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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