We're still seeing things through handheld devices and built-in laptop cameras, even though nobody seems interested in looking at the footage the cameras were supposedly recording.
- Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine, October 22, 2012
Even for a something about supernatural shenanigans, this ending is embarrassing.
- Wesley Morris, Boston Globe, October 21, 2012
They could have called this Paranormal Inactivity.
- James Berardinelli, ReelViews, October 21, 2012
The mood is often playful, with teases and fake-outs that are sometimes humorous and usually right before shocks. Violence is rare, quick and devoid of lingering close-ups.
- Andy Webster, New York Times, October 21, 2012
For all its digital gleam, PA4 is refreshingly old-fashioned from the jump-out-and-say-boo school, joyously employing a host of traditional horror movie tricks with consummate skill.
- Jim Schembri, 3AW, October 19, 2012
Screenwriter Christopher Landon, along with co-directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, make a truly lame attempt at establishing a supernatural mythology to explain all this ...
- Chuck Wilson, Village Voice, October 19, 2012
It's all faint-by-numbers this time, without even a cool device like the low-tech fan cam from PA3 to interest us or really scare us.
- Peter Howell, Toronto Star, October 19, 2012
There is still activity, I regret to report, and none of it is of the normal variety.
- Sara Stewart, New York Post, October 19, 2012
The scares are hit-and-miss, but at least Alex and Ben are fun to hang out with.
- Rafer Guzman, Newsday, October 19, 2012
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.
- Adam Markovitz, Entertainment Weekly, October 18, 2012
The franchise that capitalized on the found-footage craze has gotten lost.
- Claudia Puig, USA Today, October 18, 2012
This film's strong suit is that it finally feels contemporary.
- Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, October 18, 2012
Forgettable but well-executed, Paranormal Activity 4 gives you exactly what you'd expect and nothing more.
- Anthony O'Connor, FILMINK (Australia), October 18, 2012
Of course, a promise of more activity to come. But unless moviegoers think it's worth watching another whole cast of characters sleep while their furniture moves around them, only diehard fans will stay awake for that next entry.
- Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News, October 18, 2012
Catfish pair Joost and Ariel Schulman keep the franchise firmly on track with a satisfyingly scary fourth instalment.
- Kim Newman, Empire Magazine, October 18, 2012
There's a point at which movies become only merchandise, and the Paranormal franchise may be heading for that nexus, that nadir.
- Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine, October 18, 2012
A rickety old ride and no mistake, this instalment is for franchise fans only.
- Chris Blohm, Little White Lies, October 24, 2012
Sadly continues the series' downslide, most drearily with a mid-film twist that enables the filmmakers to go about essentially remaking the second entry.
- Chuck Bowen, Slant Magazine, October 19, 2012
The mythology has deepened, largely to the negative, and the formula is as rigid as the fixins of a fast-food sandwich-tastes the same in every city. But the effects are eternally reliable.
- Scott Tobias, AV Club, October 19, 2012
There are at least a half-dozen or so decent jolts to be enjoyed over the film's running time, but prepare for a long wait to actually get to them.
- Alonso Duralde, The Wrap, October 19, 2012