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.
—Alison Willmore Movieline
Paranormal Activity 4 will please the fans, and that should sustain this low-budget, highly profitable franchise.
—Andy Wester New York Times
The ending steals actionably from "The Blair Witch Project," the movie that helped spawn these first-person chillers.
—Wesley Morris Boston Globe
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.
—Adam Markovitz Entertainment Weekly
This is one horror franchise that's burned itself out, and then some – not even the rare shock cuts to nothing much at all will startle anyone over the age of 8.
—Marc Savlov Austin Chronicle