Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)

paranormal activity 2 poster 2010 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 6/10

Some good jumps

Still not enough substance to the story

Movie Info

Movie Name: Paranormal Activity 2

Studio: Paramount Pictures

Genre(s): Horror

Release Date(s): October 22, 2010

MPAA Rating: R

paranormal activity 2 katie featherston hunter

Katie, I hope noting bad or tragic happens to you or your boyfriend Micah…just sayin’

Kristi and Dan Rey (Sprague Grayden and Brian Boland) have just welcomed home their son Hunter. With Dan’s daughter Ali (Molly Ephram) from a previous marriage, the Rey house seems perfect. When a strange robbery occurs and nothing major appears to have been taken, Dan decides he needs to protect his family with security cameras. As time passes, the camera picks up strange events…doors opening and closing on their own, a pool cleaner with a mind of its own, and other events that can easily be written off. When Kristi tells her sister Katie (Katie Featherston) about her suspicions that a childhood haunting could be happening again, Katie warns her not to speak of it…but the evil has already started and cannot be stopped.

Directed by Tod Williams, Paranormal Activity 2 is a found-footage follow-up to Oren Peli’s surprise hit.  The movie was released a year after the wide release of the original Paranormal Activity (which actually was originally released in 2007).   The filmed received average reviews but was also a blockbuster hit due to the low production cost.

I thought the first Paranormal Activity film seemed pretty amateur.  The movie was meant to seem natural and low budget, but instead it just came off as low budget and poorly acted.  The jumps were there but the real horror was missing.  Paranormal Activity 2 I think is slightly better, but suffers from a lot of the same problems.

paranormal activity 2 pool cleaner

Oh no! This demon hates clean pools!!!

Micah and Katie were the most annoying couple and this is rectified with the Reys family in this entry.  The characters are less annoying and the strange prequel-sequel aspect of the film since it runs parallel to Paranormal Activity does add some interesting aspects to the story.

What doesn’t work about the film is a combination of acting and characters.  The characters actions are almost all unrealistic.  While the actors are better actors in the movie, they make a lot of the same stupid mistakes that are made in the first film.  The father goes through the whole movie denying that anything could be happening (if they had only looked a little further into the tapes and see their kid Hunter levitate out of the bed it might have been stopped earlier), but at least he didn’t want to get in a fist fight with the demon like Micah. Despite not believing the first half of the movie, he completely believes the second half of the movie and thinks it is a good idea to bring in the former maid (Vivis Colombetti) as their expert demonologist…yeah, that is realistic plotting.  Molly Ephram actually does the best job in both movies as the daughter Ali who just wants to get the hell out of Dodge when stuff starts happening. Sprague Grayden does do a better job than Katie, but gives virtually the same performance:  scared then comatose.

paranormal activity 2 ending katie kills sister

It is fun when my sister comes to visit…and murder

The problem really is the story set-up. First there is no demon…we learned from the first one that we’ll never see a creature so if a door opens mysteriously, don’t worry, nothing is coming through it. If they had created an actual demon like they did for Insidious then this movie could have been a hell of a lot scarier (they try it in the last entry). It isn’t hard to make a person jump when a door slams shut, but having something come after that is more of a challenge…sorry, a pool cleaner that comes out of the water just doesn’t cut it.  This combines with the “found footage” format of the series which almost guarantees a non-ending…plus, the transfer of the spirit allegedly happened before Paranormal Activity occurred…and Katie and Micah knew that there were haunting issues with Katie’s sister…so wouldn’t they have talked about that in the first film more?

Paranormal Activity 2 does have jumps. It is a bit better plotted than the original, and I have to give the producers credit for making a half-way logical story that is a prequel and a sequel, but it doesn’t mean it is great by any means. It will make you jump but there isn’t much substance to your jumps. Paranormal Activity 3 was released in 2011 and serves as a prequel to the first two films with the childhood of Katie and Kristi.

Related Links:

Paranormal Activity (2007)

Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)

Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)

Paranormal Activity:  The Marked Ones (2014)

Paranormal Activity:  The Ghost Dimension (2015)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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