Not as good the second time around for PA..
Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)
Directed By: Tod Williams (The Door in the Floor)
I liked Paranormal Activity, and I probably liked it better than most. With the original film being passed off as a legit, lost footage found film, many people bought into it. Sure, things were slow at times because lets be honest, if this were to really happen it wouldn’t be action packed like a movie. So I bought what they were selling me. But with Paranormal Activity 2 the cat is out of the bag, we know it’s not real, so now would have been the time for some bells and whistles, but that’s not what we get. What we get is pretty much the same as what we got last time only it’s not nearly as good.
This film runs on a time line that consists of footage of before, during, and after the events of Paranormal Activity. The main characters we follow are of Katie’s sister, Kristi and her family which features her husband, step-daughter, and new born baby, Hunter. Of course Katie fits into things and while we don’t see her as much, she is there. So just what is going on? How does it fit in with baby Hunter? And what does Katie and what happens in the last film mean for this one? Well, if you can stay awake for about the first 30 minutes of the film you will find out.
Soo yeah, this film isn’t too exciting at first. While with the idea it was all “real” playing around in your head with the first movie making it OK with part 1, it doesn’t help matters at all here, as you just want the spooky stuff to get to happening already. And I’m sorry, you can call me picky if you want, but I’d rather be having stuff just get rolling than sit through the first half of the movie with only chairs falling over, doors opening, and spooky sounds and shadows being my only source of horror. It gives you a real “been there, done that” feeling, and it’s only the first sequel, that’s not good.
What I did like about this film however was the camera shots used. Following a “break in” at the start of the film, the family installs cameras in every room. They also are filming videos for baby Hunter, so that breaks down a few restrictions from the last film and opens up some cool stuff and some cool shots we’d not have been able to get before due to just one person mostly using a hand-held camera. This also opens up room for the movie’s best feature, a pretty cool jump scare that will probably make everyone who sees it jump. That’s kind of however the only really creepy thing that happens. Still, I highly suggest you watch this in the dark for a overall creepy feel and vibe. Just be warned, it also makes it easier to fall asleep during the first half.
Since our last time around with this franchise I’m sad to report that the characters aren’t any smarter this time around. People are messing with stuff they shouldn’t be and when things get crazy they only commit acts that make it worse. If this happened to me I’d be getting as far away from this madness as I could, I surely would not be busting out creepy boardgames in attempts to contact the spirits from the beyond. Doesn’t everyone know that always makes things worse?? But to spite them being rather ignorant, the film is done in a way like before that makes people seem at least like real people. And dare I say, most are kinda likable.
But now if you can make it awake to the last act of the film that’s where “business is about to pick up”, to quote a great sports commentator. There’s a few tense things that take place then, maybe not anything more than what you got with the first movie, but it’s OK and kicks the ass of the first 30 minutes for sure. Those last few moments of the film are when the movie is at it’s best and ties in everything with the first film, yet still leaves us with just as many questions if not more. Which may be done just because we know a PA 3 is on the way. Let’s hope with that it’s less slow and more full on than this. That being said, this is still worth at least a rent.
Once it’s been done it’s hard to do it again to the same quality and affect. Now Rec 2 was a film that not only upped the level from the original it was also very exciting. This movie keeps things at a slow pace most the way through and does pretty much the same as before. For the past couple years it seems like the big horror battle is between Paranormal Activity and SAW, so while the first PA kicked SAW 6’s ass, SAW 3D is waay better than this, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth at least one watch with a group of friends.
The Rating (7/10)