Movie Review: Paranormal Activity 2

The first movie was quite a spectacular feat as it is considered the most profitable movie of all time. Why was it so popular? Because it played on our deepest fears of the unknown.

For the second movie, they not only play on our fears of the unknown, but also on our fear of bad things happening to innocent children. They want you to feel the fear for the family, as they don’t realize things are happening to the child.

The “found footage” direction that most movies, particularly in the horror genre, can seem over done and adds nothing to some movies. This isn’t one of those films for the most part. I really enjoyed seeing the security camera footage as that made logical sense to have in “found footage”. However, the handi-cam at all times didn’t seem to make as much logical sense. Why would some video tape the security video they are currently watching? That just isn’t realistic and that’s where at times the movie faltered when they would use the camera in situations that in the average life wouldn’t be recorded.

The cast of the movie did bring more of a relationship chemistry to the screen than in the first movie, as the family interaction seemed like a legitimate family interaction. For me, that’s a key part of the found footage genre, realism. Without that realism, the audience can’t escape into the movie and feel apart of the movie.

While it may be called “Paranormal Activity 2″, this is more of a prequel than a sequel to the first movie. It gives an explanation into why these events have happened to this family and to the family of the first movie. The tie in to the two movies, in my opinion, worked brilliantly and logically.

The scares of the film are created more by your own imagination than by pop-out scares. The kitchen scene with the mother was about the only scene that really relied on the pop-out scare, but by that point you are already on the edge of your seat and scanning the entire screen looking for the small changes to the scenery that shows the paranormal is moving about. The filmmakers don’t take advantage of having your 100% attention at every moment to scare you more. Those particular scares are few and far between so that they can keep you guessing when something really bad is going to happen. They want you to get some air between you and your seat during the true scares.

Overall, I really enjoyed watching this movie. It’s rare for me to be that tense during the movie and having to watch everything on the screen. I doubt I could do that for every movie, but once in a while is good. Also, it’s rare for me to actual let out a scream, albeit small, and jump during the scares like I did with this movie. So for me, watching Paranormal Activity 2 was a rare treat. It improved on the first movie and made sure to scare me into looking over my shoulder while at home.

Entertainment Earth