Chilling, low ambient noise and loud thuds in the night can only mean one thing: “Paranormal Activity 2.”
The low-budget thriller came to theaters on Friday Oct. 22 and the unimaginable demon is back for more.
This senseless beast is not actually back, per se- it’s really just begun. This sequel is really a prequel and begins 60 days before the end of “Paranormal Activity.” The story follows characters that are related to the demon’s later victims, Micah (Micah Sloat) and Katie (Katie Featherston). In this movie, the audience learns it was really Katie’s sister, her husband, stepdaughter and newly born son who were first acquainted with this unknown being.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to like them either.
With shocking daytime scenes (prepare to fear the kitchen) and long, horrifying sequences in which the demon deliberately isolates and antagonizes character after character, the prequel teaches the first movie a lesson in horror.
There still are a few red herrings thrown in that only lead to a creepy shadow and the occasional loud bang. But, unlike the first movie, these events are now effective build up instead of a disappointing climax to the movie.
A new style of filming is one of the biggest ways in which the movie excels. Instead of one hand-held camera that Micah, somewhat ineptly, totes around, the movie employs six security cameras in addition to a camcorder to fully document the sequences of terror.
This innovative choice still keeps the cinema verite that made the first so relatable, but it frees up the perspective, which means more chances for the viewers to see something they wish they hadn’t.
Other things to look forward to include uncovered motives of the demon, a baby who, of course, can see something no one else can and a disturbing ending that connects to the beginning (and end) of “Paranormal Activity.”
Because there are several more characters in the prequel, character development was a little less intimate than in the first movie. However, with increased level of action, the movie didn’t suffer very much from this.
Convincing acting performances help the movie keep consistent with the candid style of the original. Though there are some awkward moments from Brian Boland (the loud, anti-ghost husband), performances from Sprague Grayden (Kristi) and the young Molly Ephraim (Ali) were familiar beacons of normalcy thrust into the world of the supernatural.
Almost all of the scare tactics and mind tricks are entirely based on noise, so seeing the film in IMAX with high-quality sound is a must. It’s a frightening way to spend a Halloween night, especially because Katie’s body is still out there somewhere.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Stephanie Riesco at Stephanie.email@example.com.