REVIEW: Paranormal Activity 2 abnormally un-scary
There is a scene in Paranormal Activity 2 which, I believe, represents the entire movie. It’s a shot of the baby Hunter’s bedroom with that very baby lying in his crib. As soon as I saw this I thought to myself, ‘that poor baby is going to float in the air’ and lo and behold a minute later that baby floated. How did I know? Was it the ominous white noise that preceded every single “scare”? Was it the growling, paranormal-y sensitive dog? Or was it just the fact that the movie was just so cliched and predictable that every plot twist and loud noise could be anticipated hours before viewing?
Fortunately for the sake of this review, predictability was not the only flaw in this boring excuse for a horror film. Paranormal Activity 2 is nothing short of mundane. It’s chock full of yawn-inspiring scenes of the cinematic family hanging out watching TV, making meals, chatting, and my favourite, the scene of the robotic pool cleaner…cleaning the pool!
This last one was made incredibly frustrating because it was shown about twenty times throughout the movie and nothing ever happened. Ever. When something actually does happen, the creators of this film give you plenty of time to prepare yourself for a loud noise or floating baby courtesy of that wierd humming noise.
The family itself consists of several flat, unrelateable characters. Daniel (Brian Boland) is the father of the family and constantly skeptical of the odd goings on in the house, which he refuses to believe are supernatural. Who could have seen that one coming? There is also the mother-who-turns-demon, Kristi (Sprague Brayden), Ali (Molly Ephraim) who wants nothing more than to be friends with whatever is causing their doors to close at random intervals, and poor little baby Hunter who never got a decent sleep because the demon just can’t go one night without playing with his toys or making him float. And let’s not forget the loveably cliched Hispanic house keeper who tries to warn the family of the danger but is fired by Disbelieving Daniel. After about fifteen minutes of seeing these people together I found myself wishing that whatever the demon had in store for them (minus, perhaps, baby Hunter) was slow, bloody, and above all: painful. It’s not a good sign when you start rooting for the demons! The movie begins with several mysterious break-ins which lead the Daniel to install six security cameras throughout the house. That very night, in the first of many, many pool shots, we see the pool lights flicker and go out. The paranormal activities then escalate from the un-surprising (a baby and dog looking at something that no one else can see) to the downright hilarious (the mother, Kristi, getting tripped up and dragged around the house by an invisible prankster).
That is not to say that the movie is devoid of scares. The daylight scene where the cupboards fly open with a bang was actually quite surprising. As things get worse and worse, though, we learn that Kristi and Katie (who co-starred in the first Paranormal Activity) were tormented by the supernatural as children. Ali tries to find out what is going on which leads her to the discovery that when a human makes a deal with a demon for wealth and power the price is the soul of the first born son.
Yeah, you guessed it, little Hunter is that first born son.
In the last ten minutes of the film, things start to pick up. Kristi has been possessed by the demon and takes Hunter into the basement. Daniel enlists the help of the recently-fired housekeeper who tells them that the demon can be passed on to a blood relative. Daniel ascends into the basement and performs whatever ritual he performs.
Three weeks later Katie comes over and tells them that things are happening at her house. She leaves and returns to her house in what is the first scene of the first movie. In the end Katie returns to the house, kills Kristi and Daniel, and takes Hunter. The End.
My advice? Rent it and fast-forward to the last ten minutes.