Monday, May 7, 2012

Review: Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)

“I don't know if the house is haunted, but I hope it is.”

Director: Tod Williams
Starring: Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat and Molly Ephraim
Writers: Michael R. Perry, Christopher Landon, and Tom Pabst

So it’s time for another round of Paranormal Activity, and this time it’s personal. Well not really that personal but hell you try and come up with ways to hook people into your reviews, time and time again. Last time we focused on the couple of Katie and Micah, this time we are in the way back machine and looking at Katie’s sister Kristi and her family.

Before I watched this movie, I had heard good things that the Paranormal Activity got better with each passing movie. Thankfully everyone seems to be right. I think one of the strongest factors in this movie is the emphasis on the family dynamic. A bit more time is given to how people interact and you start to care more for the Kristi, Ali and Daniel when they are being threatened by this evil entity. Sure you won’t find the deepest of storylines here, but it’s a lot more competently done than the first movie. There is also a concerted effort to start to weave a mythology not just throughout this movie but tie it into the first movie. The mythology is very interesting and has a very dark feel to it, especially with how the entities are tied to the sisters.

Acting wise is that mixed bag with found footage films, going with unknowns can create a greater level of believability but the acting can be somewhat dodgy. I had no real problem with the acting in this movie, but no one really stood out. Katie Featherstone and Micah Sloat reprise their roles, and it was nice to see their past connections. It fleshed out their background a little bit. Sprague Grayden as Kristi Rey played paranoid mother well enough, and did have good sisterly chemistry with Katie. However the best performance goes to Molly Ephraim who plays Ali Rey, daughter of Daniel and step daughter of Kristi. There was just something about her that made me get behind the character more than the rest. I kind of wish the movie focused more on her, but seeming this is the tale of two sisters, it wasn’t meant to be.

Most of the scares are just jump scares, but there is more attention to creating tension. Unlike the first movie where a lot of times nothing happened, this movie makes sure to keep things, even if they are small things, moving along. A lot of the special effects are also done by optical illusion meaning that there is a greater realism to what we are seeing, and therefore it’s a lot scarier.

If you liked the first movie, then you will enjoy this. You should also appreciate the lengths of creating a more fully fleshed out world that the characters live in. For those who aren’t fans of the first, or haven’t watched the first then it’s hard to recommend. Though if you are new then the sequel actually being a prequel means it is easier to get in to than you would realise. Can’t wait to see the third movie and see if the trend of getting better continues.

2 comments:

  1. See, I loved the first movie. Thought it was great. Thought it was well shot, had good suspense and a story. The second and third I thought were complete travesties with the poltergeist being far less effective or scary as the first.

    #flonkinitup

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  2. I've heard some people with the same opinion. I think the first movie and second movie are different enough in approach to warrant this. I can't speak for the third movie, but I was definitely more invested with these characters than the first.

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