Saw It For You: Paranormal Activity 4

I’m a fan of supernatural horror with a slow burn. That’s why I was so thrilled to be a part of a test screening of the upcoming horror movie Paranormal Activity 4. It comes out October 21, but thanks to my signing the wrong name to the NDA, you don’t need to see it! I saw it for you.

Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)

Synopsis. A new family moves next door to Katie’s, but little does she know their supernatural activity… is also paranormal.


  • To provide the most realistic performance possible, actress Madison Briar spent two months living in a haunted house. After her death she was replaced by Katie Featherston.
  • Animal handlers had great difficulty training the family dog to act frightened of The Possessor (actor Micah Sloat), due to Sloat’s “overpowering cooked meat smell.”
  • The rickety house that spectacularly collapses in the movie’s climax was not a CGI special effect. It was also not intentional. The construction company is currently under investigation.
  • In interviews, character actor Martin James Kelly remarked several times that he’d had “one ghost of a time” on set; director Ariel Schulman later confirmed that Kelly had had sex with a ghost.
  • Featherston’s line about wanting to “haunt the fuck out of an Arby’s Beef-N-Cheddar right about now” was ad-libbed.


  • In the backyard scene, the ghost is noticeably distracted by his trainer off-camera.
  • All the video footage Katie records inexplicably shows her in frame, holding the same video camera she’s taking the footage with.
  • In several exterior shots, another film crew can be seen filming the original Paranormal Activity (2007) across the street.
  • Boom mic in shot. In the shower scene, right after a voice screams “Doug, watch your goddamn boom mic.”
  • When Professor Weissgeist demonstrates the SpectroFinder 9000, he rotates the Poltergauge to “Vaporonic” even though he says the ghost is classified “Paranormous.”
  • Plot hole. Katie’s father paralyzes the ghost by shooting it through the C7 vertebra.
  • Professor Weissgeist tells Scared Fisherman #2 that ghosts can only possess bones — but  sharks have cartilage, so there would have been no way for the aquarium to become “giga-haunted.”
  • The opposite of “paranormal” is “normal.” It is not “regu-normal” as Katie says in the last line of the film.
  • “The End” was misspelled.

Memorable Quotes

Katie: What a creepy family to move next door to. I hope they’re not haunted or something.

Man on Bus #1: Seems like another normal day.
Spooked Man on Bus: Yeah… but something about it is a little spooky.

Katie: Dad, what if there is a ghost in the house?
Katie’s Father: Katie, for as long as I’ve known you I’ve been your father.

Professor Weissgeist: And when the switch is set to detect negavertic energy, it sends an autologic pulse vector back along the thaumaturgic ley conduit!
Katie: Talk English, Professor!
Professor Weissgeist: It’ll seriously fuck up some ghost asses.

The Ned

  • Sam

    Trivia: In the snowboarding scene, the ghost actually lands a 720, not a 540, as shouted by the announcers.

  • Chris

    Trivia: The 3 year litigation about "phantom vs ghosts" discrimination was finally settled out of court. One lawyer was overheard saying "You've already got Menace … and that purple suit guy. This movie is for ghosts only"

  • Jim

    Mistakes: "Ghost Bullets" cannot be bought at local hardware stores, and especially not in the volumes depicted in the film. In the real world Ghost ammunition is only issued to high ranking secret service personnel.

    • Ray

      Well, in most states and municipalities, yes.

      But New York City's '84 ruling on anti-ghost vigilante activities (The famous 'Staypuft Act') allows private citizens to own and sell anti-ghost weaponry with a license.

      Or without a license. There were a few loopholes.

  • RoboGoofers

    Mistake: During the scene in the forest when Katie fears she is being chased by something and runs wildly down the path in a panic, only to get home and realize she was being irrational, the cutaway shots show only an empty forest.
    These shots were meant to contain a CGI ghost.

    • Hagrok

      I read that first as "cutaway shorts". That would be a much better scene.

  • bjnlong

    Trivia: Three scenes, totaling a half-hour in length, were candid footage of the actors waiting for the ghost's makeup to be finished. The plotline about a ghost Mary Kay representative was started from the ad-libbed line "What does a ghost need with makeup?" from one of these scenes.

  • Incorrectly regarded as goofs: Katie's claims of having fought a "skyscraper-sized ghost" could have occurred in the four-day period between the movies.

  • Snow_Dogs

    The elderly woman that warns Katie not move into the house at the beginning of the movie is in fact Katie who has travelled back in time to warn herself not to move into the house. The scene that reveals this was cut during editing.

  • SwiftAusterity

    Celebrity Cameo: Mover #2 was played by The Box Ghost.

  • I see you've followed up on your love for those Awful Movie Database articles from a few years back.

    • DeadlyGrim

      What? Why is this getting downvoted? The Awful Movie Database was awesome and we need more like it!

  • Mistake: Cameo by Ernie Hudson where he looks at the camera and says "Who you gonna call?" was not planned, he just does that whenever he sees a gathering of three or more people.

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