ReviewWriter: Lai Swee WeiWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
Director Tod Williams and writer Michael R. Perry (with input from Oren Peli, the man who wrote, directed and produced the first one) did one heck of a fine job with this follow up. If you enjoyed the first movie, then "Paranormal Activity 2" would thrill you the same if not more.
Early on we discover that this isn't a sequel, but a prequel as we learn of the events that lead to "Paranormal Activity". It kicks off two months before the death of Micah in the first film, where the focus here is on a family of four - Katie's sister, brother-in-law, baby nephew and teenage step-niece. Moreover, they have a German Sheppard which sends a scare warning to audiences as we all know animals have this gifted ability to sense danger and see supernatural elements.
The excuse this time for plenty of videotaping (before anything scary happens) is the arrival of their newborn son, Hunter. One day, the family comes home to find their house completely trashed, except for Hunter's bedroom. Although nothing has been stolen, this prompts the installation of a security system with surveillance cameras overlooking the pool, entryway, kitchen, living room, and Hunter's bedroom.
The premise of "Paranormal Activity 2" is very much similar to the first, with the man of the household a sceptic, shadows lurking in the corners, objects moving on its own and the presence of a demonic spirit. The constant rotation of camera views at night and the long silence lets you anticipate for any signs of movement, creating a nerve wrecking atmosphere. The reality-based approach really hits home - scarier than those ghosts with funky special effects. Imagine being home alone late at night where you are haunted by what you can't see.
It also throws in a couple of new surprises that will literally make you jolt out from your seat. This movie manages to expand and intensify the same scare factors from the last film, thus exuding an ambience that is similar yet different. Not only does it scare, but it also churns out a few laughs with practical jokes by the brother-in-law and a hilarious seance act between the step-niece and her boyfriend.
Although it may be tough for this film to outdo its predecessor considering its "gimmick" is already known, "Paranormal Activity 2" is surprisingly well done and better than the first. If you're a fan of "Paranormal Activity", you'll be delighted with the way this film ties into the original.Cinema Online, 25 October 2010