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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Paranormal Activity 4 can be found here.
Alex Nelson (Kathryn Newton) takes her boyfriend Ben (Matt Shively) to see her playhouse and is surprised to find 6-year-old Robbie (Brady Allen), a new kid from across the street, sitting inside. She takes him back home but later that night hears an ambulance outside Robbie's house. He shows up the next morning with the news that his mother was taken to the hospital, so Alex's mother Holly (Alexondra Lee) offers to take care of Robbie for a few days. Robbie takes to Alex's 6-year-old brother Wyatt (Aiden Lovekamp), but strange, seemingly supernatural things start happening in the Nelson household so Ben sets up laptop computers to record what's going on.
Paranormal Activity 4 is the fourth movie in the Paranormal Activity series, following Paranormal Activity (2007), Paranormal Activity 2 (2010) and Paranormal Activity 3 (2011), and followed by Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014) and Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (2015). The screenplay for Paranormal Activity 4 was written by American screenwriter Zack Estrin.
Although the four Paranormal movies were released sequentially, there is much time-jumping between them. For example, PA 2 begins two months before the events depicted in PA and provides an explanation of the aftermath of both. PA 3 is actually a prequel to both PA and PA 2, showing events that occurred 18 years before when Katie (Katie Featherston) and Kristi (Sprague Grayden) were children. PA 4 is a sequel to PA 2, set five years after Katie abducts her sister Kristi's infant son Hunter. Consequently, the first three movies can be watched either sequentially or chronologically. It makes no difference. However, PA 4 is a sequel to PA 2, set five years after Katie abducted her sister Kristi's infant son Hunter. The only references to the first three movies are in the opening scenes when it shows Katie playing with baby Hunter and then abducting him from his crib and again at the end of the movie. Any other references made in PA 4 to people (such as Toby) and things (such as the circle in the triangle) that were introduced in the first three movies will go over the heads of a viewer who hasn't seen them first. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that viewers see the first three movies before watching PA 4.
Ben is using Xbox Kinect, which uses infrared in order to film in a dark room. It projects tracking dots that have the advantage of picking up body movement.
Two distinct demonic shadows can be seen. One is the tall, thin shadow in Alex's closet. The other is the shadow 'child' that follows Wyatt downstairs. However, many viewers think they may be the same demon, possibly the one named Toby, introduced in Paranormal Activity 3.
Looking up the symbol Robbie painted on Wyatt's back, they learn that it is the Hattusac symbol of fertility, used in Hittite rituals where a demon would take possession of a male. Hattusa, located in what is now Turkey, was the capital of the Hittite Empire, established in the 18th century B.C. According to the description on the website, the Hitties believed that, in order for a demon to take possession of a male, three stages had to be completed: (1) Actuation, in which the host will begin to exhibit signs of preternatural ability, (2) Affirmation, in which the host has to prove its preternatural ability to the demon, and (3) Sacrifice, in which the host must spill the blood of an "inviolate" (a being that has not been profaned and remains pure), which Ben translates as a "virgin".
According to the timestamps on the videos, he stayed for eight nights.
When Alex and Doug go out to dinner in order to "talk", Holly is attacked and killed by an unseen force, and Katie hides her body. Ben drops by but, when he finds no one home, he logs on to Alex's computer, and Katie snaps his neck, hiding the body in Alex's closet. On their way home, Doug and Alex see Katie and Wyatt together, so Doug goes to talk to them while Alex goes up to her room and telephones Ben. She hears his cellphone ringing in her closet and finds his body. The unseen force suddenly pulls her from the closet, down the stairs, and out into the yard. Alex runs to Robbie's house, screaming and calling to her dad, only to see him being pulled down a hallway by the unseen force. She hears Wyatt calling to her for help and goes looking for him, but she is chased by a woman with sharp teeth. In the final scene, she locates Wyatt in the yard and rushes out to help him just as a group of people with sharp teeth advance toward them.
Just like the previous ones, the third sequel gets an unrated cut as well. The new footage doesn't improve the weakest part so far at all but it doesn't make the movie worse either. They're a nice bonus and that's it. One shouldn't expect classic unrated footage though. But then again who would have expected otherwise? In total the unrated version features nearly 10 minutes of extended and new footage and a detailed comparison between both versions with pictures can be found here.
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