“Paranormal Activity” (2007), written and directed by Oren Peli, was an enormous hit and now the sequel, directed by Todd Williams, answers questions that arose from the original film.
Williams didn’t use a hand-held camera during the film, for the benefit of those who were a little motion sick from watching the first “Paranormal Activity.”
A security system was installed in the family’s home because of what they thought was a break-in. So the footage came from a fixed security camera.
The storyline is generally the same as the original, only this time the demon was after the baby before the final twist.
There is baby Hunter Rey (William and Jackson Prieto), his mother Kristi (Sprague Grayden) and father Daniel (Brian Boland).
There is also a teenage girl named Ali(Molly Ephraim) who could pass as the mother’s younger sister. It isn’t until Ali calls Daniel “Dad,” that the audience realizes she’s his daughter. Later on, Ali reveals that her mother is dead, which explains why Kristi is her step-mother.
It is unclear at the beginning if the family is related to Katie or Micah from the first film. All of a sudden, there’s a poolside gathering with the family, Katie and Micah. Kristi and Katie are sisters and “Paranormal Activity 2” is based on the events that occurred before, during and after the first film.
So why is the demon after the baby?
Apparently, the sisters’ ancestors made a deal with the devil in exchange for the first-born son in their family, who is Hunter. The only way to defer the demon is to send it after another family member. The family’s religious nanny Martine (Vivis Cortez) directs the demon towards Katie to protect Hunter.
Using the intro scene from “Paranormal Activity” was the perfect vehicle for tying the facts together.
As far as locations go, all the scenes are still shot within the house. The same clips play over again so that the audience will feel familiar with the home and feel uncomfortable when things were out of place.
Special graphics weren’t really needed. A frightening moment is when the baby is pulled around in his crib without a visual source. The same thing happens when Kristi is dragged and suspended in the air.
The lighting was very dark and the eerie black light gives the film a supernatural effect.
The suspense is well organized. There is a ghostly silence before the attacks. Loud footsteps, nervous breathing, and nightmare-worthy screaming make hearts race.
There is a particular scene in which everyone’s eyes bulge wide-open and their jaws drop. There is at least five seconds of screaming.
“Paranormal Activity 2” is a great thriller. Aside from the overly delayed explanation of character connections, the story tied in very well with the original movie.
Runtime: 1 hr. 31 min. Rated: R for some language and brief violent material.