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on November 7, 2010
If you didn't like the first Paranormal Activity I strongly doubt you will enjoy Paranormal Activity 2 so don't even bother, stay far away from it. I was one of those who liked Paranormal Activity and thought it was entertaining and somewhat different from other horror movies as well. The concept of all these paranormal events going on and purposely cheaply-made film was intriguing and best of all, it worked. The thing is there were parts were I was genuinely scared, I couldn't help but be a little freaked out by what the characters were going through. This second PA movie is actually the prequel to the first one and not a traditional sequel like you would imagine, it has elements of both a prequel and a sequel (that's the best way of putting it). It can be a little difficult to imagine a second film that wouldn't ruin what the first one did, be different and still have the effect the first had. I was curious enough and found this one just as enjoyable as the first one. Paranormal Activity 2 doesn't really cover new ground but with careful improvements and changes, works just as well if not better than the original. I respect that they obviously didn't want to ruin what the first movie did which tends to be hard for a sequel, they clearly cared enough and wanted to show viewers something worthy (and I'll say it was).

Paranormal Activity 2 begins two months before the first film and what happens in this prequel leads to the first. This time around the story is focused on Dan, his wife Kristi, Dan's daughter Ali and son Hunter who are-you guessed it-victim of paranormal activity. It's becoming clear to viewers that something is after baby Hunter and will go through anything to get him, even family members. Dan is a skeptic and refuses to talk about these events until it comes to a point he can no longer ignore. His daughter Ali believes and researches the events happening to the family. This leads to a situation. Now, the story is nothing new but it soon all falls into pieces. If you believe or not in these things is not the point, you are likely to be captivated, guessing and wondering what's coming next. What's interesting is that you see Katie and Micah from the first PA and you even see them at their house and Micah with his Camera. I felt this one explained more of what happened in PA which only helps of course. For me, when watching the first film it took some time to really get into it but once you're in, it's quite a ride. PA 2 is no different but there are some elements that made it even more enjoyable for me. It starts out nice and easy, then gradually things begin to happen and it gets progressively worse, it's a formula that worked well for the first and it also applies here. In this one the acting is much better, there are cameras all over the house and the story behind it all was really interesting. The family dog, a German shepherd named Abby who also feels a presence in the house; animals usually feel those types of things before humans do and only contributes to make things more interesting. In the first PA, it seemed things only happened when the characters were asleep, which made sense. This time around things happen both during night and day which adds another dimension to PA.

I was definitely freaked out after viewing, I kept thinking about what I've just seen on the screen. Paranormal Activity is deeply psychological that's why it's so interesting to some and won't appeal to others. It certainly makes one think about the paranormal and raise questions, but that's probably what the filmmakers want you to do. If you liked the first one chances are you will also like this one, I probably enjoyed this prequel/sequel more than the first. I feared this one might be bad but I must say that the experience is just as valid as in the first movie. Some things about PA 2 are very similar to the first, yet it's also different in its own way, after all no one experiences things in the same way. Just to make things clear, it's not "the scariest film ever!" or "the worst movie ever made" as some reviewers said. You may have seen the first movie but are you sure you're ready this time around? 4/5.
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VINE VOICEon February 22, 2011
Allow me to start by saying I'm in the camp of people who loved the first Paranormal Activity. If, however, you *didn't* enjoy the first one, then this one will be an absolute snooze-fest for you, so look elsewhere.

For those of you who don't know, this is a prequel to the first movie -- but only by a margin of weeks, which I think is pretty cool. Katie and Micah are both in this movie -- Katie, much more so -- but neither one gets much screen time (maybe 10-15 minutes total). The format of the movie holds true to the approach in the first: You get a sense of the family and who they are when unaffected by demonic possession, then things happen over the course of the rest of the movie which end in a dramatic cliffhanger of sorts. The main difference in this movie is that you don't have to wait very long to see the family deal with something strange, but they don't start putting things together until later when things happen more frequently. Likewise, instead of one camera, you see things happen via security cameras (which, as you will see in the movie, have a reason for being installed) and a hand-held camera. Lastly, there are many more nights in which the totality of events happen in this movie than in the first, but I rather enjoyed that.

Now, as for my total enjoyment of the movie... well, let's just say I was ultimately underwhelmed. I was entertained and the moments of normal family time were enjoyable to watch (in other words, the movie didn't drag out for me at all), but the scares came primarily in the form of jump-scares where things happen suddenly and loudly, thus making you jump out of your pants for that split-second. For as much as I was personally affected by the first movie after watching it, I was expecting at least some sort of rehash of that experience after seeing this second movie, but alas, I walked away unaffected from the experience.

I'm glad I watched the movie and I will certainly catch the 3rd installment this year, but I won't be seeing Paranormal Activity 2 again on my own accord -- and not because it scared me that much. In my humble opinion, I say give Oren Peli another ~$15,000 budget and have him (and *only* him) go to town once more, because he alone accomplished what he + Hollywood clearly could not with their deep pockets: A sense of realism and intrigue that grips a person and chills them to the bone with an experience that lasts far outside the boundaries of the span of time of the movie itself. Perhaps that is due to how much Peli left to the viewer's imagination in Paranormal Activity versus everything Hollywood gave visual affirmation to here in Paranormal Activity 2. With that said, I did enjoy the continuation of -- and additional historicity within -- the storyline.

Overall, if you liked the first installment, I recommend you see this installment if you have yet to. The development of the storyline and the way they end this movie all ties into the first movie and sets the stage for the third installment in a manner that I'm looking forward to seeing the continuation/conclusion of. Just don't expect to go to bed the night you watch this movie and feel like something is just waiting to pull you out of bed, drag you down the hall and make a snack out of you before possessing you -- at least, not like you felt after watching it happen in the first movie. =)

-Stephen
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on February 5, 2012
DISCLAIMER: I loved, loved, loved Paranormal Activity. If you didn't, then don't watch this. This was made for people who liked the original. The people involved in making this flick saw no need to modify that which a lot of folks already liked. So here we go...

In any movie where we, the audience, will watch a group of people under emotional duress it is the screenwriter and director's job to have us identify with them somehow; humanize them. So let's meet the players. This family has QUITE a house (much like the pleasantly affluent couple in Paranormal Activity). The man of the house has not one but two--TWO--man caves!!!! The first-born daughter is a hand full. I was looking forward to the lines that would pour out of that sassy mouth. How does such a child get raised? Well, that double-man-caving husband coupled with a wife who clearly never plans on doing a diaper. And why bother? She has a Latin nanny to whom she may delegate at will. The nanny tends to the baby, their infant son, who dad thinks will favor father-son Chargers games over video games as he enters adolescence. Good luck with that bonding, dad! Relating with this American portrait yet?

This family is living the American dream. A McMansion of a house, a nanny, an adorable baby, sunny California BBQ's by the pool, and a dog that doesn't seem to bark, bite, drool or hump anything. I don't want it to end. The father even quotes Highlander while dunking his nephew in the pool. "There can be only ONE!" Perfect. A little too perfect?

BAM! The house is dilapidated! It looks like they owed a hurricane money and it took it out on their interior decorating. Without being any less intriguing for it, we find ourselves playing the exact same game as I did during the first Paranormal Activity. We listen for strange noises. We focus our eyes on random objects trying to convince ourselves whether or not they're moving ever so slightly. When the dog stirs, stares or barks, we try to see what the dog is focusing on. We get involved and otherwise meaningless security-cam footage of an uneventful house becomes a suspenseful ocular-sleuthing marathon. Kudos to the filmmakers for taking me on this journey. The movie develops from that point on and, well, you should know the kinds of things that follow.

Completely off-topic, but the Latin maid speaks very little English, however she talks quite a bit. No subtitles are offered to the audience when she speaks Spanish (to herself, in panic, in prayer, etc.). But if you understand what she's saying, the movie is actually even more interesting. Even more interesting than if they gave subtitles...because you know that you caught something that wasn't meant for everyone in the audience. As I found myself understanding it I stopped to wonder how monolingual Americans would react to these indecipherable mutterings--would the mood be different? No subtitles was a brilliant call. Also, adding not only a dog OR a baby, but both, was a great call. You'll find that you watch the baby much in the same way that you watch the dog. They're both like windchime-harbingers of strange goings-on.

I really enjoyed watching this movie. There were times when I was watching the screen SOOOO carefully with my eyes darting about at details like a devout Ghost Hunter. This movie was admittedly very similar to the prequel, but it was not a blatant repetition. This sequel, unlike the original, also had a distinct protagonist: the daughter.
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on July 14, 2015
while this is not the worst horror on amazon it is no way near as good as the first. its to easy to review this and say its boring, un original, not scary etc as so many reviews state. the main things in my opinion that keep this from be good are; there is way to much time spent on static cameras that rarely show anything suspenseful or scary. I felt like a security guard watching videos trying to find thief or something of that nature. Not kidding 2/3 of the film is stationary cameras with absolutely nothing happening. Speaking of cameras the fixed cameras on a loop have a rather large field of view that detracts from the overall creepiness. For me it was difficult to feel scared or suspenseful when I spent a large amount of the time looking for something to happen in such a big area. It was sort of like watching where's waldo. The last issue that kept me from enjoying this movie was the characters. Not that they did a bad job acting, but I at no point cared about any of them. Seriously I was rooting for the demon in this one. The characters never really develop, largely because the vast majority of the movie is shots of empty rooms and the pool. I still recommend the first one but this I would normally not recommend unless you are a massive fan of found footage.
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on January 6, 2016
I don't know why I love these movies so much. They are so stupid. I will watch all of them again and again and again. Then I will watch a Disney movie so I can sleep at night. I hate myself sometimes.
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on April 22, 2013
A must see in the theaters if you are a fan of this franchise. Unless you have good surround sound the scares won't be as good at home, but turned up loud can give a nice scare. I liked how they tied in the first movie with this one to give us more background on everything. My wife always comments that they seem to always shoot inside really nice homes. Definitely gives you that false sense of security and everything being fine. The scares were definitely good in this one and some parts I feel were really freaky giving you some goosebumps. Usually most sequels will go way over the top and this one stayed true to what made the first one successful. Blu ray wasn't necessary for this movie, DVD quality was perfectly fine. Can't say there were any special features worth mentioning. Definitely a recommended purchase for horror movie fans and fans of this particular franchise considering it is re-watchable even if you know when the scares are coming.
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on August 2, 2013
when the first one came out and i saw it i was like wow, this sucks. I watched it again and it kinda grew on me. So of course when the second one came out i wanted to see that as well. now after the third one came out i started losing interest. also as well with the fourth. i think that they should have stopped with the second movie. shipping was fast and overall satisfied.
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on April 14, 2011
I really respect PA. It's so great that people now have the potential to make their own movies in the digital age. And the director, probably due to budget constraints, kept the story squarely on the couple and their little problem. The way PA 2 ties into the first film is quite clever, to have it run as a precursor and then concurrently to PA. But it just doesn't have a true feeling of suspense that the first one did. One goes from a feeling of "ooh, what's gonna happen???" to "sheesh, I hope something happens." The scares are so very s...l...o...w in coming and far too scarce. And at times, the activity is getting filmed but I can't figure out how or why. The cameras in the home were physically installed but these scenes are being filmed by someone else of two moving, mobile characters fully within the shots? Who is holding the camera? The demon? Mighty nice of it. And one other thing I have to quibble on is the Hispanic maid. She's convinced there are evil spirits in the home. This is such a stereotype that comedian George Lopez makes jokes how all Hispanics think they have at least one haunted room in their home. I can vouch that this is true because I'm married to a Hispanic and he's always thought that of each apt and home we've owned as have all his family members of their homes. Sorry if I offend anyone. My point -- it's no big deal or shocker if your Latino says there's a coo couie -yeah , laugh, I don't know the spelling or fantasma (ghost) in the home. I don't have the heart to tell him it's actually La Chupacabra.
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on February 15, 2014
I really like this series -- because it's more about story than effects. If you're looking for a lot of shocking scenes or special effects, these films are not for you.

This is my least favorite of the franchise. It has some problems that could have been easily edited out or avoided altogether, but it still adheres to the long form story and the family situations, which are the reasons I like these movies. They capture what, to me, is a realistic view of what normal families would do if suddenly confronted by paranormal activity in their homes. That makes them more of a character study than a horror film series, even though there is an underlying supernatural arc. I find the acting very realistic and the actors chosen for these films engaging and likable. Unlike many reviewers, I prefer the low key intrusion of the entity to the usual overblown scenes that most horror films rely on. To me, it's more believable and therefore more unsettling. Finally, I appreciate the fact that these films don't downplay the underlying human tragedy of this story, understated but undeniable.
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on June 29, 2012
Do you like watching paint dry? Do you count the Cheerios in your cereal bowl? Then you may enjoy this movie, which is one of the most boring, unscary horror movies ever made. Endless hours of watching a pool skimmer at work! Months of a video camera focused on the stairs! Years of uninteresting people chattering about nothing much!

A few mildly startling moments, but only relative to the overall utter tedium. Some nonsense background nattering added to the mix as a sort of explanation for what was happening.

Remember in the Munsters when Igor the Bat flew about squeaking? Well, that was more scary than anything in this movie.
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