Paranormal Activity 2

The story of Paranormal Activity‘s meteoric rise to fame as the truly independent film that could is already legendary. It’s one of the most profitable films in history. So, like other film festival horror movies that end up making a load of cash (the Saw films, The Descent), a sequel is tragically inevitable. Unfortunately, everything that was fresh, and creepy about the original is either lacking, a pale version of what it could have been.

The story takes place during the same time as PA1.  Micah and Katie play large parts.  But the majority of the story revolves around Katie’s sister, who like Katie, shares a sense about these things.  There’s a Mexican nanny, a dog, and a baby.  And they all sense and know things that adult white people don’t seem to get.  Is this not a cliche that deserves to be chastised and put the rest?  The upper-middle class family even fires the nanny after discovering her burning sage, or incense.  This scene, of course, elicits a laugh from the audience, even though we all know she ends up being right.  Silly minorities.

Where PA1, the audience is in the pot of water crawling to a slow boil, and by the time we all noticed, it was too late.  PA2 didn’t make this effort, and instead, traded down for the tired bag of tricks used for the majority of poor horror films, and their sequels.  Director Tod Williams was so unsure of his abilities he relies on loud noises to get his scares.  And there were plenty of loud noises.  When he worries the audience isn’t quite smart enough to figure out what’s happening, he stages an entire scene where dialog is provided for some of the slower viewers.

Still, the cinema verite style, so popular in the genre these days, is still effective.  The filmmakers went so far as to thank the “families of the deceased” before the film started, in order to keep a sense of ‘discovered footage’ alive.  However, the addition of six stationary cameras, under the guise of home protection, ruins of a bit of effect.   This is an unremarkable film that will successfully ride the coat tails of its predecessor.


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7 Responses to “Paranormal Activity 2”
  1. melanie says:

    blair witch started this trend. it takes a lot to make this type of film fresh and different. paranormal activity 1 succeeded in being creepy more than outright scary IMO. the low budget was impressive- making a good suspenseful movie that doesn’t overdo effects and blood/body count. well done.

    part 2 will get my attention this next week. review will follow on my blog. 🙂
    melanie´s last blog post ..Patriots Player Spotlight- Dane Fletcher

  2. Blake says:

    @ melanie – Oh good! I can’t wait to read it. But I have to disagree, at least I know PA1 scared ME. It was creepy AND scary.

  3. Dan says:

    Shame. Although it was expected. I’ll end up watching this film some time as I like this sort of thing but I won’t be rushing to the theatre.
    Dan´s last blog post ..Review- Ils “Them”

  4. melanie says:

    the part i found most scary was not the obvious stuff…the bumps in the night, but that chilling smirk she gives when she is possessed. classic.
    melanie´s last blog post ..Patriots Player Spotlight- Dane Fletcher

  5. Colin says:

    Another film I won’t be watching, to be fair. I enjoyed the first one, but everything I’ve read about the second appals me. This seems as good a place as any to mention the movie Four Boxes, though, which has a similar home-cooked flavour and doesn’t have a numeral as a suffix. Ch-ch-check it out!

  6. CMrok93 says:

    Works well with its scares, and great deal of suspense. Almost better than the first, but yet, too rushed by the end. Nice post, check out my review when you can!
    CMrok93´s last blog post ..Paranormal Activity 2 2010

  7. Ken says:

    Very disappointed with this film. Part one was much better. One thing I did not really understand is why if they were worried about another break and enter they did not get a security alarm installed? This film could have been much better if they concentrated more on the demon side and less on release date.

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