Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)

Posted: February 4, 2011 in Movies

Well, it took just over a year, but the Paranormal Activity phenomenon finally lived up to the hype. Despite the lame opening frame, Paranormal Activity 2 pulled off a rare feat – the sequel is better than the original. I wasn’t really impressed with the first one, though, so this review could be like saying one would rather get spit on than pissed on. PA 2 represents the spit. The one task this sequel had to improve upon was delivering for a full 91 minutes. At the very least, this sequel must be able to maintain the levels the original set. Which basically means, start from the solid ending the first flick had and work your way up…

Our story begins with a family of three welcoming a new addition in baby Hunter. Dad and mom are excited and so is the teenaged big sister. And their dog Abby. After their house is trashed, they put in a security camera system all over the joint. Plus, the family has a home movie fetish, as one of them is always armed with a camera. Nights go by and the mother is starting to hear things and witnesses pans fall off the kitchen rack and doors slamming behind her. Then the daughter starts hearing strange noises and catches a few random things moving on camera. The dog is pissed every night, yet no one reacts. Dad isn’t buying any of it and goes out of his way to prove there is a rationale explanation. For the most part, he succeeds.

Eventually, the family wises up and begins to go back and check the security camera footage. Finally, the family realizes something is not right as they watch doors slamming, and people being dragged around the house. They come to the realization that the suggested entity is getting more aggressive as the nights go by. Only toward the end, do they realize what the angry entity wants and who is doing its bidding.

An element this flick may have taken a step backwards on is the realistic actions of the projected “real” characters. Why are these people, in what is essentially a fake/reality show, making scripted horror movie mistakes? Especially when this story tries to enhance the terror with the addition of a baby in danger. Decisions and dialogue are counter-productive to what the Paranormal Activity franchise is trying to accomplish. The flick is already working with minimal weapons to shock the audience, so don’t insult them with erroneous actions depicted via the characters. But it is, after all, a horror movie.

In reality, this flick really needs to do just one thing. Scare the crap out of the viewer over and over again. With a few new toys at its disposal, the formula conjured up will deliver more scares early on. Even though one can pinpoint when it will happen, the scares still get them. The first flick could only achieve this reaction during the solid ten minute closing. PA 2 not only has a better ending, it has a decent opening act with a steady build up that smoothly transitions to the climatic moments.

Overall, Paranormal Activity 2 will have one sleeping with both eyes open after watching. When the film wants to scare you, it does with force. A tense atmosphere created can have one overlook the fact that some of the characters actions – and reactions – are a little far-fetched. This is the scary flick we were supposed to get a year ago, and PA2 is far more frightening than it’s original.

Download it below and decide for yourself.

IMBD: Link | Official movie site: Link

  1. Pam Schaeffer says:

    Watched this one last night too, by myself. Not a great idea LOL. My son’s name is Hunter so freaked me out a bit more. I can’t say this movie really scared me, more like spooked me. I did leave the bathroom light on last night.

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