Paranormal Activity 2 (18)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner22/10/2010

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 95 mins

Like the 2009 hit, this is an impressively directed, superbly acted horror flick that creates a creepy atmosphere and delivers some genuinely terrifying shocks, while cleverly building on the ideas from the first film.

What's it all about?
Directed by Tod Williams but produced by Oren Peli (writer-director of the first film), Paranormal Activity 2 is set around the time of the first film (primarily in August 2006) and begins as Kristi (Sprague Grayden), her husband David (Brian Boland) and her step-daughter Ali (Molly Ephraim) are making a video for their baby son Hunter. It soon turns out that Kristi is the sister of Katie (Katie Featherston, reprising her role from the first film), who's a frequent visitor to their house, along with her soon-to-be-dead boyfriend Micah (Micah Sloat).

After returning home to discover that someone has trashed their home, David and Kristi install CCTV cameras in their house – the film we're watching is comprised partly of videos they make themselves and partly of CCTV footage, both watched and unwatched. Sure enough, it isn't long before strange nightly goings-on lead the family to believe that their house might be haunted.

The Good
The script is excellent, cleverly building on the first film and expanding the mythology - without giving too much away, the way the two films tie together is extremely well done. There are also several nice touches, such as the moment where Micah coos over Brian's new video camera and announces that he wants one.

The performances are excellent, although casting familiar TV face Sprague Grayden (she was in a whole series of 24) rather ruins the ‘found footage’ conceit that worked so well in the first film because you know you're watching a movie. Molly Ephraim is particularly good as Ali, who's initially excited about the idea of a haunted house because she thinks it might be the spirit of her mother.

The Great
As with the first film, Williams expertly builds the suspense of the night-time scenes so that you're constantly scanning the footage of the empty rooms, waiting for a sign of movement. The use of the baby (who can walk but not talk) is inspired too, simultaneously adding an element that wasn't present in the first film and ensuring that parents with young children will be doubly freaked out.

Worth seeing?
If you loved the first film, you won't be disappointed with Paranormal Activity 2 and the ending is, if anything, even more terrifying. Highly recommended.

Film Trailer

Paranormal Activity 2 (18)
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Content updated: 20/10/2017 20:41

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