Paranormal Activity 2 – review

Written By: Curtis Sindrey

It has only been a year since the first Paranormal Activity hit theaters and became the newest low budget horror sensation. While it doesn’t cover any new ground from its predecessor, PA2 still comes through with things that go bump in the night.

I was initially skeptical about the film because I thought it would be a straight-to-dvd release as it wouldn’t pack the same punch as PA1.

The film began just like the first one, with a happy couple living seemingly peaceful lives. But suddenly, the family becomes relentlessly assaulted by a demon, spirit, ghost, or whatever.

Its effective because it doesn’t show the audience what exactly is haunting them. By nature, people are much more terrified at something they can’t see (ala Blair Witch Project). The film thrives on our natural fear of the dark and the noises we often hear when we can’t sleep.

With fixed camera setups and the occasional fast-forwarding to the gruesome parts, PA2 forces the audience to experience all the creaks, clatters and rattles inside the house.

The ending nearly sets up the potential for a third film. However, as the end credits rolled on PA2, the fresh scent of the franchise began to grow stale and the filing for artistic bankruptcy seemed immanent.

While its better than the original in some aspects,  it is largely forgettable.

The actors were trying too hard to make the audience buy the “reality” of the film, which only reinforced its artificiality and flattened the initial thrill with annoyance.

While reviews are generally positive, does that guarantee a PA3?  Is there any creative life left in the series or should they quit while they are ahead. Can an audience be routinely scared of a rustling leaves, a slammed door or ambiguous banging?

Like the uber-successful Blair Witch Project, PA seemed like one of those surprise smash hits that couldn’t or shouldn’t be repeated.

– Curtis

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