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>> Saturday, October 23, 2010

A lot more paranormal activity.

I don't think a person can begin to talk about Paranormal Activity 2 without speaking about the first film, Paranormal Activity. In my review for the first film I concluded it was a patient man's movie. If you gave it enough of your time and had the right atmosphere, the movie's quietness and eeriness would serve you well when the big moments came. I also mentioned that Paranormal Activity was also lacking a lot of those big moments. I later found out the film was made for only $11, 000 and this made those mistakes more forgivable. A sequel however, that has a budget roughly 200 times higher than that of the original, has no excuse for failing. Thankfully, it doesn't.

The movie opens with another couple, living in the suburbs. This couple has a fourteen year old daughter, and a baby boy named Hunter. At this point a person is not sure who these people are and how or if they connect to the previous film's stars, Katie and Micah. That guessing game doesn't continue for long as it is soon revealed that Katie (Katie Featherston)is the mother's sister. I would like to also apologize for the lack of character and actor names in this review, as IMDb and Paramount seem to want to uphold the illusion that this film is real - even if we all know otherwise.

It isn't long before unexplained things start to happen. It starts off small (the pool lights going out) and eventually gets bigger (shadows appearing and doors slamming). The good news here is that PA2 moves at a much quicker pace than it's predecessor, having things happen almost immediately - even if they aren't related to the actual 'paranormal activity'. The movie is told this time through a handheld camera accompanied by an in-home security camera system, which was installed shortly after a break-in during the first few minutes. It works effectively as this time we don't have to buy into the unlikely fact that someone will have a camera on them at all times. It also allows us to see events (no matter how big) unfold to individuals while alone at home.

I don't want to go much further into the plot. What I will comment on is that if you take a look at the poster for the film, you may notice that the baby in the crib is not in the reflection in the mirror - even though everything else is. This is not necessarily important to PA2, nor does it give anything away, it's just an interesting thing to take notice of.

I am giving Paranormal Activity 2 a wide open door. It was not only entertaining and vastly superior to the first, but its story also tied in very well in a way that sheds some unexpected light on the overall story. This is either a sequel ploy or it was planned all along. ;-) Not only does it move at a nice pace but it effectively scares and even shocks you at just the right moments , all without seeming cheesy. This is definitely a movie to see in the theatres not only this Halloween, but beyond the season as well. It's by far the scariest movie of the year and will not disappoint.

*Stills courtesy of Paramount Pictures


Editing Luke October 25, 2010 at 10:18 PM  

I'm looking forward to seeing this one as I thought Paranormal Activity was one of the best horror/thriller films made in recent memory - regardless of the small budget, it brought something fresh to what is generally a very tired genre.

I just hope this one isn't too produced, but I'll have to check it out.

Angry Charlie October 26, 2010 at 7:25 AM  

I agree with the comment about the first PA. The second is definitely not too produced. In fact, it hits its stride perfectly with refined actors and more likable characters. It takes what worked with the first one and uses it to its full advantage without resorting to cheap special effects. I think you will really like this one.

Definitely on par with Halloween and Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen. ;-)

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