Friday, March 16, 2012

Paranormal Activity 2

Directed by: Tod Williams

Release Date: 2010

This sequel to the successful Paranormal Activity did not create the same sense of fear and chill factor the first one established. By the time I woke up in the morning, whatever lurking jitters I once felt were gone.
The story takes place sixty days prior to the death of a character in the first movie. We follow Katie’s sister, Kristi, and her family in this sequel.

A slow tension lays down the atmosphere and foundation of what’s brimming. Everything may be fine for now but the audience knows the normal will be turned on its head at any given moment. Anxiety was present every time night vision footage displayed the family dog barking at something in the corner or the baby crying or laughing in the middle of the night.

Then the presence becomes feisty to the point that Kristi realizes this thing has followed her and Katie to collect a debt. Those moments were by far, the best, surprising, and jump-out-of-your-seat moments in the movie.

The end result, however, proved to be anticlimactic. Due to having knowledge about the first movie, the audience knows a certain character was going to show up in this movie. Therefore, the ending wasn’t much of a surprise. When the film ended, I was disappointed and very much glad I did not spend money to watch this in a movie theater.

Perhaps a problem with the picture is there weren’t any new gimmicks - only more of the same. If a formula works, then it will be replicated. But what if the identical formula becomes old hat and not likable anymore? That’s where I stand with this picture. When I see movie studios are milking a franchise for money without much care of providing a good story, I’m disappointed. I seek out other foreign horror pictures or re-visit the ones that work, have aged well, and provide thrills.

Even though this movie scared me on average of three times, I was deflated at the end and not really looking forward to the third movie. I know there’s a fourth in the works (not excited about that) but I will watch it. Not in the theater though.

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