film review: Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)

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Paranormal Activity 2 posterYou may wonder why, after how little I thought of Paranormal Activity, I decided to see Paranormal Activity 2… Let’s just accept that I did and get on with the review.

It was a beautiful sunny afternoon in Dublin when I pegged it down from The Barge to Movies@Dundrum to catch a half empty screening of PA2. Half empty but populated by teenagers. Which was actually ok to be honest, it added a bit of atmosphere to the proceedings. A crowd of girls screaming definitely made some things seem scarier than they were. Actually that’s not true at all but it was nice to see someone was scared.

I was gonna ramble on but you know what? I can’t be bothered. Fact is I think this movie was a complete waste of time. I mean seriously, didn’t I see this film last year?

I know this is absolutely my own fault really. I listened to the hype. I’d heard that this one was better than the first one and, rather naïvely, I had assumed that this might because they had gone the way I wanted them to go. That is, I imagined that they might have moved away from cheap jump scenes and into a more creepy, insidious, psychological type of a scare. In my mind this is what “better” meant. Obviously I was wrong. Apparently “better” means… No… I still can’t work out what “better” meant in this context. Wait, maybe they were referring to the fact that the makers have switched over to using more static cameras. This one didn’t make me feel like I was going to puke… I guess that could be one thing that was better.

To be honest, when I first left the cinema I wasn’t that annoyed with this film, I never am that annoyed straight away. That’s probably because I’m all hopped up on sweets and popcorn. It’s only after about 20 mins that I settle into what I’ve just seen and start to pick at it… That’s when I really realised this film had nothing going for it. I was so bored watching it. So bored. Nothing happens. At one point I was just counting the number of times we saw the different camera views… I don’t have an eidetic memory I’m pretty sure that by the end of the film I could have drawn, in detail, all the views we saw and the layout of the house, no bother. An hour and a half of staring at CCTV footage with nothing happening. Oh wait, I tell a lie. There was that pot that fell down. Glad I spend €10 to see that.

As much as I disliked the first Paranormal Activity, I have to admit that it did have one thing going for it. It had a good idea. It was a small idea and it’s not one that worked for me at all, but I do think it was good. At the core of it I didn’t think Paranormal Activity was a bad film. I could see what they were doing, I just didn’t like it. Once you’ve used up that idea you need to move on. I don’t know how these guys have got away with churning out exactly the same film on a vastly inflated budget. Honestly, who green lit this script? Why? Why? And actually, how did they manage to spend so much more money making it. I hear the first one was made for $15,000. How did making exactly the same film cost like 200 times more? Seriously.


I said I wasn’t going to ramble on. I guess I was wrong. Look, straight up. I hated this film. It brought nothing new to the table. This was just blatant profiteering and I handed over my cash. What can I say, fool me twice.

You know what the worst thing is? They’ll probably fool me a third time as well… After all, I am ever the optimist.


Actually, because I’m in a generous mood, I’m going to give it one thing… but it’s a spoiler so you’ll have to highlight the brackets.
[I liked the haunted pool cleaner, that was funny.].

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