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Paranormal Activity 4
File:Paranormal Activity 4 Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
  • Henry Joost
  • Ariel Schulman
Screenplay byChristopher Landon
Story byChad Feehan
Produced by
  • Jason Blum
  • Oren Peli
  • Kathryn Newton
  • Matt Shively
  • Aiden Lovekamp
  • Brady Allen
  • Stephen Dunham
  • Alexondra Lee
  • Katie Featherston
CinematographyDoug Emmett
Edited byGregory Plotkin
Blumhouse Productions
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • October 19, 2012 (2012-10-19)
Running time
87 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$5 million[2]
Box office$142.8 million[2]

Paranormal Activity 4 is a 2012 American found footage supernatural horror film, directed by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost 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.


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

In November 2011, Alex Nelson lives in suburban Henderson, Nevada with her father Doug, mother Holly, and little brother Wyatt. Alex and her boyfriend Ben discover their new neighbor's son, Robbie, 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 named Tobi, in the care of the family. Over the next few days, many supernatural occurrences begin to take place.

The activity soon becomes violent; a chandelier falls from the ceiling and almost lands on Alex. One night, Alex notices several cars parked outside of Robbie's house and goes to investigate, but flees after being confronted by a strange woman. Later, Robbie draws a green symbol on Wyatt's back, which Alex later discovers is associated with witchcraft and demonic possession. Robbie takes Wyatt to his house and when Alex chases after him she meets Robbie's mother, revealed to be Katie. Then the knife that disappeared almost kills Doug. Wyatt later confides in Alex that Katie told him he was adopted, like Robbie, and that his birth family needs him. Later Wyatt, while taking a bath, is pulled underwater in the bathtub by an unseen force, he rises in an apparent trance. Later that night, Wyatt goes into Alex's room and levitates her while she sleeps. The next day, Wyatt refers to himself as "Hunter", telling Alex it is his true name.

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's car turns on by itself and begins spewing exhaust, but Alex escapes by breaking into the car and crashing through the garage door. The next day, Holly is violently thrown against the ceiling by the demon and dropped to the floor, killing her; Katie then appears and drags her dead body away. Ben arrives and leaves Alex a message before he is killed by Katie, who snaps his neck.

Alex and Doug arrive home and Doug goes next door, thinking he saw Holly and Wyatt. As he goes to investigate, Alex finds Ben's body before she is attacked. She flees to Katie's home, and searches for Doug but cannot find him. Alex eventually finds a screaming and helpless Doug being dragged down the hall to an undisclosed room. As she continues to search for Doug, she encounters the demonically possessed Katie who sprints towards the camera shrieking. She escapes Katie and finds Wyatt in the yard, who refuses to leave. When Alex looks up, she sees the coven approaching her; as she turns around a demonic Katie attacks her while the camera falls to the ground and the screen cuts to black.

In a post-credits scene, two Spanish-speaking men go into a mysterious store. After finding witchcraft products, they decide to leave but a woman encounters the two and says "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.


  • Kathryn Newton as Alex Nelson
  • Matt Shively as Ben
  • Aiden Lovekamp as Wyatt Nelson/Hunter Rey
  • Brady Allen as Robbie
  • Stephen Dunham as Doug Nelson
  • Alexondra Lee as Holly Nelson
  • Katie Featherston as Katie
  • Alisha Boe as Tara
  • Frank Welker as vocal effects



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 forty-eighth birthday.[9][10][11][12]


Box office[]

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]

Critical reception[]

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.[17] 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.[18]

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.[19][20]

Home media[]

The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc 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.[21] The post-credits scene was taken out of the film when the DVD was released.


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

Sequel and spinoff[]

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

The sequel and last installment in the series: Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, was released on October 23, 2015 and in 3-D.


  1. "PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 (15)". British Board of Film Classification. October 9, 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)". Box Office Mojo. November 29, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
  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". June 19, 2012. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  7. Sullivan, Kevin P. (August 29, 2012). "'Paranormal Activity 4': Five Secrets Revealed - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  8. Sullivan, Kevin P. (September 27, 2012). "'Paranormal Activity 4' Trailer #2: Five Key Scenes - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  9. "Actor Stephen Dunham dies at 48". Variety. September 18, 2012. Retrieved September 19, 2012.
  10. Lee, Youyoung (September 18, 2012). "Stephen Dunham Dead: 'DAG' Actor Dies At 48". Retrieved September 19, 2012.
  11. "Actor Stephen Dunham dies at 48". chicagotribune.comaccess. September 19, 2012.
  12. "Actor Stephen Dunham Bowers dies at age 48". Retrieved September 19, 2012.
  13. McClintock, Pamela (October 19, 2012). "Box Office Report: 'Paranormal 4' Scares Up $4.5 Mil in Thursday Night Shows". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  14. "Cinema shows Paranormal Activity instead of Madagascar 3 - Yahoo! Movies UK". October 23, 2012. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  15. Hoffer, Steven (October 23, 2012). "Nottingham Movie Theater Shows Paranormal Activity Instead Of Madagascar, Scares Hell Out Of Kids". Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  16. "Children see 'Saw 3D' at 'Megamind' screening after cinema mix-up | Film & TV News". Nme.Com. November 18, 2010. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  17. "Paranormal Activity 4". Rotten Tomatoes. November 23, 2012. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
  18. "Paranormal Activity 4 Reviews, Ratings, and Credit". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 22, 2012. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  19. Ryan Lambie (October 5, 2012). "Paranormal Activity 4 review". Den of Geek. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
  20. McWeeny, Drew (September 28, 2012). "Review: Paranormal Activity 4 treads water instead of pushing forward". Retrieved October 17, 2012.
  22. "34th Annual Young Artist Awards". Retrieved March 31, 2013.

External links[]

Template:Paranormal Activity