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Review: Paranormal Activity 2

2nd November 2010

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Sometimes you wonder why a film would be made as a 'cinema only' release, other times you may wonder why a film wasn't. In Paranormal Activity 2's case, the advice would be simply; see it in the cinema, don't buy the DVD.

Paranormal Activity 2

Fans of the first part of this interconnected story of evil possessed girls and unfortunate ill-fated boyfriends will know what to expect here. Filmed again with only a hand held camera and various security cameras dotted all over the house, the documentary style feel to this psychological horror just isn't for everyone.

That being said, the movie certainly fulfils its intentions by leaving the audience well and truly on the edge of their cosy cinema seats, about to knock over the popcorn the minute someone leaves for the toilet and slams those big doors on the way out. A slow start to the film leaves dedicated fans who know the intensity of the prequel just waiting for a plate to smash or a door to seemingly prize itself open on its own. Shots of an empty room with little or no lighting bizarrely have the strongest impact, as the clock on the bottom right hand corner of the screen ticks by, it's only a matter of minutes before something sinister happens, and all you can do is sit waiting.

In the same way the first film started (new watchers don't worry, although some of the characters overlap in both films, each are able to stand alone as individual storylines- so don't fret if you haven't seen the first one) cameras are set up around the home as a result of unexplained mishaps occurring. In this case, the family we are watching, which consists of newborn son Hunter, mom Kristi, husband Dan and his daughter of a previous marriage, Ali, believe their home has been ransacked. Cameras are installed both inside and outside the family home to catch vandals in the act. As the family worry about possessions being stolen or their property being damaged, housekeeper/nanny, Martine, warns them about another presence in the house from the beginning. Her talk about evil spirits and measures to protect the family from darkness isn't well received by Dan who fires her, only to later regret it when he realises she was right all along.

As far as movie making goes, there's no state of the art graphics like Avatar, no multi-million dollar budget to create some huge spectacle you can't take your eyes off, and there's no Leonardo Di Caprio Grammy winning performance. There is however, one extremely talented little baby and one impressively patient director, who worked together to create some of the greatest scenes in the film; imagine trying to make a baby pretend he's seeing dead spirits in his mum's closet.

Unfortunately the sudden smashing plates, piercing screams of a little boy, painful howls of a possessed dog, and the eerie silence of a cinema even during a rom-com aren't experienced through the 15" screen of your halls bedroom TV, with accompanying background noise from someone blasting Pendulum through a 300 watt sub next door. This one definitely requires a late night viewing at your local cinema.

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