This is a real brief guide regarding how I tend to review movies. Continuing with my horror movie festival, I got the chance to watch Paranormal Activity 2 last weekend.
Ah Paranormal Activity. One of those horror film franchises that is actually popular and well done. If you have the chance before watching the 2nd installment I very much recommend watching the first (you may end up even being a little lost if you don’t). Unlike the myriad of crappy “reality” films that followed the Blair Witch Project (which I also love) these films manage to achieve two things: 1 they are able to explain the camera away enough so that it doesn’t bother you, and 2 they manage to scare the crap out of you.
First off, for those of you that saw the first you do not have to worry they have not ruined the original story, in fact they manage to enhance it since the story-lines of these films overlap. Not only do you begin to associate and relate with the characters, but you genuinely understand them and can relate. You relate to the characters when skeptical, because you too can explain it away with rational reasons, you also relate to the fear that is present in each of the movies.
One of the things I really was amazed with in this film was the sense of claustrophobia and dread throughout the movie especially considering this film has so few shots in it (there are several dozen repeated). The shots in the film are repeated over and over which instills you with the feeling of something is just about to happen all of the time. You constantly catch yourself scanning the background just hoping to catch something scary happening that no one else notices (there are quite a few BTW).
I also loved how they didn’t try to add anything new. While some people might be less enthused about this, I find it comforting. The first film has a very scary element to it. Something is in the house and you cannot see it, you cannot stop it, you cannot reason with it. The second film continues that trend without falling into the all too familiar rut of “lets add some more story to it.” Fortunately Paranormal Activity 2 does not do that.
And yes the film is very scary. Despite my love of horror films I do jump at everything, and this film I found myself out of my seat more times than I like to admit. I will admit a lot of these scares were another case of “INSERT CRAZY LOUD NOISE HERE” but honestly I hate that argument. Being scared and jumping is part of the horror experience, and frankly Paranormal Activity 2 does it on a level I haven’t experienced in a long time. One scene (I won’t go into too many details) in the kitchen literally made my chest hurt it was so shocking to see. Throughout the movie you are constantly on the edge of your seat waiting to see the next insane thing that happens. When you add to the mix children it adds a whole new level of fear.
The bottom line
If you are a wuss don’t go see it because you will end up crying. If you like horror movies you absolutely cannot miss this!