Paranormal Activity 4

User Score
4.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 215 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 215
  2. Negative: 86 out of 215

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User Reviews

  1. Mar 10, 2013
    5
    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 series up in part 5 and not miss a beat.
  2. Jan 8, 2015
    7
    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 itfor 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
  3. Oct 18, 2012
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. My favorite line came just after the movie ended: "This movie's gonna make me afraid of white women...." which made me and the woman who said it burst out laughing. It's a slightly different take on the series, but this fourth installment is not NEARLY as scary as the first two. The third was just bizarre - especially the ending. There's a shot at the very end of this film that's disturbing, but still not all that scary. I just felt there were so many opportunities for scares using the new filming conventions that they didn't exploit (video chat, the Kinect sensor, etc). And the car / carbon monoxide sequence was WAY too much like a hundred other horror films, which depressed me a bit. So yes, it was a pedestrian effort, but I did have fun with the opening night crowd which was properly amped up, so I'll stick with the four. The true test of how much of an affect a horror movie has had on me is whether I"m freaked out walking up the dark staircase in my place afterwards . In this case? Not freaked out at all. Bum deal. Expand
  4. Mar 20, 2015
    7
    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 up its sleeve. Unlike the first 3 films, where most of the activity occurs while the characters are sleeping, most of the supernatural stuff happensParanormal 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
  5. Nov 4, 2013
    4
    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 and unrealistic scares in this too, which just makes it really stupid.
  6. Oct 18, 2012
    6
    If you are a fan of the series, you are either going to love this film or hate it. Paranormal Activity 4 has no source of scares what so ever (even no jumpscares) and the film also lacks any paranormal activity at all, it's more of a quasi-slasher film. The film is also quite suspenseful though and will even shock you at parts. The film's writing is horrible; it doesn't explain anything,If you are a fan of the series, you are either going to love this film or hate it. Paranormal Activity 4 has no source of scares what so ever (even no jumpscares) and the film also lacks any paranormal activity at all, it's more of a quasi-slasher film. The film is also quite suspenseful though and will even shock you at parts. The film's writing is horrible; it doesn't explain anything, the characters are quite dumb, there are even plot holes too...and the ending, I honestly do not know what to say about the ending. The ending is ridiculous, over-the-top and utterly outrageous and will certainly leave viewers saying "What the hell!" and will leave fans furious. In the end, Paranormal Activity 4 is humourous and violent entertaining that is highly flawed and will certainly divide fans due to it's love-it-or-hate-it presentation. Also stay after the end credits, there is a surprise. Expand
  7. Oct 21, 2012
    7
    First, I mean it's the worst movie of all 4 parts, but it's still a good movie. It has so many scares as in other movies paranormal activity. In the movie there are scenes in which you'll be amazed. I recommend it to fans of the movie.
  8. Jun 10, 2013
    6
    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.
  9. Apr 25, 2015
    2
    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
    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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  10. Oct 20, 2012
    4
    I saw Paranormal Activity 4 tonight and... it wasn't that very good. I still love the Paranormal Activity movies, all 3 of them. But Part 4 feels like "Paranormal Activity 2" all over again. It feels a bit strange on why a fond footage movie could get any more sequels instead of one. There's nothing new in Paranormal Activity 4. Same characters, different dialogue, but wasted a lot of timeI saw Paranormal Activity 4 tonight and... it wasn't that very good. I still love the Paranormal Activity movies, all 3 of them. But Part 4 feels like "Paranormal Activity 2" all over again. It feels a bit strange on why a fond footage movie could get any more sequels instead of one. There's nothing new in Paranormal Activity 4. Same characters, different dialogue, but wasted a lot of time to scare audiences. I totally agree with the negative feedback and I don't think Paranormal Activity should not get a 5th installment. I think the franchise is fading away. Expand
  11. Jun 4, 2013
    6
    "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-
  12. Oct 23, 2012
    3
    This is getting ridiculously repetitive. Everything but the final 10 minutes you've seen in the previous 3 installments. Loud noises and moving objects, thats what makes these films so "terrifying" its getting repetitive and they need to stop making these movies already, but of course they make money so a 5th installment is already confirmed for next october. Don't make this franchise likeThis is getting ridiculously repetitive. Everything but the final 10 minutes you've seen in the previous 3 installments. Loud noises and moving objects, thats what makes these films so "terrifying" its getting repetitive and they need to stop making these movies already, but of course they make money so a 5th installment is already confirmed for next october. Don't make this franchise like saw, they should've left it off with the 3rd. 3/10 Expand
  13. Dec 12, 2012
    3
    Same old, same freaking old. The final 15-20 minutes of the film are okay, the rest of the film is plain boring and pathetic. I don't know why they keep making films like this, the first installment was good, no doubts, but they're not offering anything new now. This is the worst movie in the Paranormal Activity franchise, not impressed me in any aspect whatsoever. The name of the film isSame old, same freaking old. The final 15-20 minutes of the film are okay, the rest of the film is plain boring and pathetic. I don't know why they keep making films like this, the first installment was good, no doubts, but they're not offering anything new now. This is the worst movie in the Paranormal Activity franchise, not impressed me in any aspect whatsoever. The name of the film is Paranormal Activity but it doesn't offer any kind of paranormal activity or even if it does, that's negligible because that won't give you any scares, how ironic is that! When the third film came out and I watched it, the first thing that came into my mind was, "What could be worse than this?". Today, I found the answer to that question after I finished watching this film. Expand
  14. Mar 9, 2013
    2
    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.
  15. Mar 3, 2013
    5
    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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  16. Nov 1, 2015
    2
    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 desde su segunda parte; ¿que relación tienen estas familias y estas historias externas con la historia original de Katie? no tengo la menor idea. NoEsta 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
  17. Jan 18, 2015
    5
    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 Katie Featherston, who starred in the first film, and had cameos in the other two.
  18. Nov 24, 2015
    5
    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 a movie tired of trying.
  19. Dec 7, 2012
    1
    The fact that more Paranormal Activity movies have been made astounds me. The first one was only "frightening" near the end, and even that was more surprising/shocking than scary. Don't waste your money, wait for this to show up on Netflix/Redbox/DVD or TV even. Honestly, don't even waste your TIME watching this latest iteration. I actually walked out of the theater about twenty minutes inThe fact that more Paranormal Activity movies have been made astounds me. The first one was only "frightening" near the end, and even that was more surprising/shocking than scary. Don't waste your money, wait for this to show up on Netflix/Redbox/DVD or TV even. Honestly, don't even waste your TIME watching this latest iteration. I actually walked out of the theater about twenty minutes in and requested a refund due to the garbage shown on-screen. Expand
  20. Oct 20, 2012
    6
    For 85 minutes I thought this was going to be nothing but jump scares and classic cliche story points. But I kid you not the final two minutes of this movie made me jump and the hair on my legs stand up it was so scary. And I am a straight 18 year old college male. If you see it in a crowded theater around Halloween with friends, its great fun. Otherwise I'm not sure you'll really get theFor 85 minutes I thought this was going to be nothing but jump scares and classic cliche story points. But I kid you not the final two minutes of this movie made me jump and the hair on my legs stand up it was so scary. And I am a straight 18 year old college male. If you see it in a crowded theater around Halloween with friends, its great fun. Otherwise I'm not sure you'll really get the full effect. Expand
  21. Feb 1, 2013
    4
    "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"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
  22. Jan 5, 2016
    3
    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 three Paranormal Activity movies fantastically haunting with their minimalist approach to displaying the titular phenomena, building from oddities thatIt 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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  23. 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.
  24. Oct 24, 2012
    7
    I have never seen any other Paranormal Actvity films before but seein this is making me watch the other three. Its cary the first hour then you sort of know what to expect. I mean maybe when I see all the films the might be the same but until then good movie. Paranormal Activity 7.1/10
  25. Jan 24, 2013
    2
    Paranormal Activity 4 is another installment in the franchise, and has proven to me that they are just going to keep making sequels until they start becoming losing money (just like the Saw films). I wish they would be smart and just make each movie different and original, but it seems they are trying to make some story here and it really is happening slowly. I mean nothing happens inParanormal Activity 4 is another installment in the franchise, and has proven to me that they are just going to keep making sequels until they start becoming losing money (just like the Saw films). I wish they would be smart and just make each movie different and original, but it seems they are trying to make some story here and it really is happening slowly. I mean nothing happens in this movie, a few pop out moments happen but this seriously has nothing we haven't seen in the past three films. I felt like I could see everything coming and although it has a few effective scares, it really doesn't change the fact that this movie is just lazy and doesn't bring anything new to the table. It Expand
  26. Oct 21, 2012
    6
    This was not so bad,it used IMAX well and it delivered a lot of scary moments.But there is not anything new in the Paranormal Activity universe since the second one.
  27. Oct 29, 2012
    0
    I hated this movie, I honestly have nothing good to say about it. The only other movie in the series I've seen is three and while i certainly didn't love it i admit that it least had a creepy uncertain atmosphere to it. All this piece of **** had was pointless jump scare after pointless jump scare and out of all 47 of them I think i only jumped once maybe twice. Worst movie I've seen allI hated this movie, I honestly have nothing good to say about it. The only other movie in the series I've seen is three and while i certainly didn't love it i admit that it least had a creepy uncertain atmosphere to it. All this piece of **** had was pointless jump scare after pointless jump scare and out of all 47 of them I think i only jumped once maybe twice. Worst movie I've seen all year and probably the worst "horror" movie ever Expand
  28. Oct 21, 2012
    5
    I almost wish the whole thing would've continued without any of the paranormal activity occurring. More than any of the previous installments, the characters are so likable here, you actually care what happens to them. All of the performances are terrific and the script is pretty solid dialogue-wise. Unfortunately, it isn't scary at all, and that is the point, right?
  29. Nov 6, 2012
    2
    Didn't we learn our lesson with the first two films? Didn't we? Didn't we learn that jump scares aren't scary and that likeable and smart characters carry a movie? Didn't we learn that plotholes shouldn't be in movies? Apparently not! And I counted how many jump scares they did in this film. How many were there? 20 through out the film. And at one point 5 happens in under two minutes.Didn't we learn our lesson with the first two films? Didn't we? Didn't we learn that jump scares aren't scary and that likeable and smart characters carry a movie? Didn't we learn that plotholes shouldn't be in movies? Apparently not! And I counted how many jump scares they did in this film. How many were there? 20 through out the film. And at one point 5 happens in under two minutes. Thankfully there are people such as myself who recognize the fact that this movie is poorly made. And the people who paid to see this, I saw a free screening, I shame you. Its your fault you think jump scares are what makes a good horror movie and not good story telling, atmosphere, motivations, and actual story structure. Easily the worst film of 2012! Expand
  30. Mar 2, 2013
    4
    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
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: 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.