TheDC film critic reviews Paranormal Activity 2

Alec Jacobs Contributor
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* SPOILER ALERT*  There are some spoilers of the FIRST movie here (which you really need to see before seeing this one). But don’t worry, no spoilers of Paranormal Activity 2. I wouldn’ t do that to you. So, here we go.

Well, that was $#%& ing terrifying.

Despite its title, Paranormal Activity 2 is really the prequel to last year’ s Paranormal Activity, which took movie theaters by storm, earning almost $194 million worldwide on a meager budget of just $15,000.

Micah and his girlfriend, Katie – who we came to know, love, and then fear with every fiber of our being in the first film – are back, though the story this time begins 60 days before Micah’ s death and revolves more around Katie’ s sister, Christy, and her family.

Christy and her husband Daniel move into a new home with her stepdaughter Allie and the couple’ s newborn son, Hunter. They decide to document Hunter’ s childhood using a video camera and, following what they think is a break-in, security cameras installed all over the house. At first, things go awry only slightly. A pan falls to the ground in the kitchen. The pool cleaner is mysteriously found outside the pool every morning. Then things begin to go terribly, terribly wrong. You’ve seen the first movie (otherwise you shouldn’ t be seeing this one). So you know what I’ m talking about. Weird noises, slamming doors, possession, Ouija boards — the works. And the last scene is just insane. INSANE. Utterly, positively insane.

How can I possibly express how horrifying this movie was without cursing? GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! And that doesn’t even do the terror I experienced justice.

The way the director and actors are able to build tension simply by showing an empty room for several minutes or by just standing still is incredible. Paranormal Activity 2, despite having a much higher budget and being made by a Hollywood director, is able to maintain the amateur-ish feel of the first one.

This franchise is like The Blair Witch Project, only doesn’t suck. It’ s as though The Blair Witch Project was that weird kid in high school with no friends who probably slaughtered animals as part of some weird cult-ish ritual or something, and Paranormal Activity and Paranormal Activity 2 are like that kid’ s younger twin siblings, who are star athletes, tie for valedictorian, and are co-quarterbacks of the football team dating co-head cheerleaders.

For the last half hour of the movie (which is pretty much a third of the whole thing), I couldn’ t take my hands off my eyes and mouth. I screamed several times (and I never do that because screaming at a horror movie is for cowards). Needless to say, this movie is not for the faint of heart.

Because of Paranormal Activity 2, I am afraid to open and close doors or walk through them, talk to my friends or family, sleep, or be conscious during the day or night. So I can’ t do anything. I am sitting here at my computer paralyzed with fear. But it is so worth it.

Just like Paranormal Activity was last year, this will be the scariest movie of the year. And there are plenty of loose ends to tie up: Paranormal Activity movies will continue to be the scariest movies of the year every year until Hollywood starts ruining them, which I pray doesn’t happen for a long, long time.

5 stars out of 5.