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Paranormal Activity 2 More at IMDbPro »

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Superior Sequel!

6/10
Author: joben-525-633946 from United Kingdom
10 November 2012

Some films need time to form and develop.

This is certainly the case for 'Paranormal Activity 2' as for the opening 45 minutes, the pacing of the film was punishingly slow and a dreary watch for almost everyone in existence I can guarantee. Thankfully, the film's second half was more than rewarding and it increased the chills that I submitted from the original 'Paranormal Activity' significantly.

With this instalments story, you cannot call this a sequel or prequel as it would not attract to any of the terms. Taking place at the same time as the original, we are this time placed in the house of another American family, related to Kate and Micah, who undergo a similar situation to their counterparts at the same time. It's intriguing as links and connections build between the two films and the fear installed inside me was enough to satisfy my needs.

The main reason 'Paranormal Activity 2' has the edge over it's predecessor is the fact it's budget is increased by approximately almost $3 million. This gives the film an overall better structure and polish which leads to a larger variety of scares and more interesting camera viewing.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A well done sequel, but not as memorable as the original

7/10
Author: DonFishies from Canada
31 October 2010

Creating a sequel to a film like Paranormal Activity sounds like a silly idea in theory. The film was released two years after it was made and went on to become a wild, completely unpredictable success. It struck a horrifying chord with audiences, and is one of the few movies I have seen where the participation of the audience was key to the film's overall effect. It was a memorable experience, one that cannot be replicated on DVD. So could a sequel to a film like this do any justice? Rather surprisingly, it can.

Paranormal Activity 2 revolves around the Rey family. Dan (Brian Boland) and his new wife Kristi (Sprague Grayden) have just welcomed newborn Hunter into the family, and very soon after, a weird break-in occurs in the house. Despite the family's affection for hand-held cameras, Dan gets security cameras installed around the house. Then weird, unexplained things start happening.

Paranormal Activity 2 easily could have been a phoned in sequel made specifically to bank on the original film's success. Instead, the filmmakers have crafted a film that not only ups the ante and precedents set in the original film, but enhances them as well. It gives us more characters and more cameras, and uses them to their advantage in every situation it presents. They even manage to craft a method of tying the original film into this one, in a totally unexpected way. It does what every good sequel should do – elaborate and extend the story from its predecessor. The sheer fun and surprise of some of these elements is more than worth the price of admission alone. But of course, the less you know about some of the surprises within the film, the better. It was secretive for a reason, and those going in unspoiled will no doubt enjoy the movie a lot more than those with an idea of what to expect going in.

What also works is that the film does not do away with the little scares and idiosyncrasies that made Paranormal Activity so effective. It lays them on, and builds towards some pretty horrific moments. While the original film relied on freaky and subtle special effects (the footprints and movement of the sheets come to mind immediately), this film relies more on sound and impending dread. The pumping bass gives away some of the scares a little too early in some scenes, but the unexpected high pitched sounds give way to some incredibly terrifying moments. Despite a higher budget, it felt more minimalist in a lot of ways, and showed that the filmmakers did not let success go to their heads. They wanted to maintain the same sense and style of the original film, and never once do they change this wise mentality. There are scenes that are much more elaborate and look like there was more money involved, but for the most part, it looks just as cheap as the original.

The experience of watching with an audience is also maintained here. There are plenty of moments of breathlessness, zany suspense and wild "What the hell is going on?!" moments scattered throughout the film. While the audience is more honed and prepared for some of these scenes than they were in Paranormal Activity, a lot of them still manage to be just as unpredictable and crazy as ever. While I did not see the film with a sold out crowd like I did last year, having a rather large crowd still managed to make the film just as scary as it should be. This is another film that will not be anywhere near as ridiculously effective on DVD.

If there is anything that works against the film (outside of a rather ludicrously bad effects scene involving a pool cleaner), it is that the film takes a bit too long getting around to hooking the audience on for the ride. Part of this is because the film's primary characters are nowhere near as captivating as Katie and Micah were. We care about what happens to this family, and we feel the pains and scares they are going through. But we never see the irresistible chemistry or horrifying realism of what is happening on screen the same way. In this case, it is much clearer that we are watching a movie, and the illusion of it being "real" footage is never there. Part of it is also due to the first act being padded out with a bit too much dialogue and set-up for what we can expect to come. I liked these early moments a lot more than most people did, but I still think they could have been significantly stronger and better honed.

I also feel that, despite the lengths everyone went to creating a film that did not simply cash in on a brand, its lasting impact was nowhere near as intense and petrifying as the original film. It admirably tries, but it never quite reaches the same heights. It can try all it wants to be just as good, but the lasting effect and charm of Paranormal Activity was just how wildly original it was. It is not an easy film to replicate, and while I admired all the techniques used in this sequel to make it feel in line and a worthy sequel, it simply cannot match up and go the distance as a film that betters the original.

I was greatly surprised by what Paranormal Activity 2 has to offer its audience, but must contain my enthusiasm for it. It is the rare sequel that does everything right, but it just never manages to be anywhere near as strong a final product as the original film. It is by no means a disappointment, just simply nowhere near as effective as the original film. And that is not necessarily a bad thing.

7/10.

(This review also appeared on http://www.geekspeakmagazine.com).

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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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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Impressive follow up to a phenomenal original.

9/10
Author: Christianga76 from United States
30 July 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

***MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS***Paranormal Activity 2 is a very scary and dramatic movie for me. I had no idea that this film would connect with the first film In a very smart way. Paranormal Activity 2 is the first film on steroids. It really is because it's almost a twin to the original and had similar scares just more grander and more Amped up. This film is the longest in the series and takes the longest to pick up but the characters are interesting enough to watch for a while. When the scares do pick up they are grounded just like the first film and doesn't loose the formula that worked the first time. It's hard to say if this film will attract new fans. I felt bad for the baby and the dog because they see the demon more than anyone else and are both scared of it. Seeing the baby look around and cry at something that cannot be seen is effective for me cause every baby does that and having a dog bark at something that cant be seen has been done by every dog so it makes you think if there really is something that you cannot see. The films last sequence feel a little rushed and I feel like more could have happened to make it more suspenseful but it really is a shocking ending to see for the first time and Paranormal Activity 2 is a smart and scary film with plenty of scares that take a little to get going but it ultimately is an effective film but like the first one not everyone is going to agree but if you believe in what you are seeing as real and realistic and something that could happen then it can go a long way.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Demon strikes again

6/10
Author: Raul Faust from Joinville, Brazil
30 November 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Well, after seeing over and over all this film's trilogy, I feel I'm ready to write about this one. "Paranormal Activity 2", in my humble opinion, is the weakest and least scary off the franchise-- which doesn't mean it isn't frightening.

It's not that scary as the first version because it's no longer an innovation; also, it takes much longer for the weird things to happen, whilst in the first one you're already scared in the first 30 minutes. It's way less scary than the third, because in there we have cheap jumps and false scares every time, so you never have time to breath. The demon is present in many more scenes in the third; in this version, the demon only scares in the last minutes-- but, at least, he REALLY scares. Kristy, poor girl, gets really creepy after the demon pulls her in the stairs and makes the spectator feel horrified. All in all, I believe it's very well written and the writers were smart enough to make all the three films be logical and believable. Don't be that afraid to see this film, but don't be that calm!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

More of the same only less interesting

4/10
Author: dbborroughs from Glen Cove, New York
29 November 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

More of the same though less interestingly done.

Watching the story of a haunted house through the multiple cameras on the property and in home movies.

Its amusing at times, often deadly dull. There are a few scary moments.

The trouble is is in the central conceit of the film allows us to we see the action through a house from multiple cameras instead of a single cameras, the cutting between cameras undercuts the tension because-if you're like me, you keep wanting to see the bits that weren't included but should be clear in another angle- for example the reverse shots for the stuff in the living/dining room.

Worth a look but wait for TV

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Bring on Paranormal Activity 3!

Author: dtucker86 from Germany
29 October 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is one of those rare sequels that packs just as powerful a punch as the original. Its so strange, Paranormal Activity and its sequel were made on super cheap budgets with no name actors, they were made with a hand held camera and didn't even have a soundtrack and yet they are as scary as any high budget horror movie. Both movies are kind of slow getting started, but once the scares start hold onto your seat! I wanted to mention that I think its good that the makers of these films don't use gory special effects like so many others do. To me that is the mark of a truly fine filmmaker. That scene in the film where all the kitchen doors fly open scared the daylights out of me! As always, they leave the door open in the end for a possible sequel and I am looking forward to it.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Flaw'd

5/10
Author: musanna-ahmed from United Kingdom
29 October 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

So I went to go and see this film hoping it'd be scarier, and in general, just overall better than the first which in my opinion sucked.

The film began really slow - took just over 20 minutes to get engaged with the "paranormal activity". In that time it was incredibly dull. Now you may think that 20 minutes isn't bad to get engaged into a film but for one that's just under 90 minutes, it's rather slow.

There was about 15 loud, bound-to-make-you-jump moments because they're unpredictable/unexpected. Hardly made me jump but I can assure readers that are more faint-hearted or jump easily that it'll be a jumping fest for them when they watch this. Some moments were freaky but some were just "rest assured, it's only this/that" (something like the pan falling/cupboards opening).

It intertwines with the first one quite well as a prequel showing where the burnt picture shown came from and why Katie is at Micah's house in the first one, and then it turns into a sequel at the end showing the night after Micah's death and what Katie does to the house in this house when possessed.

However a flaw with this sequel part is that if you watched the original version where the police shot Katie, you'd have no idea where she came from in this one.

Personally I think the time and day displaying was not needed,I mean does it really matter if it's 1:41am? Especially when time does not play a part of the demonic presence. We know that it occurs during the nights and this is clearly shown with the camera's colour so why show the time? On the whole, better and scarier than the first film (which I had hoped for) and I suppose it was worth paying for. It's one to watch at the cinema unless you own some spectacular surround sound system.

If The Last Exorcism made you jump, this will DEFINITELY make you jump. If you got scared of The Last Exorcism, watch this for something freakier. If you thought The Last Exorcism was rubbish, I suppose this is something better to watch.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Just As Good As The First, If Not Better

6/10
Author: David Arnold from United States
10 December 2014

::::Possible Spoilers::::

This second installment of the Paranormal Activity series actually (for the most part) precedes the events that happen in the first movie by about two months. It's only towards the end of the movie that the two intermingle with each other.

Here we are introduced to Kristi, Katie's younger sister, and her husband Daniel along with their daughter Ali Rey and new son Hunter. It doesn't take long before strange events start happening around their house, and as the events start to intensify, we find out more about Katie & Kristi's experiences of what happened to them when they were children. That, and along with the frights and more intense scenes, is what makes this installment a bit better than the first for me - we start getting a bit more of a back story on what is happening (and has happened) to the two siblings. While the first film briefly touches on the background story of Katie & Kristi, it still leaves more questions than answers. This film, however, starts to fill in those answers.

While this is not a fantastic movie, it's still a good, creepy movie to watch and the way this one ties in with the first makes it that little bit better.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

verynormal

Author: jacklmauro from United States
24 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

(Cut to final point/spoiler, for the true punch). The first had...well, ye olde 'Blair Witch' simplicity going for it. This prequel/sequel is just, sadly, an uninteresting mess. All right, sure, there is still that inherently creepy vibe of watching the footage. Then, I will give some credit for the bravery of trying the prequel angle. The idea of the sisters as sharing the demon haunting - could be very interesting. But the pacing here is so lopsided, it's painful. Add to this the father and the maid as stock characters (defiantly no-nonsense dude and frightened ethnic) and a basement crescendo that is just impossible to understand, and you get very, very little. Spoilers!! WHY does it never occur to anyone in these things to go out to the freaking lawn, when things are going berserk? Why are no friends and family being recruited to keep the house nicely full of people, until a plan of some kind can be made? Lastly: this is clearly a tough demon. A quick, home-made exorcism from the Yuppie dad, and he skidaddles down the street to possess the other sister, to get the job done? That's the trouble with demons today. No staying power.

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