Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)

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*. More creepy surveillance of things that go bump in the night.
*. More people who can’t be bothered turning the lights on when they hear strange noises in their house. This is swiftly turning into my most-hated horror film cliché.
*. Daniel seems to be doing better than Micah because he owns a Burger King franchise and Micah is only a day trader. That’s why Daniel has a bigger house with lots more cameras. Though for some reason, which is left unclear, Daniel doesn’t seem very interested in watching the tape from any of those cameras to see what’s going on. Like Micah in Paranormal Activity, he isn’t buying any of this crazy poltergeist shit, and so will suffer a similar fate.
*. Is there any point wondering why the demon is bothering to do all the things it does? If it wants to take Hunter why doesn’t it just take him? It has plenty of opportunities. Instead it plays around with the pool vacuum, opens and shuts doors, rattles the pots in the kitchen, and drags people into the basement. In Paranormal Activity 3 we’re told that some demons “feed off of your fear,” but I don’t see any point to all of this aside from it being a horror movie.

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*. I mentioned in my notes on the first film how Katie and Micah had no recourse to traditional Christian rituals or symbols to fight the demon. In this film the Mexican maid seems to be the only one who knows what’s going on. God loves minorities. They’re the only ones keeping the faith. and have a natural dog-like (literally, in this case) sensitivity to evil spirits. I mean, is it meant to be funny that when Daniel finally accepts that his family is being threatened by a demon the only thing he can think to do is to call the cleaning lady? Because I thought that was hilarious.
*. Ah, the old night vision climax again. Was The Silence of the Lambs the first movie to do this? It was certainly the most memorable. I thought Rec probably did it best. Here it seems like a cheap thrill. Why the hell are they in the basement anyway?
*. Basically this film is more of the same from the first, dressed up in much the same way. The return on investment was similarly huge (a $3 million budget turned into over $170 million in box office). The only twist is that much of the horror revolves around a toddler being threatened, which I found to be a bit icky. The only real scare was the scene when all the kitchen cupboards slam open. That’s probably enough to tell you that this is a movie that misses a lot of easy tricks.
*. That an idea so simple could make so much money suggests that they were doing a good job pressing the right buttons. In the first movie I thought it might have had something to do with the gender conflict. To add to the messages that I took from the first film: Guys, if you’re girlfriend is messed-up, her sister probably is too. The fruit never falls far from the tree. Girls, don’t let your boyfriends mess with your sister.

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