There are fewer movies that solely depend on the way you enter the cinema.
With Paranormal Activity you can either have the worst movie experience and be bored to death or you can spend 1.5 hours on the edge of your seat while watching nothing at all happening.
After last year’s Paranormal Activity grossed 7194 times its budget, a sequel was inevitable and with Paranormal Activity 3 being scheduled to be released next October, prepare yourself for Paranormal Activity 7 in 3D!
After watching the original last year I was not very excited for this entry, since it seemed that the story had been told with the original and let’s be honest: you can only slam a door so many times before it gets annoying.
Surprisingly Paranormal Activity was in spots far more enjoyable than the original to me. With those movies you have to want to sit in the theater and feel the creepy vibe going around – otherwise don’t watch this movie, since it uses the same formula of the original.
So if you are not scared by pool cleaners and falling down cutlery, if the idea of a demon who slowly terrorizes a family without ever showing himself – then Paranormal Activity is nothing for you.
The story is set around the same time as the original movie, following a family who’s house has been vandalized. In order to catch the thief (…. or… something else…. bohooo!) they install security cameras and so the formula of night shots and everyday conversation kicks in.
Same as with the original the little things that happen are intensified by the fact that between those scares we witness the most mundane situations as well as our typical “Oh maybe the wind closed the door and let the baby float around” rationalizations.
The power of both installments lies in the fact that many of the things that creep us out and hint at a demonic intervention are things we all know from our own houses: creaking/smashing doors, strange sounds that might be just something in the garden, all the funny stuff that prevents us from sleeping when we are alone at night.
Since my expectations were very low for this installment I only had a few points I wanted this movie to adhere:
The sequel should have the atmosphere of the original movie
The biggest strength and weakness of this movie is that it doesn’t reinvent the wheel. There are a few new scares, but the overall concept doesn’t deviate from the original too much. This is not Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows.
Part II should not tarnish my view on the original
Generally we should never let a sequel change our view of the previous installment, but more than once the sequel can be so bad you just want to burn it and because of the fact that it tries to link itself to the original it more or less pulls the original down into a maelstrom of disappointment (Crystal Skull you almost did it!)
If there is a continuing story, it should expand, but not overexplain
I never needed another story about this weird houseghost, so when the sequel came I only hoped that they would still realize that the horror lies within the incomprehensible nature of the demon. So as long as they don’t turn the demon into a whiny neglected child that got beaten by his father I’m fine with any story they offer.
Paranormal Activity 2 actually furthers the mythology a little bit more while still keeping the demon mysterious and scary.
At the end there is a solid framework laid out that made me say “Well I’ll watch part 3, since I wanna see where this is going” – I just hope that they will conclude the story and not start a Saw-esque cliffhanger after cliffhanger until we get Paranormal Activity 3D.
Rating and Moviequation:
P.S.: Watching this movie made me feel even more sorry for Kevin Greutert, who was forced to direct Saw 3D instead of this movie… Screw you Lionsgate!