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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Corporate Activity

2/10
Author: doctorsmoothlove from United States
20 December 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Whoever said that money doesn't grow on trees isn't familiar with the Paranormal Activity franchise. The series has become the cash cow of every movie studio's dream. It currently stands at two entries, but will have many more by the time people tire of seeing the same film multiple times. Paramount did a very good job with the first sequel and was aware of what the fans wanted. Paranormal Activity 2 has more quick scares than the original and builds on its story. It also canonizes the first one's theatrical ending.

The movie is both a prequel and sequel to Paranormal Activity. The cast of characters has been enlarged to include the sister of the first film's Katie. Her sister, Kristi, lives with her husband Dan and his daughter Ali. They have a newborn son, Hunter, who serves as a focal point for many of the scares. After Hunter's first birthday, unusual things begin to happen. Objects begin to move independently and loud noises trouble the family. Dan installs security cameras everywhere, and Ali becomes afraid the family is being bothered by a demon. She does some research and finds out that her hunch is true. The demon is after Hunter because of some deal family ancestors made with it a long time ago. After Kristi becomes possessed by it, Dan performs a ritual that transfers the demon to Katie. At this point, the events of the first movie take place. Kristi's new normal life is interrupted when Katie arrives and kidnaps Hunter.

The sequel is clearly a corporate production. The movie follows a formula for the entirety of its running time. The characters speak for a few minutes about inane things, a scary event happens, and they react. Admittedly, the first film does this too, but it is able to link the "boo" moments into a feeling of lingering dread. Its downtime doesn't permit viewers to relax like they may this time. Baby Hunter becomes necessary to artificially insert tension and get audiences ready to jump. It's more unsettling to see a defenseless child, whose crib is always kept in a different room despite his frequent crying, than it is to see capable people in terror.

Given the lack of a well-presented story, the movie has to resort to several clichés to sew each vignette together. The family's Hispanic maid and lovable dog are the only characters besides Hunter that interact directly with the demon. The maid warns the family to take precautions, which Dan ignores. She is fired and the dog has a seizure just in time for the longest vignette. There are even photos of ethnic people on the walls as an added touch. These outdated stereotypes and the scare formula make the movie seem like such a product. The script was intelligently written to tie in well with the original, but it's superfluous. If you want to see a shaky camera movie this fall, go see The Last Exorcism.

Not Recommended

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10 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

What a letdown.

4/10
Author: venus_doom_001 from United Kingdom
1 November 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After seeing the first film at the cinema and not being too disappointed (but not completely overwhelmed with praise) I thought I'd give the second one a chance after hearing pretty good reviews from it. I'd also heard that those who liked the first one would find the second one better. I, however, did not feel this way in the slightest. First of all I had to convince my boyfriend to come and see the film with me, making the first 20 minutes of nothing incredibly painful for particularly myself as it was my fault we even bothered to see it. Regarding these first 20 minutes, I watched in anticipation of it getting better and tried to appreciate that tension had to be created for a successful climax. This however, did not occur. I found myself laughing at the incredibly slow progress of 'scary' events such as the mobile spinning and a couple of bumps here and there. I was not the only one. The whole audience at my screening laughed at the film's poor attempt to shock the viewer by levitating a baby. The ending was also pretty meagre as it ended with more people dying just like in the first one, except in the first one it had been unexpected. By the end of paranormal activity 2, I felt almost cheated. Despite this there were some positive elements to this film. The scene in which all the cupboards opened suddenly and unexpectedly was probably the highlight as this did actually spook me. The possession part was also pretty OK, particularly when she was dragged down the basement. These were the few scenes that stood alone from the cheesier, more predictable events such as Kristi being dragged down the stairs - this part had me laughing at it's pure failure to even surprise me. Cristisms aside, the acting had improved vastly so from the first one and I found the actors to be more convincing. I also liked the link between the two films, though I felt it was rushed even so. To conclude, Paranormal Activity 2 is not worth seeing if you are not easily scared. For those of you that find a couple of pans dropping terrifying, then this is the film for you. Other than that, I recommend seeing some more old school, horror type films like The Ring, which I suspect this film got it's main idea from anyway. As for my own enjoyment, the most entertaining part of my experience was the teenager that tripped in the middle of the aisle before jumping out of his skin at a 'scary part' as he went to sit down.

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26 out of 47 people found the following review useful:

JUST TERRIBLE, Please save your money....and time!!!!

1/10
Author: kblazers from Canada
22 October 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This has to be one of the worst movies ever written. The lack of any substance is very visible. Scary.......NOT........Funny.......MAYBE.....just awful for a horror flick. Now come on, his wife has a big bite mark on her leg and he doesn't take her to the hospital!!! He finally finds his child in the basement and doesn't pick him up!!! Just brutal. His daughter locked out of the house for how long with baby inside, yet really not much attempt to get in, then comes home thirty minutes after the parents come home!! Give me a break!!! Still wondering why he wanted security cameras installed, yet he never wanted to look at them and rarely did throughout the movie. This truly was a joke, surprised it never came out on April fool's day! I am still shaking my head at some of the reviews that say this is such a scary movie with such great acting, it really is anything but. Save your Money..... Save your Time!!!! Go see the opera instead.....

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30 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

Paranormal Wanktivity

1/10
Author: thebogofeternalstench from New Zealand
27 October 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

How is utter garbage like this allowed to make money? Paranormal Activity 1 was unbelievably $hit too, but no.2 takes the pi$$ big time.

NOTHING happens in the movie except from a bit of dragging, door opening, bangs.....ITS NOT SCARY.

Atrocious acting, plot holes, annoying teenager.

Honest to god, a 2 min sketch of the nickelodeon claymation Brown and Purple is incredibly more entertaining that Paranormal Activity 1 and 2 put together.

What an utter waste of time.

Never paid to see either movie as I watched both online.

I feel very sorry for all the morons and simpletons that found either movie 'scary' or worth their time.

Truly a disgustingly waste of anyones time and money. Utter garbage.

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88 out of 171 people found the following review useful:

The Demon Strikes Again

9/10
Author: Fields201 from United States
22 October 2010

Last year when I saw Paranormal Activity, I saw it with a girl who kept commented on how stupid the film is throughout the entire movie. She would keep making remarks about how boring and unscary it was, even after the climax of the film. A year later, she went back with me to see the sequel, and she was actually terrified this time around. And a girl in the theater actually got so scared, she threw up outside the theater.

Paranormal Activity is one of those rare gems where you love it or you hate it. Most audiences don't like to sit through what they like to call nothing when the film is genuinely trying to build up to tension, to get to know the characters before plummeting them against the unknown. I really like the establishing of the characters where we get to know Christi, Hunter, Ali and heck, even the dog.

The premise is simple: A family related to Katie in the first film moves into a house, has a baby, and everything seems to be like one big happy family. Then one day they find that their house is in shambles. Naturally, they want to discover why so a surveillance system is set up to monitor the house. What they discover is that there is something beyond a simple break-in and their lives, especially their baby, could be in jeopardy.

I like the fact that the father is a skeptic. He absolutely refuses to believe in the paranormal. The teenage daughter loves the fact that they are being haunted and relishes on what phenomenon would happen next. I like that. It's good build up because we know as an audience that things will eventually get worse, especially if we learned anything from the first film. It's all about character development, in which this film thrives on.

As the film progresses, the scares really come out of nowhere. As a sequel, they really had to take it up a notch; not with just having a baby and a dog, but to show those naysayers that Paranormal Activity isn't just about a film with slamming doors. Doors slam, but they take someone with them. The filmmakers listened to their fans, and not only that, they did a great job fleshing out the backstory, and intertwining the two movies together where it all makes sense.

I only have a few nitpicks, somewhat minor, but I really did wish they fleshed out the Martine character more. She was a nanny who knew a lot about evil spirits, and I wish they spent a little bit more time with her character. Another thing was that there parts in some of the trailers that didn't make it to the final film. Extended DVD, perhaps? I also was a tad let down by how everything concluded. It wasn't a total letdown, definitely leaves room for another installment, but a little too abrupt for my taste.

If you are a fan of Paranormal Activity or at least bit curious of how this one turns out, you owe it to yourself to see this one. It's definitely one to experience at the theater with other fans, and something to look forward to on your home surround system.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

So Bad That I Can not contain any spoilers...

1/10
Author: dognotbarking from Belgium
24 July 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

What is this? Is this supposed to be a movie? I liked the first Paranormal Activity. It was a fresh look, with ordinary people you can relate to and a story!!!!Story people story!!!What happens in the second?Yes the family has a pool we have seen it. Yes they have a kitchen and there is a mug on the island in the middle.They kept showing the same scenes over and over again every night. May be it is a way to save more money. And nothing happens!Literally nothing. There was 3 door slamming; 5 cracking noise; 1 flying baby; 1 woman dragged on the ground; 1 barking German shepard. And that is it! Nothing more. No story; there are too many characters you can not relate to them because it is so superficial;no explanation...Just some brief conversation about how those two girls were hunted (1 sentence)and the curse of the first born. At the end; you understand it is around the same time Katie get possessed. So it is like a prolongation of the first one. All non sense really. Do not waste your time on this. The producers have to have a little respect for the audience. Such a shame I wasted my time on this.

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Could have been SO much better

Author: danzeisen from United States
28 August 2011

I love a good horror story, and the premise behind this is a good one- that the sins of the "Father" may be paid for by the "Son." There are strange occurrences in the household, including the house being trashed during a supposed break in. This prompts the installation of video cameras with recorders to record events in and outside of the house. The daughter stumbles across something on the internet suggesting that there may be a demon in the house. This is seconded by the nanny, who senses an evil presence. Sounds like a kind of scary premise, right? Well, that's about it- the premise is never developed. While We learn that the mother and her sister experienced "Disturbances" when they were growing up- we never learn what was the nature of them, only that they do not talk about them. We never learn if there was an ancestor that made a "Deal with the devil," it is brought up and suggested and the movie fleshed out with that premise just accepted. However, it is never explored in any way- and that really makes the plot WEAK.

I know it will seem a cheap shot but I will make it anyway- on the cast listing on IMDD the camera installer man is listed at the top. He gave perhaps the most solid performance of any of the actors and actresses, so perhaps it was meant that way.

Three stars is my rating- a good premise developed with a weak plot and mediocre acting only goes so far. The sad part is that this could have been so good, and so frightening. My gut tells me, like other reviewers have mentioned, that this was a rush job to capitalize on the first movie, and not an attempt at a good, memorable movie- as it is not.

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13 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Surfing on the popularity of the first one, this prequel tries it's best to deliver the same scares with lame results.

3/10
Author: samuel-legassick from London, England
22 October 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Article By: Sam LeGassick Twitter: LG45 <- Please follow! Website: www.thewildbore.com Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Wild-Bore/299067834888 <-Please Add To Your Page

For those who have not yet seen the first Paranormal Activity, you're missing a real treat. Released in 2007 the film was shown around festival circuits to great acclaim, the cast was essentially two people, it was shot in the directors house and used very simple techniques to great effect. In fact, I would go as far as saying it's really a masterclass in film-making.

This might seem far-fetched but it's so clever in it's execution that any budding auteur ought to take note. Firstly, the narrative is simple and the 'monster' is really a metaphor for the relationship between Micah and Katie. The film also relies on your imagination to create fear, you're actually subconsciously interacting with the film, it's framing makes you look in places that you wouldn't normally find interesting, in fact you're looking for something in the shadows. It's open doors invokes a Hopper-esquire sense of desperation and mystery with the depth of the image playing an important part in creating the tension. That's the real killer, the tension, there's more tension than anything Hitchcock could have done, and I don't say this lightly. You know watching every diary insert that you're about to see something and it's gradual development from an opening door, a light switching on to a more violent intrusive force makes every night shot more and more unbearable. It plays on the post-9/11 paranoia and terrorism-at-home American sensibility (which in fact is joked about in the sequel). Not only all this, but the sound, the simple effects and the 'possession' (a brainwashing of sorts) all create this horrible yet thoroughly enjoyable 90 minutes of the fear of the unknown and no matter what anyone says, if you're at home by yourself at night you can freak yourself out by just thinking about it.

However, once Spielberg got a hold of it and wanted to release it internationally, he wanted to do different scenes and a different ending. Therefore, if you went to see this on the cinema or saw this on DVD recently, chances are it's Spielberg's monster that you saw. I would thoroughly recommend viewing the original, or at least watching the different endings on YouTube because the original ending is a million times better. Anyhow, it's the re-released 2009 version that this prequel draws from, which is important.

This might sound like a long-winded approach to dealing with the second film, but it's very important to make people aware of these issues because the problem with the second one is that it recreates, to a much less effect, almost exactly the same as what happens in the first one. The deal is Katie's sister has just had a baby boy with her new family she's married into, after a while things start going bump in the night as the monster tries to claim baby Hunter.

The problem is (and here's a SPOILER if you haven't seen the first one) you know you're not going to see the monster harassing them because of the first one. So every noise, every opening and shutting door is just stuff that you've seen before so you don't find it scary, instead you're waiting for the more hardcore stuff. However, all this ghoulish foreplay takes up about 70 minutes of the 90 minute film and there is a LOT of watching nothing, but you're watching it knowing not to look out for anything because you know you won't see anything. The idea of the baby being harassed yet guarded by a brave dog is a good one that doesn't get interesting until near the end and, unlike the original first one (not the remake), they get hassled during the daytime and the night-time. But it's everything we've seen before, dragging them away, opening doors and a ridiculous pool cleaner that keeps turning up outside of the pool (a machine not a man). However, there's something going on in the basement which I thought could turn into something interesting but instead becomes a REC wannabe that wasn't scary at all. Katie's sister becomes possessed and she is completely lame and the whole thing lacks all the originality, all the fear, tension and mystery that the first one thrived on. In fact, it was what made the first one any good, so if you take that away you're just watching people doing nothing and getting scared about tiny things.

The company have also not released the details of the cast which is trying to keep to the 'real' element of the first one (when it obviously cannot be real) as we know full well, with enough interviews, promotions etc. that it wasn't real. Why try and recreate the Blair Witch effect the first one had? 'Found footage'. We're not idiots! Who would actually think this was real? The girl was in 24 for God's sake.

During the film they try to create more of a backstory and a 'why' to all the attacks but I don't want to know why. The whole point is it could happen potentially to anyone and even though the first one made it clear this stuff had happened to Katie before, that's all I needed to know, I don't want to know all the details of their family tree, of deals with the devil or whatever, MYSTERY remember? When it coincides with the first film it is completely cr*p and the ending made me want to throw something at the screen. It took everything that made the first one great and shat on it, in fact it might have potentially corrupted the experience of the first one for me by being so sh*t. I'll never want to watch this again, in fact I'm really angry about it. (Cut short due to IMDb guidelines please go to www.thewildbore.com to read full review)

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14 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Waste of time and money

2/10
Author: noonielynn68 from United States
28 October 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I really liked the first one and although this one was supposed to be more intense purely through previews and trailers but I thought it was a total waste of my time and my boyfriend's money....we should have seen something else!!! Very very slow to get in to and although there were some "jumpers" but nothing near to what I feel makes a thriller/horror what it is from this movie. It does tie into the first one but you have to wait and wait for it. And even when it's explained somewhat you still don't really understand why the demon is hanging around anyway...or at least I didn't. I wouldn't watch this again and I suggest that any of you don't bother with this one either, or wait until it comes out on DVD and rent it.....if you feel you must see the movie.

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Sequel prequel with more paranormal exposition.

Author: amesmonde from Novelist of The Final Version
3 March 2011

A couple become increasingly disturbed by Paranormal Activity in their home that maybe linked to their an infant son. His teenage half-sister against their father wish tries to uncover the truth.

This sequel /prequel contains some quality direction by Tod Williams who takes over the reigns for this instalment. With the usage of static security camera's and some thought out camera work it gives P2 a slight edged and a grander film quality over it's predecessor. However, the jump out sound moments aside the sound effects and design appear less creepy this time around.

The whole cast are fantastic. The acting is plausible and natural by the leads, notably Molly Ephraim who plays the inquisitive everyday daughter and Vivis Cortez as the 'help'. Those with young children and pets will be left a little more disturbed by this follow up and fans of the first will be pleased by Katie and Micah's return.

Sadly, for the most part its purpose is to build up to a big scare at the end. Again it's simply another story told through the eyes of a camera lenses and the writers inject some unnecessary connections and exposition to the goings on which takes away some of the mysteries random edge.

It's nearly 15 years since the 'The Blair Witch Project' used the camera point of view and while Paranormal Activity 2 looks better than the first it goes over the same old formula.

If you enjoyed and were scared by 1st you'll be blown away by Paranormal Activity 2. Yet, old school haunted house fans maybe left less chilled and thrilled.

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