The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

'Paranormal Activity 2' Scarier Than the First

2 min read


If you’re the type of person who prefers scary movies that try to mess with your mind, “Paranormal Activity 2” is just the movie for you.

“Paranormal Activity 2” follows a family experiencing, you guessed it, paranormal activity in their house. They try to ignore it at first, but as the movie progresses, the action escalates and they have no choice but to acknowledge the strange events, ultimately a little bit too late.

It’s a pretty simple plot, but you’ll definitely want to see the first movie before you see this one.

The refreshing thing about “Paranormal Activity 2” is, like the first film, how effective it is without resorting to standard horror movie tropes of today. It wasn’t gruesome or torturous or unbelievably fake like most scary movies. Instead, it’s more about the suspense and anticipation leading up to events rather than gore and ghastly killings, which is a nice change.

It’s filmed in such a way that makes you think for a half-second whether what you’re seeing is real or not. There isn’t a whole lot of blood and the supernatural elements are invisible but obvious nonetheless, most evident in a scene where a baby is hauled across its crib, pulled up the side, out of the crib and left to wander the house without anyone knowing.

Both “Paranormal Activity” movies are extremely low-budget, made using a portable camcorder in a normal house with just a few characters acting as an ordinary, everyday family. Their low-budget style definitely works in their favor, creating a believable enough experience that it’s really easy to relate to and put yourself in.

Still though, “Paranormal Activity 2” has that intense shock value that you’d want when you go to see a scary movie. Imagine standing in a bedroom, overlooking your baby in his crib, when a demonic force grabs your legs and whips you through the hall, down the stairs and into the bowels of the basement with no remorse. It’s stuff like that that make this movie enthralling and absolutely unwavering in its attempts to give you nightmares.

The only criticism of the movie would have to be its slow progression in the beginning. The beginning of the movie just didn’t hook grab my attention immediately, something I always look for in movies. The paranormal occurrences weren’t paced well either, begging to be spread out throughout the entire movie instead of a complete overload at the end.

Still, “Paranormal Activity 2” is a complete success. Unlike most sequels, I felt like this one was just as good if not better than the first. Instead of just focusing on a couple like in the first movie, it focused on an entire family, proving to be much more compelling with more variety. It was an entertaining movie that exceeded my expectations and left me wanting more.