Unnaturally awful – ‘Paranormal Activity 2’


The 2007 film “Paranormal Activity” was made on the cheap with no “real” names to speak of. When it first came out audiences across America believed that it was real, documented footage of a paranormal haunt – a demonic presence in a condo that terrorizes young couple Micah and Katie. It was a great movie. The research was there, the story was there, as was the acting. The only thing that was a bit too much to handle was that the film was shot entirely in “home movie style” causing a sea-sickness-type reaction from some audience members. The camera swinging back and forth wildly while the characters ran was nauseating. But other than that, it was a really good film.  Trying to replicate the success, however, is much easier said than done.

The subject of PA2 is a family of four: father Dan, daughter Ali, stepmom Kristi, and their new baby Hunter. Katie, the main character from the first film, is Kristi’s sister. Their story is told entirely from the perspective of a personal camera once again but instead of only handheld devices, security cameras play a big part along with the shaky handheld cam.

The first film took place in September and October of 2006. This film takes place in August of 2006, explaining where the haunt came from. To say any more might give away the plot, pedantic and loosely tied together though it may be, and there may be someone reading this who has their heart set on seeing PA2. So in the interest of preserving their surprise, the plot summary will be brief.

For anyone who is considering seeing this film – don’t do it. Don’t even see it on DVD. If you enjoyed the first one, even just a little bit, I urge you to never watch this movie.

This is one of the few movies that is so bad, not only is it bad for itself as a film, it cheapens the first movie. It makes both storylines seem like they ran out of ideas, and detracts from many of the great spooky moments of the first film.

It may be the worst horror movie of all time, not because it was poorly made – the use of security cameras was actually a great choice – but because it gave the same feel of salvaged footage, but without the nausea.

The worst part about it was the story. It was so bad. The events of this plot play directly into the events of the first movie. It’s like seeing the man behind the green curtain – with the big effects and mystery, you get into the story and you get scared.  But to see the events of this movie and how they explain what really happens, you know that the fear and mystery are all gone, because this film provides an explanation to everything. The man behind the curtain is working the machine, so there is no need to be scared.  Overall: Fail.

Directed by Tod Williams. I give this film 0 out of 5 stars. Don’t even bother; I advise you to just go rent the first one again.