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Paranormal Activity 2 Blu-ray Review - -

Feature 8.0
Video 8.7
Audio 8.9
Special Features 5.0
Total 8.1

Distributor: Paramount
Running Time: 98 Minutes
Reviewer: Andrew Bistak
: MA15+


Paranormal Activity 2

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 pool cleaner. 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 the home.

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 illusion.

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 Hunters.

Final Thoughts?

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.


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