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 $140,706,358[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 5 will be released in October 2016 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 1 year old son, Hunter, unaware that Daniel's teenage daughter, Ali, is still alive and away on a school trip. A text states that Katie and Hunter's whereabouts remained unknown.

Alex (Kathryn Newton) films her younger brother, Wyatt's (Aiden Lovekamp), soccer match. At Alex's house, she shows her boyfriend Ben (Matt Shively) the tree house in the garden. Here they discover Robbie (Brady Allen), the neighbor's child. Puzzled as to why he is there, she takes him back to his own house across the street. In the early hours of the next morning, Alex hears an ambulance outside at Robbie's house. That day, Robbie turns up at the house after Alex's mom, Holly (Alexondra Lee), offered to look after him for a few days, while Robbie's mother is admitted to hospital. Later on, Alex finds Wyatt and Robbie in her treehouse talking to Robbie's invisible friend who Robbie calls Toby. In the evening, Wyatt plays multi-player on the Kinect by himself, while Robbie sits on the sofa. Ben asks who Wyatt is playing with and Robbie answers that it's the invisible friend from the tree house. Ben turns the lights off and shows Wyatt the infra-red tracking dots. As Alex, Ben and Wyatt dance in the dark, Robbie sits on the sofa, where the camera detects an unknown figure moving next to him. The next day Ben reveals to Alex that his computer automatically records their webcam chats, and in the middle of the night while Alex was sleeping, Robbie came in and slept next to her. Baffled by his odd behavior, Ben offers to install laptops around the house to record any other strange occurrences. Over the next couple of days, the computer records strange events around the house, including Robbie waking up in the middle of the night to talk to Toby and Robbie and Wyatt chasing the silhouette of a small child figure throughout the house. Robbie draws a strange symbol on Wyatt's back, which Alex later finds to be part of an old cult (first appeared in Paranormal Activity 3).

Late one night Alex notices several black cars outside Robbie's house across the street; upon investigating, she discovers several women in black garb entering the house. She is confronted by one of these women and flees the scene. The next day Alex is home alone, and after hearing noises, follows them to the hallway, where the chandelier falls from the ceiling and smashes into the floor, almost killing her. Although her father Doug (Stephen Dunham) blames the light fixtures, Alex is suspicious that Robbie did it.The following day, Alex sees Robbie and Wyatt entering Robbie's house across the street. Alex follows them to discover that Robbie's mother Katie (from Paranormal Activity 1) is actually home, and shows no sign of illness. That night, Doug experiences paranormal activity himself when one of Holly's missing knives falls from the ceiling almost hitting him.

On another night, Wyatt begins talking to an invisible figure, insisting that his name isn't Hunter. During this conversation a figure approaches him, but is interrupted when Doug enters the room. Holly takes Wyatt for a bath and leaves him alone when he is violently pulled under and after a couple minutes he comes back up calm and sedated, now referring to himself as Hunter. Wyatt tells Alex that Katie told him he was adopted, like Robbie. Alex questions her parents about Wyatt's real parents, but they refuse to say anything. That night, Wyatt walks into Alex's room and watches as she levitates above her bed. The next day, Alex is home alone talking with Ben on the computer when suddenly the garage door opens. She goes to the garage and closes the door and goes back to the kitchen when the garage door opens again. She goes back to the garage and suddenly the garage door slams shut and so does the other door and the car turns on, filling the garage with carbon monoxide. Meanwhile, Wyatt is hiding in the bathroom connected to his room as Katie walks in and asks him to come out, using the name Hunter. She then tells him that she'll wait for him until he's ready. Meanwhile, in the garage, Alex is suffocating from the carbon monoxide so she picks up a golf club and smashes a window in the car, goes into the car and drives it through the garage door, giving herself fresh air. Her parents come and aren't convinced by her story.

The next day, Holly is alone, and begins to hear strange noises. A possessed Katie enters the house undetected, and heads upstairs. When Holly enters the lounge an unseen entity suddenly picks her up and violently throws her against the wall. The unseen force drops her to the floor with a snap, killing her. Katie returns to drag her body away. Ben later arrives to discover no one is home. He goes to view the footage in Alex's bedroom but can't access it but Katie appears behind him and breaks his neck. Alex and her father arrive, and he thinks he sees Holly with Wyatt walking to Katie's house. As he goes to explore, Alex goes home and discovers Ben's body.

Alex runs out of the house and over to Katie's house to warn her dad, but witnesses him being dragged violently through the house by the unseen entity. She runs to a bedroom at the far end of the house with Spanish Newspapers on the windows, when she hears Wyatt scream her name. As she turns around to head back out, Katie appears at the other end of the hallway and charges towards her, demonically screaming and with a demonic face. Alex quickly runs and climbs out of the window where she discovers Wyatt standing outside. She pleads with him to run away with her, but he stands there, blank-faced and unmoved, just as numerous blank-faced women appear in Katie's garden wearing the same symbol Robbie drew on Wyatt. Alex turns the other way only to be encountered by a possessed Katie, killing her as the camera goes dead.

In a post-credits scene (seen only in cinemas), two men with a camera go into a roadside store. Soon after entering the store and seeing a collection of crosses, candles, and religious figures, one of the men exclaims in Spanish that the store deals in witchcraft, and they decide to run to the exit. An old woman suddenly appears and says in Spanish, "this is only the beginning". Frightened, the men flee from the store and the camera cuts out, setting up the events for 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 Paranormal Activity 5 will be released in 2015.

A spinoff of the franchise called Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones was released in 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. 

External links[edit]