Critic Reviews

40

Metascore

Based on 22 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
70
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.
60
This film's strong suit is that it finally feels contemporary.
60
Catfish pair Joost and Ariel Schulman keep the franchise firmly on track with a satisfyingly scary fourth instalment.
60
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.
50
There's virtually nothing new in the dull Paranormal Activity 4 except for a modification in the method of documenting the spooky shenanigans.
50
This is hardly reinventing the wheel, but it is serviceable, if you're looking for a few shivery communal scares.
50
The ending steals actionably from "The Blair Witch Project," the movie that helped spawn these first-person chillers.
42
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.
40
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.
38
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.
25
They could have called this Paranormal Inactivity.
20
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.

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