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.
Daniel Rey along with his wife, Kristi; daughter, Ali; toddler son, Hunter, and their dog, move to Carlsbad, California. A few days later their residence is broken into, however, nothing appears to be missing. In order to prevent re-occurrences, they install a number of security cameras that will record everything on a DVR. After they hire a Spanish-speaking nanny to look after Hunter, she informs them that there is something wrong in their house and performs prayers, much to the chagrin of Daniel, who lets her go. He will subsequently regret this decision as more inexplicable and strange incidents occur, with Ali concluding, after a research, that their house may be possessed by a demonic entity. Written by
A Step-Down for a Few Reasons, but "Paranormal Activity 2" Still Delivers the Thrills Overall, and is a Very Fun Ride...
I'm a bit torn. I feel as though my score of 6 out of 10 may be misleading. For me, a 6 out of 10 film is generally a film I really enjoyed, but felt was a bit too basic, or had some major flaws. And that's what I thought about "Paranormal Activity 2." I really, honestly enjoyed it. It's a lot of fun to watch, and is quite scary at times. I've even watched it repeatedly. It had a lot of creepy moments, it had some really funny humor, and it did something a little different with the whole "found footage" genre. But all of that being said, there were some major problems with it, hence, I had to take off a few points.
Looking back at a lot of my IMDb reviews, I always wish I could change them. I won't, just because I want to stand by my original reviews, but I will say that I gave the original "Paranormal Activity" a 7 out of 10, but in retrospect, I'd bump it up to a 9. I reviewed it based on my experience seeing it in an empty theater with my father, who doesn't like horror films, so I was viewing it in the context of a safe environment with someone who was sort-of a buzz-kill, whereas I should have reviewed it on my home-viewing experience. When I recently re-watched it, I fell in love with it in a way I hadn't before, because the at-home viewing experience in the dark by myself helped tremendously. I was able to pick up on details I had missed before, and let myself be more "immersed" by it, and I decided that it was one of my favorite recent horror films. So, officially, I am saying that the first film is a 9 out of 10 for me. Hence I excitedly watched this on NetFlix and plan on buying the third film.
I just wanted to tell you about my views on the first film to give this one something to compare to.
"Paranormal Activity 2" begins a little over a year before the original film. We follow Kristi (sister of the Katie character from her first film), her husband Daniel, her step-daughter Ali, and their newborn baby Hunter. We learn about the recent birth of Hunter and get to know the family a bit, before we cut to August, 2006, two months before the original film. Hunter is now one year old, the family have a house-sitter/nanny named Martine, and things are great.
However, one day, they return home and find that their house has been ransacked by apparent vandals- every room has been torn apart except for Hunter's. The family has security cameras installed to help monitor and prevent this from happening again, which is where most of our "found footage" comes from. (That, and the camcorder that Daniel and Ali carry around)
This is the set up for the film. Like the original, the film elapses over several weeks, and things begin slowly. At first, it's just small things- tapping on the windows or the pool-filter being removed from the pool during the nighttime. Little things that could have earthly explanations. But, over the days, the activity becomes more blatant and more violent, and the stakes are raised when Ali's research suggests that this presence may be after Hunter.
The film is quite startling at times. The horror works well to a point. The eerie sounds in particular are fantastic, and a few "jump" moments are terrifying. However, here's where one of the big problems crops up- the activity is too "harsh" for a prequel. The first film was very subtle- it wasn't until the last few days that anything truly horrifying occurred. However, in this film, the activity seems to ramp up too quickly. Doors explode open, people are pulled through the air, electricity is affected- it all happens much quicker than in the first film. It just felt like a slight betrayal to the rules set by the first film. It should have been more subtle.
The acting is generally good. But the problem is the characters- they are a bit more clichéd this time. It all feels more manufactured and "movie-like", as opposed to the real-life feeling of the first film.
Also troubling is the final act of the film, which has a lot to do with the original movie- again, it felt like a slight betrayal, because they change the rules and how we interpret the first film.
Finally, some of the activity felt too much like special effects, which took away from the film.
But all of that being said, it was still a highly enjoyable film, and worked for the most part as a decent follow-up/prequel. Like I said, this is one of those cases where the film is just too much fun to condemn it for its flaws.
I'm giving "Paranormal Activity 2" a 6 out of 10. It's flawed, but you will forgive the flaws for the frightful good time it provides. Now off to the third film!
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?