Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The "normal" is just as important as the "para" part....

                If you didn’t see Paranormal Activity yet, you probably should be reading another blog right now.  If you didn’t like Paranormal Activity, well, then you also probably shouldn’t be reading this blog.  I write this for people who enjoy creative movies with legitimate scares that make you think twice about that sound coming from the other room.  Okay, I think we cleared out all of the riff raff.  Ten points goes to the reader who predicted that I would use the term “riff raff”.  Twenty additional points to those who guessed that I wasn’t wearing pants when I wrote those.
                Relax, you perverts.  I am wearing shorts.  Get your minds out of the gutter.  I need you to focus for a minute.  Take a deep breath.  Compose yourself.  Don’t get rattled. 
                You’ll probably need to compose yourself a few times during the viewing of Paranormal Activity 2.  There are some scenes that will literally surprise you.  What worked in the first movie works in the sequel, but is amped up a bit.  I use the term sequel loosely since the movie does take place a couple months before the first film.  It also features the sister of Katie from the first film and her family.  Needless to say, the entity from the first film starts its reign of terror on this unsuspecting family before it moves on the amply chested Katie (Katie Featherston) and her live-in instigating boyfriend, Micah (Micah Sloat).  The overall plot here isn’t worth ruining in a simple review.  Just trust me that some scary shit escalates for the family in question.  The cool part is how it all ties into the first.  That big reveal will make you go back and watch the first movie.
                What works with Paranormal Activity 2?   Most importantly, they make the family in question seem like your everyday cookie cutter people.  There is nothing too spectacular about them.  Nothing to love about them.  Nothing to hate about them.  You don’t wish harm upon them like you would have with Micah in the first film.  These people could be your family or the people living next door.  This added with the simplicity of the effects makes the movie hit home a little harder when the scary shit goes down.
                All of the scares in Paranormal Activity 2 are what I would call legit scares.   There are no bits where a cat jumps out at a tense moment.   Instead, strange shit happens in the intense moments.  Nothing comes cheap.  That is a relief for a horror movie.  In addition to the scares is the mere fact that there is a thick aura of suspense.  You are waiting the whole time to see what the paranormal entity is capable of and as to what its endgame is.  At any moment it could erupt into chaos.  That is the coolest thing about the Paranormal Activity franchise.  The creepy feeling the movies give you is well earned.
                I became especially fond of what I call the use of “redundancy shots”.  These are scenes in the movie often used to get us familiar with the setting and/or the characters living in the house.  You might assume they are a glimpse into the everyday life of the film’s family.   Technically, that is what they do.  However, they also set up the scares for later.  You become almost too familiar and comfortable with the surroundings, just as the family does.  Then…. BAM!  You just pissed yourself.
                Who doesn’t like being legitimately scared by a movie?  I highly recommend that you see Paranormal Activity 2 in an attempt to get the blood flowing.  It’ll work just as effectively as internet porn, only you won’ t need to clean up. 

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