Starring Sprague Grayden, Molly Ephraim, Tim Clemens, Katie Featherson, Micah Sloat. Written by Michael. R. Perry, Christopher Landon, Tom Pabst. Directed by Todd Williams. Release: 22 October 2010. Paramount Pictures, 91 mins., Rated R
Plot: A prequel/sequel to PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, with that pesky demon causin' some mayhem once again, but lo and behold, it ain't random.
Those things you heard about PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 actually being good, and even better than the first one? Turns out, those rumblings are 100% true. Somehow, someway, the folks behind this rushed production created a movie that matches the first one in scares - ah hell, exceeds the first one - and even have likable characters to boot. Plus, the script ain't that bad. Although, I wager it's plenty of improv and a bit of script thrown in, but no matter...point is, everything works. Sure, there are some downsides, and that'll be mentioned, but this Halloween, I can't stress enough how super fantastic PA2 would be for your viewing pleasure.
Where does it excel? For one, the scares are much scarier, the script is quite wider, and the cast is a bit more likable. In the realm of technical reviewing, I can’t really judge either of these movies on camerawork, since the whole point of these productions is that they’re ‘found amateur footage’. And there’s no music to speak of, relying entirely on the creepiness of silence and loud bangs. But, that aside, PA2 rocks in nearly every way.
Before this becomes a ginormous love fest for all things PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2, I will quickly make an address to a particular fault. The first half of the movie, which I fully understand is necessary in the effect to get the audience to relate to these characters and get to know ‘em, does drag a bit. Although, I’m not entirely sure what to cut, is the problem. Moreso than the character moments, I would probably cut or condense considerably the night cam house shots, as we switch between about four or five different cameras that don’t really offer much, especially the first night. Anyone else feel this way or am I barking up a dumb path?Anyway, by the halfway point, things are heating up considerably. The freaky happenings aren't just occurring at night - nay, there's some freaky shit going down during the daylight. There's a sequence with the mom in the kitchen that successfully made ninety percent of my audience jump, yell, or scream. Me? I was just impressed with how they pulled it off. Damn that was nice. And finally night falls, and the demon is too pissed off to continue the spooking thing. It attacks, it rears its ugly head (not literally; similar to the first, we actually see the beast, we just hear that familiar deep escalating sound when its onscreen) and causes turmoil for everyone in that house for a few more days until the climax, which, mind you, was frakkin' terrifying. And then the ingeniousness of the movie is revealed: PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 is not only a sequel to a mega successful indie production, but it's a frakkin' prequel, too! Everything that happened through ninety-five percent of the flick was prequel, and then we get closure to the original. Say it with me, folks:
OMG! OMG! OMG!
Yes, I resorted to a OMG to get emphasize how freakin' awesome that idea was. It makes both of these movies one big epic storyline with a beginning, middle, and semi-ending. If and when there's a PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3, I sincerely hope the creators don't go down the path that's intimated in these closing moments, but instead concentrates on an entirely new family and fresh happenings. They created their two masterpieces, now it's time to move on, I think.
So, bottom line, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2: I enjoyed the second film more, and the scares were utterly terrifying and freakier than the first. To reiterate the beginning of this review: you wanna get scared this Halloween? Here's your film.