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Paranormal Activity 4

5/10
Horror
 

It has been five years since the disappearance of Katie and Hunter, and a suburban family witness strange events in their neighborhood when a woman and a mysterious child move in.

 
Actors: William Juan Prieto , Brian Boland , Aiden Lovekamp , Alexondra Lee , Stephen Dunham , Sprague Grayden , Brady Allen , Matt Shively , Kathryn Newton , Katie Featherston
Directors: Henry Joost , Ariel Schulman
Country: USA
Release: 2012-10-19
More Info:
  • Alison Willmore

    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.

    Movieline Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    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.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Andy Webster

    Paranormal Activity 4 will please the fans, and that should sustain this low-budget, highly profitable franchise.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Mark Olsen

    This film's strong suit is that it finally feels contemporary.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Kim Newman

    Catfish pair Joost and Ariel Schulman keep the franchise firmly on track with a satisfyingly scary fourth instalment.

    Empire Full Review
  • James Rocchi

    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.

    Boxoffice Magazine Full Review
  • Matthew Leyland

    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.

    Total Film Full Review
  • Wesley Morris

    The ending steals actionably from "The Blair Witch Project," the movie that helped spawn these first-person chillers.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Sara Stewart

    This is hardly reinventing the wheel, but it is serviceable, if you're looking for a few shivery communal scares.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    There's virtually nothing new in the dull Paranormal Activity 4 except for a modification in the method of documenting the spooky shenanigans.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Adam Markovitz

    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.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Chuck Wilson

    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.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Ben Kenigsberg

    Apart from a hi-def night-vision gimmick, returning directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman don't take advantage of either upgrade.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Bilge Ebiri

    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.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Richard Corliss

    There's a point at which movies become only merchandise, and the Paranormal franchise may be heading for that nexus, that nadir.

    Time Full Review
  • Justin Lowe

    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.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Geoff Berkshire

    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.

    Variety Full Review
  • Chuck Bowen

    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.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    They could have called this Paranormal Inactivity.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Drew Taylor

    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.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    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.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Marc Savlov

    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.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
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