-door stays with them. Robbie (Brady Allen) is a sullen child who lurks around their property late at night until his single mom is carted off by an ambulance, forcing Alex's family to take him in. Luckily for Alex, her goofy boyfriend (Matt Shively) "accidentally" recorded video of her sleeping, and caught the little creep up to no good. The teens turn all the family computers into surveillance cameras in hopes of proving to Alex's self-involved parents something strange is going on.

First off, teens toting cameras is a red flag for the found footage genre, as it's generally a lazy screenwriter device to justify why the camera is always around at pertinent moments that should seem innocuous to the characters. Because all young people record every inane moment of their life, right? But this is only the beginning of the plot holes that riddle Paranormal Activity 4, many of which I can't get into without spoiling the film's final act. Suffice to say, key characters eventually abandon their acquired knowledge and established motivations in service to the plot, making for an ending that is as senseless as it is frustrating. Between the found footage convention and the established rules of this franchise, the climax is a foregone (read: predictable) conclusion. So getting attached to this brave girl who is fighting valiantly to save her family from this evil is not only sad, it's a little boring.

To their credit, Joost and Schulman start off strong. They deftly establish the geography of the family's home so that the action and camera work that plays out later is easy to follow, and the audience is likewise primed for where to watch when things get worrisomely quiet. They also prove savvy at setting up shots, including open doorways and peppering the frame with idly moving objects like a swaying bead curtain, making us nervously scan the background for a possible threat. However, these setups payoff less than one would hope with some missed opportunities and a barrage of false alarm scares that are fun in the moment, but ultimately kill the brewing tension. There's more downtime here than the other movies have. As the nights plod along with more and more bizarre events, they peak at an insane supernatural event, cut to black and then pick up in the light of day with no lasting impact. Rather than building a prolonged and deepening anxiety through slowly mounting these attacks with no sense of relief as the first three films did, Paranormal Activity 4's stuttered structure is episodic, and at 88 minutes the film still feels long.

At the end of the film we know little more about this invisible evil spirit or what his plans are for Katie and Hunter than we did at the end of the third or second film. Then instead of innovation, the directors give into jump scares and false alarm gags to keep the audience invested, and in doing so lose the mounting suspense and dread that set the earlier films apart from their imitators. In short, Paranormal Activity 4 is more startling than scary and does more damage to the franchise than good.
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5
UrbanlistenerNov 24, 2015
Decent horror film in that specific genre of movies, some creepy moments, a bit of tension and suspense, but at that point in the franchise, you what will happen and when... You sure will find some frightening moments, but overall it is aDecent horror film in that specific genre of movies, some creepy moments, a bit of tension and suspense, but at that point in the franchise, you what will happen and when... You sure will find some frightening moments, but overall it is a movie tired of trying. Expand
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2
JohnMasterLNov 1, 2015
Esta cuarta parte ofrece mas de lo mismo, una historia confusa y poco interesante y unos sustos bastante malos, algo que me molesta de estas películas es que no se toman el tiempo suficiente para explicar todas las dudas que han surgido desdeEsta cuarta parte ofrece mas de lo mismo, una historia confusa y poco interesante y unos sustos bastante malos, algo que me molesta de estas películas es que no se toman el tiempo suficiente para explicar todas las dudas que han surgido desde su segunda parte; ¿que relación tienen estas familias y estas historias externas con la historia original de Katie? no tengo la menor idea. No tenemos ninguna explicación y surgen mas dudas con lo que puedo concluir que ni siquiera los directores tienen idea de lo que están haciendo. Actividad Paranormal 4 no es mejor que su antecesora y sigue con la misma formula que las anteriores (ya saben... mismo final, mismos screamers...) Expand
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2
MovieManiac83Apr 25, 2015
They could have called this Paranormal Inactivity.

It's a rare horror franchise indeed that manages to remain fresh and creepy by the time it arrives at installment #4. Paranormal Activity, despite a terrific beginning, quickly grew stale
They could have called this Paranormal Inactivity.

It's a rare horror franchise indeed that manages to remain fresh and creepy by the time it arrives at installment #4. Paranormal Activity, despite a terrific beginning, quickly grew stale and repetitive and the third sequel is easily the most lifeless. It's as if all the first movie's assets have been turned into liabilities and all the energy has been leeched away. Part of the problem is that there's really nowhere for the series to go but finances have demanded that the filmmakers churn out a new episode every Halloween. Another issue is the way directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman present their footage (still first-person). Instead of using anticipation to build dread, they approach things in a more straightforward, matter-of-factly fashion. Payoffs are few and far between. The woman not paying attention as she dices vegetables does not lose a digit. The vanishing knife does not reappear in someone's back. There are far too many missed opportunities. The "boo!" moments lack punch. They're uniformly obligatory and not in the least bit shocking. In fact, especially toward the end, they verge on self-parody.

Paranormal Activity 4 follows the same basic formula: first-person footage tells the story of a family who finds their home life increasingly disturbed by potentially malevolent supernatural activity. In this case, the 15-year old heroine, Alex (Kathryn Newton), has a webcam set up on open (Apple) laptops in almost every room of the house, which limits (but does not eliminate) the amount of inappropriate time she has to spend running around carrying her computer. She has a boyfriend, younger brother, mother, and father. All of them are about as well-developed as one might expect. The real problem is the creepy across-the-street neighbors: a familiar figure from the Paranormal Activity saga, Katie (Katie Featherstone), who arrives with an adopted six-year old in tow.

For about 30 minutes, nothing happens. It's a little like watching home movies or PG web chats (because Kathryn Newton is the same age as her character, there's no question of any naughty stuff). Over the next 45 minutes, a few things go bump in the night, but there's a lot of dead space in which nothing much happens. Lots of shots of empty rooms. Of course, we stare hard at those empty rooms, expecting there to be something creepy or scary... unfortunately, they're just empty rooms. Then, every once in a while, someone strolls by. Doors mysteriously open while people are sleeping, but they never wake up or watch the footage. Only in about the last 10 minutes do things happen and, when they occur, the ineptitude of the direction is so extreme that the action turns comedic. Exiting the theater, I momentarily wondered if I had just witnessed a Paranormal Activity parody. But that would be giving far too many people too much credit for cleverness. This is just badly made formula schlock.

If there's one thing to compliment about Paranormal Activity 4, it's the performance of Kathryn Newton, who sells her role and the situation. The same cannot be said of the other actors, who lack Newton's naturalness. She seems like a teenager who's caught in a very bad situation (in more ways than one); her fellow thespians are awkward and unconvincing. The acting quality is on par with what one gets in faux-amateur porn films.

Paranormal Activity made the transition from low-budget horror phenomenon to bankable product with the release of the first sequel. Paramount's accountants are undoubtedly happy with the franchise but one wonders if the diluted level of scares offered by Paranormal Activity 4 will kill a series that has turned the concept of "found footage" from a legitimate stylistic choice to a groan-inducing mistake. Forget jumping the shark... this series has cleared a shark, a whale, and a submarine.
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7
horcrux2007Mar 20, 2015
Paranormal Activity 4 is a movie that will primarily be enjoyed by die-hard fans of the franchise, and I can safely say that I am one of those people. By now, you pretty much know what to expect, but this entry does have quite a few tricks upParanormal Activity 4 is a movie that will primarily be enjoyed by die-hard fans of the franchise, and I can safely say that I am one of those people. By now, you pretty much know what to expect, but this entry does have quite a few tricks up its sleeve. Unlike the first 3 films, where most of the activity occurs while the characters are sleeping, most of the supernatural stuff happens during the daytime while the protagonist is home alone. This does strike a bit of a different fear because for some reason, houses are always scarier when you're home alone. Another thing that makes this movie stand out is the "Kinect cam", which displays hundreds of little dots across the living room when all the lights turn off due to the infrared This makes for some really subtle scares that you might not completely catch on the first viewing. The scares are inconsistent mostly due to the fact that there are quite a few fake-outs in the first half of the film (cat jumping in front of the camera, book falling, etc.), but when the scares work, they're really effective. It's certainly not a high point in the franchise, but it's still a reasonably fun and sometimes scary movie. Expand
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5
MisterSushi7Mar 17, 2015
Paranormal Activity 4 isn't that scary, but it's very suspenseful. It gives the franchise a modern twist without overdoing it, something that most modern horror movies fail at. Perfect for sleepovers!
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5
MarickJan 18, 2015
Paranormal Activity 4 is a 2012 American supernatural horror film, directed by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost, directors of Paranormal Activity 3, and written by Christopher Landon from a story by Chad Feehan. The film features KatieParanormal Activity 4 is a 2012 American supernatural horror film, directed by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost, directors of Paranormal Activity 3, and written by Christopher Landon from a story by Chad Feehan. The film features Katie Featherston, who starred in the first film, and had cameos in the other two. Expand
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7
lukechristianscJan 8, 2015
for some reason when we saw the first paranormal: activity movie i felt this movie was full of dumb-idiotic characters that were trying to kill themselves. Writer/director/ editor/cinematographer of the first paranormal activity Oren Peli,for some reason when we saw the first paranormal: activity movie i felt this movie was full of dumb-idiotic characters that were trying to kill themselves. Writer/director/ editor/cinematographer of the first paranormal activity Oren Peli, the creator of this franschise tries to pull of lame effects that we can tell is fake but the movie pulls it off so well. Paranormal 4 is a movie it has characters that yet again try to get themselves killed. I found this film scary (well its a paranormal activity its gonna be full of jump scares!) but it's ok this gets interested but it's the same movie again again again and again! the series should end here. Grade 1.3 D Expand
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0
austinvJul 9, 2014
Most frustratingly upsetting movie I've ever seen. Waste of time and money. I've never written a review before this one but I felt like I had to so people don't waste their time like I did
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1
HatrossJul 3, 2014
First of all i can't say that i was disappointed since i wasn't expecting much. The entire film is predictable and downright laughable. There is no tension and the jump scares aren't effective at all. To be fair this was more of a comedyFirst of all i can't say that i was disappointed since i wasn't expecting much. The entire film is predictable and downright laughable. There is no tension and the jump scares aren't effective at all. To be fair this was more of a comedy than a horror film. Expand
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0
TheTwistedKrisJan 12, 2014
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This was one of the worst things ever to be classified as horror ever. Can anyone honestly say that snapping a neck quickly and easily is scarier then dragging a person off camera then silence? No it isn't, it wrecks the pacing and doesn't freak the viewer out as much. This was more of a comedy to me than a horror, watching this series continue it's crash into reality. PA 2-4 summed up with 1 word, flashy. Each death is in plain sight and the jump scares are seen a mile away. This addition to the series only raised more questions than answered, like who the heck is Robbie? Why did Hunter get sent away to only get brought back again (since he was already missing after the 2nd movie they didn't need to posses him, they could have done that in grace period)? What is Toby's goal (I don't mean this to attract any attention to the story, just I'm pointing out that the story had its head up its own plothole)? They explained hunter had to kill Alex, they why did he never hurt her once? Also while on this topic, how did Toby posses Hunter without Hunter killing a single virgin (as stated by the plot)? Am I the only one who thought the mother sounded like she was saying "weeeeeeee" as she was dragged up to get killed? I wish I was kidding about that. Did anyone else say "Here's Katie!!!" when she was busting through the door (parodying a much better horror film)? Why did it take so long for Ben to get to the house to show that Alex was almost murdered by Toby? Why was there a password to access the footage there to begin with? What even was the purpose of Alex getting levitated by Toby because it was never brought up again? Why did they stop reviewing the recorded footage half way through the film? And finally the biggest question, how did so many people give this movie perfect reviews and completely miss all of these flaws? I only flinched once watching this movie, so it gets an honest and undisputed 1 out of 17 (17 "jump scares" only about 8 involved the demon) Expand
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4
OfficialNov 4, 2013
I don't see the point in making another installment. "Paranormal Activity 4" does not have any of the thoughtful ideas used in the previous three, and none of the cameras's positions were detailedly described. You also get random andI don't see the point in making another installment. "Paranormal Activity 4" does not have any of the thoughtful ideas used in the previous three, and none of the cameras's positions were detailedly described. You also get random and unrealistic scares in this too, which just makes it really stupid. Expand
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2
benderrodriguezOct 17, 2013
This was indeed one of the most ho-hum horror movies. Most of the movie relied on cheap scares, and some of the actions in the movie was bizarre. It borrowed a lot of elements from several different movies but ultimately could not place itThis was indeed one of the most ho-hum horror movies. Most of the movie relied on cheap scares, and some of the actions in the movie was bizarre. It borrowed a lot of elements from several different movies but ultimately could not place it all together. Kathryn Newton was the ONLY good thing about the movie. On the other hand, Matt Shively was an annoyance and one creepy guy in this movie. Expand
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0
ManutdrulesAug 28, 2013
Awful horror nothing scary about it is the stupidest horror ever who ever got scared are whips you would fall asleep watching it thats how boring it is
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2
PixcelationAug 10, 2013
This review was published on www.Pixcelation.com by Andrew Korkmas.

So as part of deal of sorts I made with a friend, I already watched and subsequently reviewed “R.I.P.D.” and thought it was horrible. This got me thinking I might actually
This review was published on www.Pixcelation.com by Andrew Korkmas.

So as part of deal of sorts I made with a friend, I already watched and subsequently reviewed “R.I.P.D.” and thought it was horrible. This got me thinking I might actually like “Paranormal Activity 4,” the latest in the long running “stupid as hell shaky cam horror movie series that continually refuses to die because people are foolish enough to keep throwing their money at it….thing.” If future me could give my past me three words of advice, they would be as follows: “Don’t kid yourself.”

The story is the same as every other freaking “Paranormal Activity” movie and will likely be the same as every one that will ever come out till the sun implodes and kills us all in a fiery blast. A family is slowly tormented by, oh, I don’t know, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and then in the end people die and nothing significant get’s resolved (spoilers I guess…). The only new story item thrown into the mix are the two main characters, a teenage girl and her teenage boyfriend. This might sound gimmicky but this may be the best thing about the movie. Both characters are likable and coupled with both teenage actors giving good performances…as…teenagers works. I found myself actually caring about protagonists in this despicable little series for the first time in ever. Thus it was quite the disappointment to see the boyfriend just kinda stop showing up until near the end for seemingly no apparent reason and then have the focus fall on the mother and father who are completely boring.

I’m not even going to go into detail about the acting because besides the two leads none of the actors give a remotely interesting performance. So let’s talk instead about the directing, it’s very basic. That might sound like an insult but it’s actually a roundabout compliment. Unlike every other movie in the series, I could tell what the hell was going on even if the onscreen action was pretty bland, and that sadly elevates it far and above many movies I’ve seen in the last few years.

Whether or not you find this movie scary will depend on whether you found any of the other “Paranormal Activity” movies to be frightening. I say this because it does everything the others do. Seriously, did you expect anything else? I usually have nothing against sequels but when a studio pops out this many sequels this quickly, how can anyone expect something of quality? None of the previous three felt the need to change up the formula so why would this one?

Aside from the two likable leads, the only other thing “Paranormal Activity 4” does differently than it’s predecessors is it’s use of technology, which I did enjoy. They use their macs as a sort of spy camera to see what goes on at night and they do some cool stuff with a Kinect as well. But in the end, I realized it was all just a gimmick. It does little to distract you from its multitude of flaws.

Breaking the movie down into the three-act structure, it only gets worse as time goes on. I’ll admit, I surprisingly liked the first act. The two leads were characterized and likable, a few fake scares (some of which weren’t half bad) but mostly just the calm before the storm. The second act was boring if only because the pacing was sluggish and felt mostly like filler. Then the third act, which was supposed to be the movie’s saving grace, was a train wreck. The ending in particular has to be one of the worst endings I’ve ever seen to a horror movie. Without spoiling it, it felt like everything was sloppily thrown together as if the film crew realized they only had till midnight to complete it.

Every so often, I think I’ve seen all the bad movies out there. As someone who writes scripts in their spare time, I can’t help but marvel whenever I see a movie start off with potential and then completely screw up everything good about it shortly thereafter. At this point, I’ve learned that the worst movies are those that give you hope and then smash your face in about an hour later. But I’ve spent enough time talking about this abomination so I’ll just conclude by saying that if you have hope for mankind, you will lose it after watching this movie.

“Paranormal Activity 4” gets a 2/10.
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1
TheRubixGamerJun 30, 2013
This movie is like watching paint dry. NOTHING HAPPENS!? the whole movie is a waste of time and the jump scares are so predictable they don't work. A lot of the time I could not understand what the characters were saying because they whisperThis movie is like watching paint dry. NOTHING HAPPENS!? the whole movie is a waste of time and the jump scares are so predictable they don't work. A lot of the time I could not understand what the characters were saying because they whisper or mumble most of there lines. This movie is mostly staring at things walking or running past in the background but that's it nothing happens until the last 10 minutes of the movie.

This movie is a huge waste of time and you will get 0% enjoyment out of this.
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10
gameboy377Jun 27, 2013
This movie was crazy scary i was physically shaking holding my computer the end BOOM!!!!! Right in your face demon this movie is terrifying but otherwise one of the coolest horror movies of all time i don't know why everybody hates it its soThis movie was crazy scary i was physically shaking holding my computer the end BOOM!!!!! Right in your face demon this movie is terrifying but otherwise one of the coolest horror movies of all time i don't know why everybody hates it its so awesome i recommend for people who like a scary horror movie BUT Not for kids thirteen and under the last 5:30 seconds are really intense Expand
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6
KivaJun 10, 2013
of course it was better than the two first movies and worse than the third one. However, I liked that film because there was not again that boring family. The last scene was really frightening and the whole movie is fine.
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6
Forrestgump1Jun 4, 2013
"While not quite on par with the first two Paranormal Activities, its was better than the third installment though. Its not gonna give you nightmares, but it does have some tense buildups and a pretty good finale, although i wish it was better." B-
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1
Gavin7887May 20, 2013
"Hey Gav, wanna play burn the terrible and boring movie?"

"Sure, what is it this time?'

"Paranormal Activity 4!"

"BURN IT NOW!!!!!"

I cant believe i was excited for this piece of movie
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5
geeksterknowsApr 18, 2013
A big disappointment for horror movie fans! There's one thing I hate about this year's installment: false advertising. When the poster and trailer came out with taglines saying that "all will be revealed" and "all the activity has led toA big disappointment for horror movie fans! There's one thing I hate about this year's installment: false advertising. When the poster and trailer came out with taglines saying that "all will be revealed" and "all the activity has led to this", I was actually excited to see this film. But after watching it at the cinema, I felt like I wasted my time and money. "Paranormal Activity 4" will leave you unsatisfied with an unresolved cliffhanger, very slow scenes, and lots of cheap scares. The acting was not good especially from Kathryn Newton and their reason for filming wasn't pretty convincing. Also, I'm disgusted that the series is starting to utilize CGI effects which ruins the movie's atmosphere. In a brighter scale, the methods for capturing the activity were smart just like its predecessors and there are "some" scenes that frightened me a little bit.

Overall: This is definitely not the best one in the franchise. I just think that the series has to end now. They can't just keep convincing us to watch it every year just like the Saw series. I actually prefer the 3rd part to be the finale because it answered all the questions we needed.
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0
BrendanCogs99Mar 13, 2013
PLEASE STOP!!!!! This series has become a joke to scary movies. What started of as a turning point to horror cinema has now become a franchise that plain out sucks.
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5
BrianMcCriticMar 10, 2013
Paranormal Activity 4 does not advance the story much at all, making it the worst of the series. I liked the first two and the third one at least advanced the story. It's not awful, but you can probably skip part 4 and still pick the seriesParanormal Activity 4 does not advance the story much at all, making it the worst of the series. I liked the first two and the third one at least advanced the story. It's not awful, but you can probably skip part 4 and still pick the series up in part 5 and not miss a beat. Expand
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2
TheWalrus2000Mar 9, 2013
The acting gives away everything not to mention it shows the same plot material as all the others leaving it to die as a not so terrifying collapse of the series.
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5
mds03Mar 3, 2013
The performances were good and the story was fine. The only problem is that there was no real paranormal activity up until the last 20 minutes of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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4
cool1707Mar 2, 2013
disapointed. I thought that this was going to be good and i was wrong the movie was not all bad the acting from the people was good but the plot and the scares let them down. Overall not very good 4/10
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7
LuisMatheusBCFeb 22, 2013
i'm a great fan of paranormal activity 1 and 2, and this one is okay. the screenplay is the worst of the saga, but it has a lot of horror. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
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10
mileeeeyFeb 21, 2013
best paranormal activity movie yet, they were all amazing actors/actresses i would definitely want them to make a sequel! everything was amazing about this movie. it made me jump throughout the whole movie so i think bravo to the directors!best paranormal activity movie yet, they were all amazing actors/actresses i would definitely want them to make a sequel! everything was amazing about this movie. it made me jump throughout the whole movie so i think bravo to the directors! and it is 100% worth watching so! yeah watch it BEST ONE YET!
10/10
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7
jennananaFeb 21, 2013
The jumpiest Paranormal Activity yet! Paranormal Activity 4 delivers a lot of jump scares and new features, such as: the kinnect, phones and computer camera. However, the other Paranormal Activities are creepy and gripping whereas this oneThe jumpiest Paranormal Activity yet! Paranormal Activity 4 delivers a lot of jump scares and new features, such as: the kinnect, phones and computer camera. However, the other Paranormal Activities are creepy and gripping whereas this one just go straight for jump scares, if you like more of a "you're going to have a nightmare" type of film then this is not for you!

7/10 for jump scares and interesting new features.
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4
WriteFilmLive21Feb 1, 2013
"Paranormal Activity 4" is easily the weakest yet in the series, lacking much of the innovation and fresh tactics of its predecessors and posing none of the answers it promises to deliver. This sequel was marketed to shed some light on the"Paranormal Activity 4" is easily the weakest yet in the series, lacking much of the innovation and fresh tactics of its predecessors and posing none of the answers it promises to deliver. This sequel was marketed to shed some light on the last movie's plot mess of a conclusion, but instead only gives us the same questions after 90 minutes of old hat sound effects, jump scares, and failed attempts at keeping the formula fresh. I'll give the film credit for its use of webcam surveillance, which although is likely not possible under these circumstances, does give us some new perspectives apart from the tired handheld video. But setpieces like a certain kitchen knife and the XBox Kinect are promising lodes of suspense cut short of their full potential, and the characters range from likeable (the main chick) to barely present and mostly moronic (the parents). It just feels more like the hollow shell of a "Paranormal Activity" movie, rather than what we've grown used to over the past films so much so that, unless the next sequel proves otherwise, this franchise has likely proved itself to have already passed its prime. Expand
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