Around this time one year ago, I had just seen Paranormal Activity, after weeks of hype, and I left disappointed. I was expecting (or at least hoping) to be scared out of my seat. You can read my review of Paranormal Activity here. (As you’ll tell, my reviews have since gotten meatier). When I heard they were making a sequel, I immediately thought, ‘money-maker.’ But I was pleasantly surprised once the movie started.
*Spoiler Alert* The sequel is actually a prequel for the first one. The demon actually started its presence in Katie’s sister’s house before moving to the other. Katie was the main character in the first. The Rey family is Kristi (Katie’s sister played by Sprague Grayden), Dan the father, Ali and Hunter, the children. Their huge house gets broken into and ransacked, but nothing stolen. The family sets up surveillance and slowly figures out it’s something supernatural.
The film’s progression, while slow, was very realistic. Dan, the family’s patriarch, tried to brush off the thought of something supernatural. After a while even he couldn’t deny the presence of something. I liked the story line of Katie and Kristi’s long ancestry and the sacrifice of the first-born male. The film’s repetitive use of the surveillance cameras was effective at adding suspense because as the viewer you know which cameras the action’s on. The second film’s ending is where it overlaps with the first film. It was really cool to get all the background leading up to Micah’s death in the first one, and Katie’s disappearance.
The acting in this film really made it. A film like this would never work with an Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt because they aren’t relateable. Using lesser known actors makes it easier for the viewer to picture themselves in the situation. Grayden was the most recognizable actor, from her appearances in “24,” “Weeds” and “CSI:Miami.”
I would watch this film again, and it did make me like the first one more because it added context and an interesting plot. So if you couldn’t stand the first one as much as me, give the second one a try. Since it’s the same pacing/action as the first one I had a better idea of what to expect and that lessened any disappointment. I consider Paranormal Activity 2 more of a $3 movie than a $6 movie, so maybe wait for DVD.