Thursday, November 4, 2010
Paranormal Activity 2 *½
Director: Tod Williams
Cast: Sprague Grayden, Brian Boland, Molly Ephraim
Vivis Cortez, Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat
Keeping with the tradition of having our food digested and savored for us that Hollywood seems to be so fond of, here comes Paranormal Activity 2, a movie so unnecessary and just plain dull that it'll be no wonder if it becomes a huge box office hit.
Done in the documentary style of its prequel (which we learn is actually a sequel) the plot concentrates on telling us how an evil demon ended up in the house of Katie (Featherston) and Micah (Sloat).
For this purpose we watch footage from Kristi's (Grayden), Katie's sister, house as she brings home her newborn baby and strange things begin to happen.
Her husband (Boland) thinks she's exaggerating and her stepdaughter (Ephraim) is so terrified by the strange events that she's drawn to carry her handicam everywhere to document the bizarre occurrences. Why a teenage girl is carrying around a video cam and not a hi-tech phone is never explained or reasoned with and this is one of the many flaws you have to forgive the movie for...if you're dying to get into the experience.
If not what you'll see are two things: an over-the-top disposable horror flick which tends to think that more is more and forgoes the silly simplicity of its predecessor in order to show that the filmmakers made enough money to come up with more expensive, but still cheap-looking, effects and if you're willing to cut them so slack you actually can admire the fact that in recurring to Blair Witch like gimmicks the creators of Paranormal Activity seemed to have tapped into the latest, endless, moneymaking cow. They have created a formula that can last them forever as they explore in further sequels or prequels how the demon got to Kristi's house for example.
This realization that such mediocre filmmaking can be perpetuated, while real art and clever entertainment vanish, is the one truly terrifying thing about this movie.