Directed by TOD WILLIAMS
Starring SPRAGUE GRAYDEN, BRIAN BOLAND,
MOLLY EPHRAIM, and KATIE FEATHERSTON
It starts out slow, but it's worth the trip. I don't know if it's because I cared about the characters, but by the end of the film I almost fell out of my seat, which is what the filmmakers intended. There's no music, there's no frills, no blood, just pure psychological horror. There's a good portion of the film where nothing happens, which just adds to the tension. It takes about an hour to get there, but the slow build helps to make the film truly psychologically frightening.
Like the previous film, this film has the look and feel of an indie flick, but Paranormal Activity 2 has come leaps and bounds from the original. I would note that this film is somewhat of a prequel, as you will see the previous film's characters.
Plot: It's 2006 and the Rey family's upper middle class home has just been robbed. With a new baby in the house, Kristi (Sprague Grayden), best known from 24, and Dan Rey (Brian Boland), immediately do what many people would do, they order a mack daddy security system. Once installed, most of the rooms are digitally monitored, excluding the bathrooms. This little trick has effectively solved the Blair Witch problem. That problem being, what sane person would continue to fool around with a video camera when their life is in danger? Would they not drop the camera, run, and not look back? Short answer, yes. So this little trick of wiring every room with cameras eliminates that issue entirely. Now we are just watching spooky happenings on old security footage, which makes the film even creepier.
Kristi's stepdaughter, Ali (Molly Ephraim) is the first to notice the strange occurrences. She also starts to research possible reasons behind the haunting. At the tender age of 16, she becomes an amateur genealogist and learns that her new baby brother is the only male born in Kristi's family for generations. You soon learn that this tidbit is important. However, I don't know how she managed to figure this out, when I can't seem to work ancestry.com. Oh well.
As the haunting escalates, Kristi starts to notice it too. That's when Katie (Katie Featherston), the star of the original film, (who sadly gets no work outside of this franchise), returns to the prequel as Kristi's sister. Katie unwisely advises her sister to ignore the phenomena and carry on and instead of listening to her religious housekeeper, Martine (Vivis Cortez), Kristi listens to Katie.
At this point the film ramps up and admittedly there are a few baited breath and teeth-clenched moments. So this film did exactly what it intended, it scared me and it didn't have to shed a drop of blood to do it. Mission accomplished.
THREE OUT OF FIVE STARS