Paranormal Activity 2 is a prequel that offers much the same as its predecessor. Although there are some good scares, the film lacks the innovation that would deem it a great sequel.
Following a break-in at their home, Daniel decides to install cameras to ensure the security of his wife, daughter and baby son. The cameras begin to capture strange occurrences, which seem to be focused on baby Hunter…
Paranormal Activity 2 is seamless in its position as a prequel, keeping the same theme and featuring characters Micah and Katie from the first film. The style of the film is also adhered to; the combination of security and hand-held cameras exhibit continuity from the original.
Michael R. Perry’s screenplay offers authentic interaction between the family members. The dialogue seems naturalistic, and the relationships between family members are quite believable. Where it falters is the lack of originality to really differentiate the film from the 2009 hit.
The overriding problem with Paranormal Activity 2 is that it repeats much of what happens in the first film. Like Paranormal Activity, the film is set up so supernatural incidents slowly build to a thrilling climax. Although the use of dates and times give the film the documentary feel attained by the original, the narrative and pacing mimics the first film far too much.
Furthermore, a number of the scares are identical to the first film. The use of the moving pots and pans, for example, appears completely reminiscent of Paranormal Activity. Likewise, director Tod Williams replicates the combination of tension-building scenes and surprise scares that worked so well in the original.
There are several jumpy moments in Paranormal Activity 2. However, there are also moments that are laughable. It is unclear whether this is the desired reaction, or whether these are unsuccessful scares. Again, the film repeats what was done successfully in the original; not reveal too much of the cause of the activity.
For fans of the first film, Paranormal Activity 2 offers more of the same scares that made a hit of its predecessor. Those expecting a little creativity or a twist to proceedings may be disappointed.