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Paranormal Activity 2 [DVD]
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 10 March 2011
These films are definitely best viewed at the cinema, the reaction of the audience throughout make this movie a real event, a shared experience of terror and relief. As it turns form day to night the theatre turned silent and the mood became tense, some women screamed deafeningly; and some men stifled yells of terror too. When it became day it wasn't annoying that the whole cinema broke out into simultaneous commentary on the nights 'events' it was a shared relief and the whole cinema felt it.
I watched the 1st movie at home with a flatmate, it was good but definitely 100% go see the next one at the cinema, best cinematic experience I have had.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 22 September 2014
After watching the first film (which I felt was quite good though wasn't entirely sure it worked as well as it might)in this second instalment (which is linked to a few weeks prior to the first movie) we have the Rey family home apparently burgled, but few items are taken it's more a case of damaging the house than a robbery. This prompts the family to install a series of security cameras, which conveniently provide us with the "fly on the wall/documentary style footage that makes up the film's scenes.

Regarding the storyline, over time there is a feeling the house is "possessed" and that there are "demons" present. This is further exploited when the family dog senses a "presence". During the film more strange events happen including a scene where Kristi (the wife of Dan) is dragged into the basement trying to protect the baby from a demon. When she comes out later on it's clear she has been taken over by some kind of other force. This eventually leads to the events where Dan the husband has to try to get the demon's out of his wife and protect his family, and as expected with fairly dire consequences.

In terms of cast they do fairly well with the material they have (I struggle to use the word acting as this isn't really a performance as such) Sprague Grayden and Brian Boland head up the husband/wife side whilst Molly Ephraim and Katie Featherston do fine for their roles too (as Dan's daughter and Katie playing the sister of Kristi) I think the problem is one of structure ultimately the "slow creepy moments" are well rather drawn out one could argue the main events are merely a few minutes in length and a full feature film (just over 90 minutes is stretching things a little)

Honestly, the concept isn't a bad one but the periods of not much going on do tend to take away from the story. Something like this might work as a shortly film, as a full length one it left me with a feeling of disappointment. Yes there is some tension and build up, and the creepy aspect can work at times. Films of this genre grab their inspiration from the well known Indie "The Blair Witch Project" and whilst you might find this more interesting than the first one, for me it's not nearly as effective as that film.

Might be worth a watch if you like this kind of thing (if you don't you really won't like it at all), it doesn't really bring anything new to the table v the first one.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on 21 February 2011
Now, I've read the reviews here on Amazon and other film websites such as Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB. I fully understand the criticisms that have been said; it's not scary, nothing happens, it's too repetitive, it's boring etc etc etc. But I have to voice my own opinion on this one.

Having already watched the first Paranormal Activity and thinking that it was unique and creepy in its own way, I anticipated the sequel and was curious to how it would work out. You can tell that the film looks more professional than the first (I think the cameras used have been better) and on the whole it looks more polished, but you still feel the sense of it being recorded from an amateur style/point of view so it doesn't look totally Hollywoodified (if that's even a word). The film acts as a backstory to the main events that happened in the first film, but if you haven't seen that one the film does a pretty good job of explaining what is happening, and you don't really need to know much in hindsight anyway to understand it.

With a new film comes new cameras and surroundings. Since the film is taken place in a different house, the cameras record the outside pool, the hallways, the stairs, the living room and kitchen. In many cases you can see other parts of the house when one of the characters hold their cameras. What makes the film still creepy as the first is the eerie blue footage recorded by the cameras, combined with the film's skillful ability to create an abundance of tension. I like to watch horror films, and I've seen many before. You can't say that the film doesn't cause tension. I felt unnerved throughout the whole film, because like in the previous one, anything could happen. It uses dead silence and stillness so, so effectively, it feels like your holding your breath. As the film progresses though, it does feel as though you're just waiting for something, anything to happen. But that's really what the viewers of this franchise want. Nevertheless, they don't feel wholly like cheap scares, because the execution of the scares fit perfectly with the slow revealing of the plot and forthcoming build-up as the days and odd events progress.

Like the first film, the climax is definitely the highlight of the film. Obviously more things happen but it's a chilling and shocking end after the slow, momentous build-up created throughout the film. I think in this sense the film is still as effective as the first, and doesn't even show any blood, gore and other cliches in horror films to achieve this. It's said that the best horror films are psychological ones, and to a great extent it is true. In this case, the reason why the film is so undeniably creepy is that you never, ever see fully what or who is causing the paranormal events to happen. It puts more people on edge when people don't understand and see what is confusing them. Have you ever tried to scare someone? It's always the sound that creeps people out first, not the presence.

Granted, I wouldn't want to see this again since there is little incentive to after knowing the scares and having to anxiously wait for the build up. I think that this is not a film that everyone will enjoy or understand what to expect. It's not a typical horror film, like the first, but if you took the time and effort to watch this fully (due it its slow and fleshed out plot), it does manage to encapture the emotions and feelings you should get when watching a good horror film - it has to actually affect you, and it has to make you feel disturbed/anxious. Paranormal Activity 2 does that very well, albeit in an usual and slightly exhausting way.

I would hate to watch this film on my own, alone and in the dark!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 July 2014
according to wikipedia, this film is considered one of the scariest films of all time and have mixed to positive approval from the critics. now, I was unsure as to at least sometimes or never take the critics seriously but this helped me make up my mind. you can tell whether the former or the latter is my opinion, depending on whether you liked this film or not. as a fan of films of this genre, not planning to watch other paranormal activity films in this series anytime soon, if ever.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 February 2011
It was pretty much a dead cert that we'd get a Paranormal Activity 2. The first was creepy and a bit unsettling but this one,well I'm not too sure,Idon't scream or lose sleep over horror films nowadays but this did disappoint a bit! The cast were all good apart from pactically wrapping the little toddler Hunter in cotton wool with all the simpering that went on-however thats probably what happens in America! I didn't jump once.Don't get me wrong its not that bad certainly a cut above a lot of other "horror" films but its certainly not terrifying-Although I did like the interaction with the Latino house keeper and the dog-see it but don't expect too much. Ihave heard there will be another one on its way-a good scary one I hope!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This second offering of the Paranormal Activity series really does a good job of continuing the story whilst also tying the two films together. Set just before the events of the first movie, but then crosses over and runs together from the first. A real shocker at the end and it's good how the film makers arrived at that shock ending.

The story starts off just the same as the first but the focus is on Katies Sister Kirsti and her family as they are slowly terrorized by a Demonic entity in their house.

This is how sequels should be! This equals and surpasses the original but also compliments it too!
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on 14 January 2012
PA2 is a little like 2011's "The Thing". They're both prequels, but somehow do little more than repeat everything that happened in the original. Now that's not necessarily a bad thing. If you like Paranormal Activity, you'll probably like this one. It follows the same basic formula - increasingly aggresive poltergeist activity all caught on camera and resulting in some tragic consequences. Director Tod Williams introduces some new plot devices which actually serve the story more effectively. Firstly, there's a genuine reason for installing the surveillance cameras (a suspected break-in) and there is good continuity with Katy and Micah's story from the original.

However, it suffers from the same inherent problems that the first one did. Firstly, the "escalating menace" stretches your patience, initially focused on pots and pans and an errant automatic pool cleaner. There are some neat scares here and there (the pool cleaner being one of them), but it takes a long time to get going.

The second problem - always an issue in these "found footage films" - is the inexplicable use of hand-held cameras. If you're going to have every significant moment captured, there has to be sufficient reason and motivation to do so. The teenage daughter going downstairs in the dead of night to investigate spooky noises is not a situation in which you would expect her to go armed with a camcorder.

Is it scary? Well here's the thing. In the first film, you had that one static camera at the foot of the bed - one door to the left, one door to the hallway and the bed. That's it. Long, agonising shots in which you simply do not know what's coming. In PA2, you have multiple cameras and a crowded house. The action regularly flits from camera to camera and within each frame there is SO much to see. Cupboards, worktops, pan hooks, a back door, the living room, a TV, a table, a basement door, a cot, a mirror, a bathroom door...the list goes on. As a result, the sense of dread within each scene is largely lost.

For all that, PA2 is a worthy addition to the franchise, in that it fills in some backstory and provides an imaginative slant on the central concept. If you like the original, you'll like this. Simples.
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My thoughts: I really enjoyed the first film, it did give you some real moments of being on the edge of your seat. This, I found, didn't give me the vaguest sense of fear in any capacity, and I felt rather bored within the first ten minutes. The characters are fake, and this is obviously alot more scripted than the previous film was - you can feel the direction and the film has no flow. The "cameras" idea makes you feel as if you're watching survellience footage of a rather boring house with very few supposedly scary moments thrown in.

You can't really feel the "demon's" presence at all, whereas in the first movie, you could definitely sense it was meant to be there. This was a very poorly orchestrated sequel that although has a pretty good tie in with the first film, lacks the imagination of it. It did also have a few contradictions with the first movie which had this been slightly better, would have been easy to overlook.

The Plot: Katie Featherstone's sister, Kristi and her family begin to experience strange phenomenon after the birth of her son Hunter. After what appears to be a horrific break-in, the family arrange for video cameras to be set up all over the house as a safety precaution should this happen again. Soon, Ali, Kristi's step-daughter, begins to find strange things on film that her father dismisses despite her desperation to convince him that they may have some kind of ghost in the house.
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on 24 February 2012
I loved the first one because it was very cleverly tense in that not a lot happened but it was that feeling it gave you that something big was about to happen and it did slowly,bit by creepy bit,till it eventually became no more a question of is the house haunted but the house is haunted. This second one does kind of more of the same with security footage and little things happening that some would instantly say is ghostly and others would say is just normal house noises or whatever. The dad is one of those where you can forgive him for thinking early on the others are being silly for saying the house has a ghost but after a while you do start thinking oh come,you can't explain these things with answers such as "wind". So it is a film looking at both sides of "hauntings" for the most part,but then after some time (and yes for those that got bored because they like lots of action,there's a lot of nothing much going on for a while)there is the pay off,the big demon happenings,the all out yep this house is haunted alright,the entertaining conclusion. So all in all i would say i very much enjoyed this and would watch the third,but i can also understand some getting bored. If slow building and ambiguous happening aren't your kind of thing,maybe don't bother,but for those that loved the first and would like more of the same but a bit different,check it out and get ready to jump a few times.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 October 2012
I bought this film after seeing the newly released Paranormal Acitivy 4 at the cinema last week. If you have seen any of the other films or a horror fan this film will not disapoint- it's super scary, has lots of suspense and had me on the edge of my seat! A horror film not to miss.
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