Tuesday, 23 November 2010
Paranormal Activity 2 - Horror Film Review (Cinema)
Last year I saw the terrifying Paranormal Activity at the cinema. A year later and the sequel is out. The trailer was kinda lame, and thinking I knew what to expect I went to see this fully expecting a lame, boring, unscary film.
The film is a prequel, taking place in the months leading up to the events of Paranormal Activity. This time around the film takes place in the household of Katie's sister Kristi, and her husband Daniel (Katie is the woman from Paranormal Activity) With the arrival of Hunter; Daniel and Kristi's newborn baby to their household things start going weird. It starts off by their house getting trashed, which they attribute to burglars. However after setting up surveillance cameras around the house they start to discover the far more terrifying truth that everything may be the result of paranormal activity (2). It seems whatever evil is in the house wants the new born baby for itself, and will stop at nothing to get it...
Like the first film this one falls into the horror genre of 'found footage'. The film is supposedly pieced together by footage both from a handheld camera the occupants use, as well as 6 security cameras set up around the house. I didn't realise the film was a prequel, but this is very soon made apparent when Myka and Katie show up. The film pauses and text appears on screen saying that Myka was found dead 60 days from the time of the footage. Their inclusion in the film is clever in that it never feels like they were shoe horned in. Their inclusion feels natural, and believable as they are not around enough to witness any freaky stuff. It even includes a scene taken from the start of Paranormal Activity when Myka shows Katie his new camera which is very well inserted into the film.
Thankfully the film does not implicitly state the cause of the Paranormal Activity (2). Most the possible causes are discussed by Ali; the couples daughter who is researching what is happening to them on the Internet. The reason that Myka and Katie also get Paranormal Activity is revealed in a slight twist much like that at the end of Ringu. The characters are quite interesting. Ali the daughter is fascinated by the goings on and at first loves the idea her house is haunted. The father Daniel is very skeptical and gets quite angry at suggestions the house could be haunted; even going as far as to sack Hunters Nanny for her religious beliefs. Kristi's mainly is just a doting mother, but discussions with her sister Katie about things they experienced as children brings out some welcome back story. A special mention must go to the family Dog Abby, probably my favourite character just in the way it acts so protectively of the family and seems to know its job is to protect the baby Hunter.
So is the film actually scary? With the first film I was waiting the whole film to be really scared, the whole film I was tense, and it was only really the last few minutes of the film when I got to the crying with fear phase. With this film again there is a natural build up, again with the day and night cycles bringing to mind Silent Hills dark and light worlds. I would actually say this film is even scarier than the first one! I went with a dear friend who got very very scared by this film. I wont embarrass her by revealing her name, but needless to say at one point I really thought we would have to leave as genuinely thought she might die of terror! She had nightmares about this afterwards. I cried twice with fear during this film, and leaped out of my skin once. It is kinda all the same stuff as the first film; slamming doors, moving objects, and people being dragged around, but it just still all looks so realistic due to the security cameras and hand cams.
If you liked the first film then this really is a must see. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a Paranormal Activity 3 as it is definitely set up for one. Proper terror in the cinema at least, worthwhile if you want to experience real fear!