Paranormal Activity 4

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Paranormal Activity 4
Paranormal Activity 4 Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Henry Joost
Ariel Schulman
Produced by Jason Blum
Oren Peli
Screenplay by Christopher Landon
Story by Chad Feehan
Based on Paranormal Activity by
Oren Peli
Starring Kathryn Newton
Matt Shively
Aiden Lovekamp
Brady Allen
Stephen Dunham
Alexondra Lee
Katie Featherston
Cinematography Doug Emmett
Edited by Gregory Plotkin
Blumhouse Productions
Solana Films
Room 101, Inc.
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • October 19, 2012 (2012-10-19)
Running time
88 mins[1]
96 minutes (unrated cut)
Country United States
Language English
Budget $5 million[2]
Box office $140.8 million[2]

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. The film was released in theaters and IMAX on October 17, 2012 in the United Kingdom and was released on October 18, 2012 in the United States, by Paramount Pictures. It is the fourth installment in the Paranormal Activity series, and a sequel to Paranormal Activity 2, set several years later. Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension will be released on October 23, 2015, in the US.


On October 9, 2006, Kristi Rey and her husband Daniel are killed by her demon-possessed sister Katie (Katie Featherston). She then abducts Kristi's one-year-old son, Hunter. Text states that Katie and Hunter's whereabouts remained unknown.

In November 2011, a teenager named Alex (Kathryn Newton) lives in suburban Henderson, Nevada with her mother Holly (Alexondra Lee), her father Doug (Stephen Dunham), and her little brother Wyatt (Aiden Lovekamp). Alex and her boyfriend Ben (Matt Shively) discover their new neighbor's child, Robbie (Brady Allen), is hiding in their family treehouse. The next day, Robbie's mother falls ill and is taken to the hospital, leaving Robbie, who begins mentioning an invisible friend, in the care of the family. Over the next few days, supernatural occurrences begin. One night, Alex notices several cars outside Robbie's house, but flees after being confronted by a woman. Meanwhile, Robbie draws a green symbol on Wyatt's back, which Alex later determines to be associated with witchcraft and demonic possession.

The activity becomes violent; a chandelier falls from the ceiling and almost lands on Alex and a knife that disappeared in the kitchen nearly kills Doug. Robbie takes Wyatt to his house and when Alex enters she finds Robbie's mother Katie. Wyatt later confides in Alex that Katie told him he was adopted, like Robbie, and that his birth family needs him. After being violently pulled underwater in the bath by an unseen force, he goes into Alex's room and levitates her while she sleeps.

While alone in the house with Wyatt, Alex video-chats with Ben about her parents being mad at her when she hears the garage door open by itself; upon entering she is locked inside. Katie appears in the house and goes upstairs to Wyatt's room, where she tells him that she'll wait until he is "ready". The family car turns on by itself and begins spewing exhaust, but Alex escapes by breaking into the car and crashing out through the garage door. The next day, Holly is violently thrown against the ceiling by the demon, Katie appears and drags her dead body away. Ben arrives and leaves Alex a message before he is also killed by Katie.

Alex and Doug arrive home and Doug leaves next door, thinking he saw Wyatt. As he goes to investigate, Alex finds Ben's body before she is attacked. Fleeing in Katie's home, she searches for Doug but cannot find him. She avoids a demonic Katie and finds Wyatt in the yard, who refuses to leave. As Alex looks up, she sees the coven walking towards her before a demonic-faced Katie runs torwards her. Katie runs into the camera, screeching. The camera then abruptly goes dead, leaving the fate of Alex ambiguous.

In a post-credits scene, two Spanish-speaking men go into a mysterious store. After finding witchcraft products, they decide to leave but an old and scared Mexican woman encounters the two and states "esto es solo el comienzo" ("This is only the beginning"). Frightened by her, the men abruptly leave the store and the camera cuts out, setting up the events for Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones.



Paramount Pictures announced on January 2, 2012 that Paranormal Activity 4 was in the works. Information on the characters had been scarce, stating that Brady Allen was set to play a character named Robbie. Katie Featherston reprised her role as Katie, who was still possessed from the ending of the first two films, but other cast and characters that appeared in the film were kept under wraps. Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman returned to direct the film.[3][4][5]

On June 23, 2012, it was confirmed that the fourth film had begun filming.[6] A trailer debuted on August 3 in front of Total Recall. The first theatrical trailer was released for the film on August 1, 2012. The trailer showed that the film is a sequel to Paranormal Activity 2, following the story of possessed Katie and Hunter after their disappearance at the end of the second film. The movie also featured a new scare technique, of footage being shown from a laptop in a video chat, that the directors felt would rival the 'fan cam' from the previous movie and that because of it being familiar technology it was "built for a horror movie".[7] The movie also featured an Xbox Kinect, a MacBook Pro, smartphones and a Canon XA10.[8]

The end credits of the film include a dedication to actor Stephen Dunham, who played Alex's father Doug. Dunham died shortly after filming was completed, suffering a heart attack on September 14, 2012, which was his 48th birthday.[9][10][11][12]


Box office[edit]

As of December 23, 2012, the film has grossed $53,851,000 in North America and $86,855,358 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $140,706,358.

Paranormal Activity 4 did not perform as well as Paranormal Activity 2 or Paranormal Activity 3 as it debuted with $4.8 million in midnight showings. That made it the third highest in midnight grosses for a horror film behind only its predecessors, Paranormal Activity 3 ($8 million) and Paranormal Activity 2 ($6.3 million).[13] It then grossed $15 million in its opening day, also lower than the third film ($26.2 million) and second film ($20.1 million), bringing its total to $29 million in its opening weekend.[2]

A movie theatre chain in the United Kingdom, Cineworld, showed screenings of the film, Paranormal Activity 4 rather than the DreamWorks animated film, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, leaving children traumatized.[14][15] A similar event happened in the US in 2007, with screenings of The Hills Have Eyes 2 instead of The Last Mimzy, and in 2010 with screenings of Saw 3D instead of Megamind.[16]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on January 29, 2013.

The post-credits scene teases Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, which is a Latino spin-off of the Paranormal Activity series released on January 3, 2014.[17] The post-credits scene was taken out of the film when the DVD was released.

Critical reception[edit]

The film received mixed to negative reviews. At Rotten Tomatoes the film holds an approval rating of 24% based upon 103 reviews with an average rating of 4.3/10, indicating negative reviews.[18] The website's consensus stated that "While it does manage to wring a few more screams out of the franchise's surprisingly durable premise, Paranormal Activity 4 provides fans of the series with dismayingly diminishing returns." At Metacritic the film has a score of 40 out of 100 based on 22 reviews, indicating "mixed or average" reviews.[19] Drew McWeeny gave the film a C+, saying that while he felt that the film "played it safe", he still found the film to be shameful. Shaun Munro also reacted negatively, saying that he felt that the film would only be enjoyed by the "die-hard" fans of the previous films in the franchise. Ryan Lambie reacted negatively, giving the film a rating of 2/5, and saying that the film did not introduce any new ideas. Scott Weinberg gave a positive review, saying that there was "some fun" to be had in the film, however also felt that the film would likely only be enjoyed by fans of the previous films. Fred Topel also gave a positive review, saying that the film included iconography from some classic horror films.[20][21]


Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref.
2013 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actress Kathryn Newton Won [22]


Paramount announced that the fifth film, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension will be released on October 23, 2015.

A spinoff of the franchise called Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones was released on January 3, 2014.


  1. ^ "Title « British Board of Film Classification". Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  2. ^ a b c "Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)". Box Office Mojo. 2012-10-28. Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  3. ^ Miller, Daniel (January 1, 2012). "'Paranormal Activity 4' Will Hit Theaters October 19". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  4. ^ Sullivan, Kevin P. (January 1, 2012). "'Paranormal Activity 4' Confirmed By Paramount". MTV Movie News. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Paranormal Activity 4 Is Official". Bauer Consumer Media. Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Paranormal Activity 4 Begins Filming - IGN". 2012-06-19. Retrieved 2012-10-01. 
  7. ^ Sullivan, Kevin P. (2012-08-29). "'Paranormal Activity 4': Five Secrets Revealed - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". Retrieved 2012-10-01. 
  8. ^ Sullivan, Kevin P. (2012-09-27). "'Paranormal Activity 4' Trailer #2: Five Key Scenes - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". Retrieved 2012-10-01. 
  9. ^ "Actor Stephen Dunham dies at 48". Variety. Retrieved 2012-09-19. 
  10. ^ Lee, Youyoung (2012-09-18). "Stephen Dunham Dead: 'DAG' Actor Dies At 48". Retrieved 2012-09-19. 
  11. ^ "Actor Stephen Dunham dies at 48". chicagotribune.comaccess. 2012-09-19. 
  12. ^ "Actor Stephen Dunham Bowers dies at age 48". Retrieved 2012-09-19. 
  13. ^ McClintock, Pamela (2012-10-19). "Box Office Report: 'Paranormal 4' Scares Up $4.5 Mil in Thursday Night Shows". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  14. ^ "Cinema shows Paranormal Activity instead of Madagascar 3 - Yahoo! Movies UK". 2012-10-23. Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  15. ^ Hoffer, Steven (2012-10-23). "Nottingham Movie Theater Shows Paranormal Activity Instead Of Madagascar, Scares Hell Out Of Kids". Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  16. ^ "Children see 'Saw 3D' at 'Megamind' screening after cinema mix-up | Film & TV News". Nme.Com. 2010-11-18. Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Paranormal Activity 4". Rotten Tomatoes. 2012-11-23. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  19. ^ "Paranormal Activity 4 Reviews, Ratings, and Credit". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  20. ^ Ryan Lambie (2012-10-05). "Paranormal Activity 4 review". Den of Geek. Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  21. ^ McWeeny, Drew (2012-09-28). "Review: Paranormal Activity 4 treads water instead of pushing forward". Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  22. ^ "34th Annual Young Artist Awards". Retrieved 2013-03-31. 

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