Despite having the same title as the first movie with the number ’2′ as an appendage, Paranormal Activity 2 is not a sequel, but a prequel. Just as the first movie did, Paranormal Activity 2 begins with a text that would make you believe the movie that you are about to see is real video footage.
The story of Paranormal Activity 2 starts 62 days before Katie and Micah’s tale ends in the original Paranormal Activity. The events that unfold in Paranormal Activity 2 explain the reason for the haunting in the original. Aside from that, Paranormal Activity 2 is exactly like the first.
Shortly after bringing their new baby boy home from the hospital, a couple’s home is broken into. Paranoia leads them install surveillance cameras in their Carlsbad, CA home. The “footage” that the movie shows is a blend of hand-held and those stationary surveillance cameras. Why they didn’t install a home security system is beyond me. If I was afraid of my home being broken into, I wouldn’t install hidden cameras, but an alarm.
At first, this little family appears to have no connection with Katie and Micah, but in no time we learn that the wife is actually Katie’s sister. Micah and Katie pop up throughout the movie here and there just to make pointless references back to the first. Thank heaven they aren’t in it enough to make us hate them like we did in Paranormal Activity. But even though Micah and Katie are not as annoying as they were in the first, the new characters quickly fill in that void.
As the paranormal activity begins, it seems as if they are using the same tricks as the first for scare tactics. Sadly, they never do anything new to scare the audience. Loud noises and rumblings, rattling and clanking pots and pans, out-of-water pool cleaners, toy trains rolling through rooms, odd shadows and people dragged by invisible beings – these cheap tricks are the things that will supposedly terrify you in Paranormal Activity 2.
I typically believe that in horror movies less is more, but less of nothing is still nothing. Paranormal Activity 2 gives you absolutely nothing original. It simply rehashes elements from the first movie. And just like the first, up until the last five minutes of the movie, nothing happens. Paranormal Activity 2 is a boring and bland take on horror movies. It will most likely be a box office hit for the first two weeks or so, but quickly fall off the charts once something actually good opens.
If you are looking for a good scary movie to watch for Halloween, go pick up Drag Me to Hell – although it is full of laughs, it will frighten you a lot more than Paranormal Activity 2 will.
Photo credit: Paramount Pictures