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02 June 2011

Paranormal Activity 2 (2010) Review

My Rating: 54%

Directed by: Tod Williams
Screenplay by: Michael R. Perry, Orin Peli, Tom Pabst and Christopher Landon
Story By: Michael R. Perry
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Runtime: 98 Minutes

Overall not as scary as the previous film:
Paranormal Activity 2 loses everything that was great about the first film. Although it has some scares, the build-up feels different, the camera quality is improves loosing that feeling of a home movie and it has a very different build up. Some people say that this one is scarier than the previous, but I felt it really wasn’t. As I said the build-up was different and it effected the whole fear factor. This film is a prequel to the previous and this time we meet a family, who is actually in close relationship with those in the first film being Micah and Katie. Katie’s sister lives here, and the haunting past returns like it did in the previous film. I will give credit for this film being very clever and doing this because the film takes place around 60 days before the death of Micah. While Paranormal Activity has it’s good moments, it’s still lacking in fear factor and even character this time.
Kristi with her baby.
Plot:
It is August 2006, not long before Micah in the previous film was killed. The story follows Kristi, the sister of Katie (form previous film) and her family. If you have seen the previous film you will know that Kristie and Katie have had paranormal experiences before in their childhood. Well Kristie and her husband, her daughter and 2 year-old son live a normal life until one day they return home and find the house is trashed, but nothing has been taken. They install about 5 security cameras and place them around the halls to ensure their safety and pretty soon, they discover something paranormal happening.
The family staring at the pool.
New writers, same concept, different feel
One thing I noticed is the old writer from the first film Orin Peli did not solely write this one, so it is clear that Hollywood people have kind of taken over this project. This time we have four screenplay writers; Screenplay by Michael R. Perry, Orin Peli, Tom Pabst and Christopher Landon. The film was also produced by Peli. The film had a different atmosphere from the previous one for sure. Although it still remained that home camera feeling, it wasn’t the same. I felt the direction could have been improved. Unlike the first one, there are more characters involved but it is the same idea of demons haunting the house, only they are a lot more radical than those in the first film. One thing I will praise is the clever tie in with the previous film. Seeing Micah and Katie every now and then was interesting because there were times when Kristie would take to Katie and she would not want to talk about it, and if you have seen the first film you will understand. The ending of the film is also how the first film begins, with Micah and a new camera. So Paranormal Activity 2 is a decent prequel in the sense of writing, but theory, characters and tension is a lot different.

Very Extreme Demons
{Spoilers ahead so skip this section if you don’t want it unveiled} Well it isn’t really a spoiler, but I am telling you about what the demons do. Some of the things in this film are pretty wild so it’s a big step form the previous film. First we have the pool cleaner somehow making it’s way out of the pool each night, then to a pan falling twice. After that one say Kristie is in her kitchen, and she seems to feel some sort of presence. All of a sudden all the cupboard doors slam open, and that was probably the most thrilling moment. It was much unexpected. Another extreme thing that happens is when Kristie is dragged down the stairs, similar to how Katie was only more sudden, and more extreme.
Kristi being dragged down the stirs by a demon.
Overall:
The overall writing was okay, but the characters weren’t as good as those in the previous film. Despite the first film only having two real characters, there was more happening with them. I can see they have tried to spice it up by putting in more characters, but there isn’t much to say about them. Paranormal Activity is nothing more than a film full of a few mild scares and thrills and things like ‘lovable characters’ and ‘unforgettable stories’ are out of the question. The acting was fine and added the realism but it was lacking a little compared to the first film. Overall Paranormal Activity 2 is full of scares, thrills but lacking in tension and character.

Ratings:
Story/Screenplay: 6.4/10
Character: 5.2/10
Direction & Cinematography: 6.1/10
Emotion: 5.3/10
Visuals & Editing: 6.6/10
Music: N/A
Overall: 5.4/10

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