Movie review: Paranormal Activity 2

It just wouldn’t be Halloween without another installment of a low-budget horror film.

“Paranormal Activity 2,” released last Friday, acts as the prequel to the blockbuster that was released last October. Creatively put together, it meshes with the previous story line and helps elaborate the origins of the creepy haunting that the plot is based on.

Apart from the mediocre acting (but what can you expect from a cast of unknowns?), comedy mixed with intense suspense connected me to the characters and kept me at the edge of my seat, not knowing what to expect next.

New director Tod Williams introduces the use of footage from home security cameras in addition to the same handheld camera cinematography from the first “Paranormal Activity.”

At the start of the movie, all seems well and normal after a baby boy named Hunter is born to a family of four from San Diego. A year later, noises and apparitions begin materializing in the house but are dismissed as paranoia.

Both characters from the first movie, Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat (playing themselves), are reintroduced to the audience, with Featherston as Hunter’s aunt. This movie helps audiences make sense of the motivations behind the first “Paranormal Activity” and divulges more background and details than the original did.

Some lasting imagery used in the first movie made a comeback in the second installment. The Ouija board, swaying chandelier and invisible demon-doings all made cameos to ensure the film’s disturbing components were still very apparent.

The new element that makes the prequel more disturbing is the introduction of the innocent baby, who ends up being quite an active participant in the eerie encounters of the family.

Screams were not scarce inside the movie theater. Jumps and hidden faces were expected and delivered by the twist of the finale.

Returning home, I admit I looked over my shoulder a couple of times while trying to open my front door. Although my expectations of the movie weren’t sky-high, I was happily surprised by the exceptional cohesion between the two films and the overall delivery of the prequel.

Prepare to bite your nails in suspense, possibly jump a little, and sleep with a nightlight on because “Paranormal Activity 2” delivers more than what you may expect.

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