The prequel to the
low-budget smash hit Paranormal Activity has spooked its way on Blu-ray
and DVD. Using an almost Blair Witch type approach, the original
Paranormal Activity bordered on realism as the entire movie was filmed
on digital camcorders. Like the first movie, Paranormal
Activity 2 once again borders on realism, however the impact of the
premise slightly deviates as you can easily make an educated guess at how
the movie will end and where some of the scares will be hiding.
Nonetheless, Paranormal Activity 2 is an interesting follow-up to the
first movie and actually takes place around 60 days before and then one
day after. Employing the similar quasi-low budget techniques, the
prequel adds security cameras to mix, giving the viewer a much broader
view on what is happening in this "haunted" house.
The story of Paranormal
Activity revolves around Kristi (Sprague Grayden) who plays the sister
to Katie (Katie Featherston) from the first film. The movie begins on a
high note with Kristi and her husband Daniel (Brian Boland) celebrating
the birth of their son, Hunter (Jack Zenia Prieto and William Juan
Prieto). Also included in this family is Ali (Molly Ephraim), the
daughter of Daniel from another marriage, their nanny Martine (Vivis
Cortez) and their loyal dog, a German Sheppard named Abby.
Things however begin to go awry for the family when they begin hearing
unexplainable noises or objects that keep on getting moved such as their
However when the family's home is trashed, Daniel decides to install a
state of the art camera security system that monitors the main rooms in
Paranormal Activity 2 also links well to the first movie by
explaining the history between Kristie and her sister Katie that included
strange occurring in their family home while growing up. It's quite chilling to watch
the paranormal activities commence in the home that begins innocently
enough, until it explodes into a crescendo of unexplained nightmares
that had us jump out of our seat on more than one occasion.
There are a
few plot holes in Paranormal Activity 2 but for the most part, it's an
enjoyable rollercoaster ride as you sit on the edge of anticipation...
this movie will definitely keep you wide awake.
Realism is the key here and it becomes even creeper when Hunter follows
an unexplainable presence around the home or Abby, the dog continuously
barks at the door to their cellar. As these characters cannot really
communicate, it makes the entire premise eerily realistic. Kudos to Ali,
played delightfully by Molly Ephraim who doesn't play the
stereotypically teenager but actually uses some initiative in order to
explain the hauntings within her home.
In the end, this movie may be a mirror image to the
original Paranormal Activity but there is far more substance and content
here. Unfortunately it's very difficult to better the original premise
behind the movie but nevertheless, it works on most levels, especially
in terms of enjoyment as opposed to cheap tricks like smoke and mirrors.
Video, Audio & Special Features
The video quality of Paranormal Activity 2 is far superior than the
original and looks quite good on Blu-ray. It may not be the next huge
Hollywood blockbuster but image quality is clear, colours vibrant with
deep blacks. It's actually a cleaner movie than the first in terms of
quality which is a bit of a shortfall as this dispels some of the
Sound is where Paranormal Activity 2 comes into its own and
you virtually hear everything in this movie that makes it even more
scarier. From the subtle sounds of appliances to the sounds of insects,
when the supernatural occurs, you really jump like a certain kitchen
scene. As this version comes with the Blu-ray, DVD and a Digital Copy of
the movie, the Blu-ray version is far superior in terms of quality.
Unfortunately Paranormal Activity 2 is lacking quite a bit in the
special features department. Featuring both the theatrical and extended
versions of the movie, the difference between both version is quite
minimal and personally, without spoiling it, the extended version would
have been preferred choice. The special features
however contains a three minute featurette of "lost" footage which was missing from
the theatrical version. Fun to watch but you can see why it wasn't
included... because if I experienced that to my family, I would be out of that house and
into a church or someplace. Maybe even calling TAPS, the American Ghost
If you enjoyed Paranormal Activity, than you'll really will enjoy the
sequel... err... prequel. I would also recommend the movie to those that
enjoy horror movies, especially of the supernatural kind because this is
as scary as they come. I would probably consider the Paranormal Activity
series on par with the original Exorcist in terms of frights and
realism. It's definitely a must watch movie if you like this sort of
things and makes a good watch for a night at home.