Saturday, November 6, 2010

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 (2010) Movie Review


Review by Joe Johnson

For me, the original PARANORMAL ACTIVITY was one of the best horror films of all time. Fright fanatics may refute this, but I’m happy stand my ground and argue that the first offering stood amongst horror greats such as THE SHINING and ALIEN. Although many likened it to THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT owing to it’s handheld camera shooting style, I found it to be an entirely more visceral involving experience, simply because the framing was not influenced by seemingly artificial human intervention, rather we were seeing the events unfold raw and unedited.

When the sequel was announced I felt a mix of excitement and in trepidation, the latter because part of what made the first film such a unique experience was the method of storytelling. Having become accustomed to this style, and assuming the second offering stayed true to its roots I convinced myself that it would lack the same edge that its predecessor orchestrated so expertly.

While PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 does indeed retain the format of its big brother, the content is just as, if not more, mortifying second time round. The film charts the events that lead to Katie’s demonic possession in the original, beginning two months before in her parent’s home. Rather than just two main characters, this time Katie’s whole family is subject to the supernatural goings on, the addition of a dog and baby to the fold certainly offer ample opportunities for the demon to wreck havoc.

And wreck havoc it did, most notably on my constitution! As before, the film is a harrowing experience with expertly timed segments of high tension. The genuinely heart stopping moments are few and far between but when they come, they will rock you to the core, those of a nervous disposition need not apply, unless you have a sadistic tendency to test your thrill-threshold to the max, something which I’m guilty of!

The few criticisms I heard of the picture were that it was slow to start. This may test the patience of those with borderline ADD, but fans of the first will know that good things come to those who wait. It’s difficult to talk about the film without giving too much away but I can say with hand on heart that this is no shoddy, badly made sequel. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 builds on the success of the first film, toying with audience’s composure until it is frayed beyond all recognition. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 is recommended to any horror fan and is a worthy successor to one of the most nail-biting, edge-of-the seat examples of the genre.


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