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Paranormal Activity 4 Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Slacktivity Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 25

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    They could have called this Paranormal Inactivity.

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  • 40

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    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.

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  • 42

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly 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.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today 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.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 16 & under

Fourth in spooky series runs out of ideas -- and scares.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Paranormal Activity 4 is the fourth in the spooky Paranormal Activity series. Violence is about the same as in the others: More is suggested than shown, though there are some sudden bursts of "demon" activity (i.e. characters tossed about and injured by unseen forces). A teen's neck is snapped, and there are some monster faces and a little blood (mostly in flashback). Language is a bit stronger in this one, with several uses of both "f--k" and "s--t." A teen boy and girl flirt mildly but mostly seem to be friends. An Xbox with Kinect becomes a major storytelling device. Teens who survived the first three movies might want to make it a point to catch this one, but it's becoming very clear that the series is running out of steam.

  • Families can talk about Paranormal Activity 4's violence, both implied and shown. Which kind has more impact? Why?
  • How scary was the movie? What scared you most, and why? How did you feel about being scared?
  • What would be the effect of constantly filming your life?
  • Is Alex, the teen girl, a role model? What does she do that's courteous and helpful, and what does she do that's not?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Bad things simply happen to good people in this movie, with no sense of justice or fairness.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: A teen girl shows responsibility in her home, looking after her little brother and listening to her parents' rules and guidance. Unfortunately, this admirable behavior doesn't pay off.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: An evil, unseen demon pushes a boy underwater in the bathtub. A teen boy's neck is snapped. A grown woman and man are hurled around rooms, smashing up against walls and on floors. A teen girl is locked in a garage with a car engine running. Some scary faces/monsters are shown very briefly, and some blood is shown (mainly in flashbacks to the second movie). An ongoing sense of dread/fear permeates the movie.

  • sex false1

    Sex: A teen boy flirts with a teen girl, placing his hand on her knee. Over a Skype chat, he asks to see her "boobie" (she refuses).

  • language false4

    Language: "F--k" and "s--t" are used several times, mainly by a teen boy. Other words include "c--k," "hell," "bitch," and "ass."

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: An Xbox with Kinect is shown and mentioned several times and is part of the movie's design. A character demonstrates how it radiates pinpoints of light (sensors) throughout a room, which can be seen in certain conditions. Other products displayed in the background include Pepsi, V8, Popchips, and Jif peanut butter. A Prius is mentioned. The Google web browser is shown.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The father is shown drinking beer and wine while watching TV in one scene. The mother gives the teen daughter a sleeping pill, and the father argues with her about it.