Considering the travesty that was "Blair Witch 2," it's a miracle that the studios got it right this time and actually made a sequel to a hit horror mockumentary that emulated the first film in every aspect.
"Paranormal Activity 2" is almost the same movie as the original "Paranormal," but with more characters, better acting and some special effects. Katie Featherston, who appeared in the first film, is back as the same character -- this time in more of a secondary role. The film ties the events of the first film in with a new story that takes place at the same time as the events in Part 1.
This time the focus is on the haunting of Katie's sister, Kristi and husband Dan, hwo move into a new home in Carlsbad, Calif. The haunting starts with an apparent break-in which, conveniently, inspired the already handheld camera happy family to install 24-hour surveillance cameras throughout the house to catch all the action we'll be seeing throughout the rest of the movie.
The first film only had two people -- Katie and her partner -- facing a poltergeist. This one has five characters -- mom, dad, daughter, baby, and Mexican nanny, who is the only one clued into the haunting during the film's first third.
The haunting starts modestly, with household objects like the pool cleaner acting strangely, then picks up steam when all the cupboards burst open. The older daughter does some research and suspects a relative may have made a deal with a demon for wealth nearly 10 years ago. As a result, the demon is entitled to take the family's first born son -- who just happens to be the baby, Hunter, that is living at home with the family.
Things naturally progress from there, in the mockumentary style established in the first film. There are some effective scares, the performances are good and the ending as chilling as the first film's.
While not as original as the first film, it's just as scary and scores points for cleverly tying the two stories together. It will take some serious storytelling chops to do the same thing for the inevitable "Paranormal Activity 3."
Just as scary as the first movie? Don't make me laugh. Paranormal Activity was one of the most boring movies I ever sat through, hoping for a decent payoff. No dice; the weak final shot of the movie was the straw that broke the camel's back. That's not to say I won't see this one, but I'll set my expectations as low as possible...
Posted by Bleck on November 3, 2010
I agree with this review, Lucius! I loved the first flick and the sequel somehow managed to surprise me and equal, or even surpass, the first. This movie was tense. I was actually getting stomach pains because I was getting so tight with anticipation. The cabinets in the kitchen bursting open was out of nowhere and quite a jolt! Awesome stuff. Kudos on the review! Sorry about the moron who posted above me.
Posted by Dan on December 26, 2010
Loved it, but was nowhere as scary as the first. When I got home after PA 1, I didn't even dare enter my bedroom. Not so with this one.
Posted by TC on February 22, 2011
Like the first movie, this one sucked on toast. Better acting? Hardly. Scarier? Nope. Predicatble. Horrible. A waste of time.
Posted by Flipsider99 on February 21, 2013
I agree with the negative reviews. None of the Paranormal movies are any good, and this one is no exception. Bad acting, bad writing, lame scares... this is the modern day equivalent of Amityville Horror, a lame horror franchise that was never any good but yet somehow keeps getting sequels.
Rank this film on a '666 scale' of one to six (left to right). Based on 1723 votes.