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Movie Review: Paranormal Activity 2

The first Paranormal Activity was possibly one of the scariest films I have ever seen, yet the most polarizing movie of last year. Some people thought that it was absolutely terrifying, while others found it boring as hell. Well, I side with the "absolutely terrifying" camp and loved it enough to merit a place in my "Best Movies of 2009". Ha!

So, I seriously had doubts with this sequel. I mean, it had that daunting task of furthering the story and, at the same time, keeping the tone of the original. Would it be a bloated budget with big effects but lacks the primal charm of it's predecessor? Would the novelty be lost with a new director handling the material? Or simply, would a sequel of Paranormal Activity succeed? Well, I think it did.

Despite the fact that this, arguably, recycled the original's formula, I still think that it somehow upped the ante with a bigger cast, a brilliantly filmed scenes with more suspense and goose bump-inducing scares. I wouldn't spoil anything too major, but I will also say that this sequel managed to tie in with the original's story with surprising competence. That alone made this just as brilliant, I think.

Now, this movie also took time to develop characters and build subtle tension. It obviously started relatively slow but when things started happening, the movie turned into something horrifyingly intense. The tension reached a point wherein even the slightest flicker, movement, or shadow made me want to fly out of my seat. I actually thought that the beauty of this film - same with the original - was that nothing was revealed too soon. It allowed the previous events simmer and settle with the audience before revealing more. It was agonizing, yet a wonderful use of suspense and imagination.

But with all that being said, I can't say that it totally measured up to the original's level of brilliance. The security camera shots were a little too convenient and didn't have the effectiveness of the infamous darkened bedroom shot in the original. I also found the pacing a tad off the potency of the original and the acting to be relatively weaker. Oh, and I was also slightly disappointed by how everything was concluded. It wasn't a total letdown - since it definitely left some room for another installment - but it was just a little too abrupt for my taste. Nevertheless, the film captured the essence of brooding, intimate horror perfectly - which, to me, was most vital.

Rarely do films leave me so terrified - take note of the word. Ha! - but I think it has to be that scary lingering effect that makes this movie really disturbing and creepy. I'd say, I was yet again sufficiently creeped out by this second installment and I'd highly recommend this for those who enjoyed the first one. By the same token, if you didn't like the original, you probably need not bother to watch this as there was largely no variation on the theme.

Movie Review: Paranormal Activity 2 Reviewed by DAM on 1:43 AM Rating: 5

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