A series of bizarre happenings leads a Californian suburban family into believing they are being haunted by a ghost or something even worse. The sequel to last years explosive hit Paranormal Activity hits all the right marks and expands the story and the scares it makes this film in my eyes one of the best sequels to a horror film I’ve ever seen. The film does not break the beat from the first film. Here we follow an entire family instead of a young couple. A mother and father, teen daughter and a baby, oh yeah and a dog. Instead of a single camera being used in this film we watch the paranormal attacks from multiple angles. How is this possible? Because the family thinks they have had a break in at the very beginning and install security camera’s in their own home to watch over the family and their belongings. They don’t catch burglars though, they catch a demon trying to destroy the family.
A lot of the scares are basic, loud thuds, clanging pots. Still even though the audience expects it the tensions still builds up in a different way. SPOILER ALERT….. SPOILER ALERT…. SPOILER ALERT…. The film is a prequel. So we see the characters from the first film and the audience tries to put together what exactly is going on. The film slightly goes into explaining what is going on but leaves enough vague that people can kind of check out and just get scared shitless. The tension is built up mainly by using two huge horror cliches. The film puts a dog and child in peril. Instead of a couple in bed hearing things moving around at night it is a baby crying and a dog barking. You instantly worry about what will happen to them and it sucks you in. I know a lot of reviewers are throwing this film under the bus mainly because it sticks to the same style as the first. You can talk trash all you want but the first film just worked and was financially one of the biggest money makers ever! This film works because the actors seem real just a family filming themselves occasionally and being watched by their home security. They dialogue is basic, but it is real. Think of how you and your friends or family talk to each other, not oscar caliber dialogue. The family seems so real that when things start to go wrong you can’t help but fear for them. That is why the movie works plain and simple. Also I just love in the era we’re in where horror films are filled with either over the top violence or cheap CGI gimmicks that films like this can succeed. It digs into things that actually scare you, thinking you hear voices or foot steps out side you door. That small “clink” sound everyone hears in their homes when they are alone. That shit scares people already. No need for gore, CGI, or pg-13 cheap thrills. This movie proves horror is all about tapping into what people are really afraid of, which is what we can’t see but we fear is there.