Paranormal Activity 2 Review
Written by: ReelyBored
Disclaimer: You will NOT like this movie if you hated the first movie!
Plot - After experiencing what they think are a series of break-ins, a family sets up security cameras around their home, only to realize that the events unfolding before them are more sinister than they seem.
After watching the first Paranormal Activity last year in the theater, I vowed to never go see a movie on opening night. Not because I hated the movie, on the contrary, I actually really enjoyed it. The reason I made such a vow was because of the countless "tweens" that were present that night that almost ruined the experience for me. This time around I told my wife that we would wait until the middle of next week after the movies' opening to avoid the crowd, lines and of course the "tweens". Needless to say, I could not keep my own promise and I went out to catch the midnight showing of Paranormal Activity 2. Oh, how I hoped (and prayed) that there would be no "tweens" present, but, alas, the gods did not hear my pleas.
In this sequel, the demon returns to do what it does best - terrorize. To say that this movie is a sequel would be misleading, rather, it is more of a tie-in to the first film which sheds some light as to why these paranormal occurrences are happening. One of the things that I feared the most was the fact that Hollywood had a goldmine on their hands and that this film was going to suffer the Blair Witch 2 pandemic. Fortunately for all Paranormal Activity fans, it did not. Hollywood execs made the smart decision from straying from the original formula of its predecessor and kept to its indie feel of the film despite it having a larger budget. Forget CGI (Computer Generated Images) as there were none in this film (at least none that I've noticed)! Most of the effects were practical and on par with the effects seen in the original film, which is a very good thing!
Director Tod Williams, along with writer and the first film's director, Oren Peli, certainly know how to build up the suspense and tension. While some (and there were plenty of movie-goers who thought so) believe that the film's pace can be slow, it is in these moments where the tension is being built as everyone in the theater waits in anticipation for something to happen. The pay-off is well worth the wait and one must have some patience with these movies as something will happen it's just a matter of when. Many movie-goers could not grasp the concept of tension building and playing on one's psychology whilst watching the film. It is the younger generation of movie-goers that cannot grasp this concept and simply want to see rather than use their imagination. I say this because I was surrounded by such folk who moaned when their expectations fell short when nothing happened. What they failed to realized was that something did happen in that the filmmakers were able to garnish an emotional response, not to mention have everyone on the edge of their seats with anticipation.
As with the first film, sound played a major part in the scares and there were plenty in this film! This movie is best viewed in a theater with excellent surround sound. The chairs in the theater I was in vibrated as it seemed that the bass was cranked all the way up which sort of made the movie an almost interactive experience. Another thing which I liked very much was the fact that the action took place in many parts of the home and was captured by multiple cameras that are strategically placed throughout to capture what the family thinks are burglars/vandals breaking into their home. This was different than the first film where only one camera was used.
Despite my overall enjoyment and like of the film, I felt that there was one major drawback. The film was pretty much a companion to the first film. Sure there were loads of jump scares and genuinely creepy moments, but there was nothing new added to the formula. As I mentioned before, it is a tie-in to the first film so some new information was included in the film that would probably make you go, "Ooooooh, now I understand why!" But it seemed to me that the filmmakers sole purpose for making this film was to see how many more scares they can provide for the audience. Not saying that this is a bad thing, but did not feel an overall progression in the story. Still, there were scares galore in this movie! Throw a dog, a baby and a family into the mix and the possibilities are endless!
Does Paranormal Activity 2 deliver? Hell yes! If you allow yourself to be a part of the experience, you will be scared or at least feel the tension and anticipation that the movie provides. If not, you will probably not enjoy it. Overall, a well made film and, although it uses the same formula as the first film, it still works and the scares can, arguably, be more frightening than its predecessor. I say go watch it and have a good time!
**** of *****