I want to disclaim immediately that I mainly saw this movie because I was curious as to how they’d written a sequel. I had a few different thoughts – “Different family in the same house?” “Similar events somewhere else?” Nothing seemed like a good enough idea for me to use it if I were the writer.
So, it turns out, they’d made it a prequel. It happens roughly two to three months before the original Paranormal Activity. They use the same Blair Witch-esque gimmick of the characters filming themselves, but they end up installing a security system to do away with the question of “Who films so much of their day to day life?”
They also upped the ante by expanding the cast to a whole family instead of a couple. The tie-in to the original: it’s the sister of the original Paranormal Activity‘s female lead.
This was my biggest issue with the movie. All this happened right before the original, but I don’t remember the original mentioning it. Maybe I’m mistaken, it has been over a year since I watched the first one, but it seems to me that they didn’t adequately foreshadow their past. Um… Yeah. heh
Additionally, the persistent skeptic father character was a nuisance. We, the audience, are treated to security footage of some freaky goings-on, but it seems like nobody in the house checks the cameras. Great investment, there.
Aside from that, there are a few standard JUMP NOW!! moments, and the actors did really well (although their authentic panicky moments became authentically unintelligible), but there were no lasting scares. Nothing kept me up that night, and when things go bump in the dark, I’ll think more of Exorcist.
C- overall. Glad I didn’t rush out opening weekend.