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Paranormal Activity 2

by

Jeff Nelson

Like with the original, this won't have the same effect at home as it does on the big screen with a loud sound system.

Paranormal Activity 2
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After the large success of Paranormal Activity, it shouldn't be a shock that a sequel would be made. However, I was a bit disappointed to find out that writer/director Oren Peli wasn't returning for the sequel. His concept and execution couldn't have been better. The question is, does the sequel hold up to the first one?

After experiencing what a family believes to be a series of "break-ins", they set up security cameras around their home, only to realize that the events unfolding are more terrifying than they could ever imagine. There's no doubt that this's a story with more depth. There are quite a few more characters involved in these paranormal events than in the original. Unfortunately, sometimes it doesn't feel the same as the first did, in a bad way. In the first one, it felt much more separated from the world outside the house and the audience got to truly know the two characters. The screenplay offers a lot of humor and comic relief. There are some clever and witty lines in there, although it sometimes feels like they're going a bit overboard with the humor. If you thought Paranormal Activity moved at a slow pace, you'll be bored for a large chunk of the beginning of the film. It definitely takes its time for anything to happen, even more so than in the first movie.

Needless to say, Katie Featherston returns. The rest of the cast are unknown actors. Fortunately, most of the acting is fairly decent. Each actor is able to carry his or her character and when everything goes to hell, panic and fear is represented well.

One thing that made Paranormal Activity so great is that it was able to do so much with such a small budget. There's a bit more money involved in this sequel. The budget is estimated at $2 million, which is still a small budget. Since this entire film is shot on handheld cameras and security cameras around the house, the picture is gritty and grainy. When the lights are off, there is night vision giving a dark blue tint. It's tough to describe any scenes in detail without giving plot points or events away.

Paranormal Activity 2 is more of a prequel than a sequel to the first one. Only a small segment at the end offers anything taking place after the first film. This film had much more to work with and has a better concept, but the execution doesn't touch the original. There's no doubt that this film has its moments where it's creepy and eerie, but isn't as memorable as Paranormal Activity. I could dig much deeper into this film, but it'd ruin the movie. Some will say Paranormal Activity 2 is too slow, but it doesn't stop once the chaos begins. If you enjoyed the first one, this is definitely worth a watch. Keep in mind that this film is meant for the theaters. If you're going to see it, go to the theaters. Like with the original, this won't have the same effect at home as it does on the big screen with a loud sound system.

My Rating = Three and One Half Stars

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