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Rent, don’t buy, ‘Paranormal Activity 2’

December 12th, 2010 Posted in Opinion

Reviewed by David Bowman

Paranormal Activity 2 effectively delivers the modern-day Gotcha! film. The film has roughly 20 moments that are intended to make the crowd jump in their seats or give audible exclamations.

PA2 brings back the Sloats (Micah Sloat and Katie Featherston) from the first movie. PA2 takes place in the home of Kristi (Sprague Grayden) and her husband Daniel (Brian Boland). They have a teenage daughter Ali (Molly Ephraim) and a newborn son Hunter. Kristi and Daniel also have a nanny, Martine (Vivis).

Much like its predecessor, PA2 features the events of individuals that are having their home haunted by some kind of paranormal being. This being at first seems harmless and just moves objects around like toys or opens and closes doors.

The big difference is the first appearance of the “haunter.” When the family comes home with newborn Hunter, the interior of the house looks like it was hit by a hurricane. Furniture is broken and scattered, the TV is destroyed. The only room that was untouched is Hunter’s.

Following what the characters to believe as an act of vandalism, Daniel has six motion-sensor cameras installed. Almost everything is captured by these cameras except for the occasional moments when Kristi and Daniel are videotaping Hunter or when Ali is recording events on her phone.

Every night since the cameras were installed are labeled with a day number, like Day #3. This gives a basic timeline on the events of what happens to the family during the haunting. Each night starts out with a scene of the pool in the backyard. The pool vacuum is currently in use but no one is operating it. This gives the impression that maybe the “haunter” is a handyman of sorts.

As the days move on, the “haunter” becomes more intense. It attempts to keep Martine away from Hunter. Martine gets the idea that something is after the boy and, since she is ethnic, she knows exactly what to do against malignant spirits. Daniel becomes upset with Martine as she waves incense smoke all over the house and he fires her.

Soon enough, the “haunter” becomes more aggressive and makes attempts to take Hunter. At one point, it snatches Kristi and drags her to the basement were she remains for what the timer on the camera says is about three hours. When she emerges from the basement she is noticeably different by how calm she is.

At this point Daniel and Ali notice that something is very wrong with Kristi and they check the footage from the night before. Daniel is disturbed and calls Martine. They perform an exorcism on Kristi and cast the “haunter” out of their house and into her sister, Katie’s home.

This then ties in the first Paranormal Activity to this one. This also may explain why the “haunter” appeared so violent in the original.

Overall, PA2 wasn’t a bad movie, but it does fall short of expectations. It lacks that suspense and thrills of the PA1 but does benefit from rarely using a moving camera. PA2 is at the least worth watching once but maybe as a rental instead of the box office.



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