“Paranormal Activity 2” Out Performs Sequel Label

Paranormal Activity 2 has had unprecedented success for a horror sequel.

“Paranormal Activity 2” has had unprecedented success for a horror sequel.

James Cullinane

"Paranormal Activity 2" has had unprecedented success for a horror sequel.

In October of 2009, the movie industry was shaken by the ultra profitable, low budget phenomenon that was “Paranormal Activity”.  Because of its unique, “found footage” style of cinematography, “Paranormal Activity” immediately appealed to the masses.  As viewers witnessed a true nightmare unfold upon Katie and Micah Sloat (Katie Featherstone and Micah Sloat), they could not help but feel as though the footage they saw could very well be real.  It was this uncommon quality that made “Paranormal Activity” a box office smash.

Most who admire horror films often agree on one thing, sequels usually lack the suspense and quality to live up to their predecessors.  Even the most classic scary movies (“Halloween”, “Friday the 13th”, “Blair Witch Project”), often lead to ignominious attempts at sequels, disappointing their loyal followers.  When plans for “Paranormal Activity 2” were announced, viewers could not help but question how the authenticity that made “Paranormal Activity” a success would be replicated.  One would assume that such an unparalleled plot for a movie could not simply be released again with different characters.  At the same time, skeptics could not help but ask, “What else can Paramount Pictures do?”

On October 22, 2010, Paramount answered these questions with the highly anticipated release of “Paranormal Activity 2”.  To the surprise of viewers and critics alike, “Paranormal Activity 2” was for the most part a prequel, as opposed to the sequel which was expected.  In another shock to viewers, Kristi Rey (Sprague Grayden) is the sister of original “Paranormal Activity” victim Katie Sloat.  Kristi is married to Dan, with whom  she shares a newborn son, Hunter, and a stepdaughter, Ali.  The family also has a loyal German Shepard who sleeps by Hunter’s crib every night.

After finding their new house ransacked in an assumed break in, Dan decides to install cameras throughout the property.  Like its predecessor, many of “Paranormal Activity 2’s” scariest moments come while nobody is watching, in the middle of the night.  These cameras capture these moments, but to the chagrin of the audience, are often ignored by Dan who doubts Kristi and Ali’s suspicions of an occult presence.  This haunted pair of sisters ultimately appear to have bad luck with men as well, both failing to convince their stubborn spouses of the demon present in their homes.

In “Paranormal Activity 2”, it is revealed to viewers that the reason for the reappearance of this demon in the lives of Kristi and Katie is the birth of Kristi’s son Hunter.  As Kristi’s stepdaughter Ali discovers through internet research, a person who makes a bargain with a demon, must in turn sacrifice the soul of their first born male child.  With the birth of Hunter, comes the demon’s turn to take what was promised to him.

“Paranormal Activity 2” remains a prequel until its very last scene, in which the demon makes his last stand against Kristi and Katie, on the night of the murder of Micah Sloat.  The ability to merge the climaxes of both movies is brilliant, leaving viewers satisfied and shivering in terror all at once.  Reoccurring scenes of suspense and intense fright keep viewers on the edge of their seat throughout the film.  The sudden nature of “Paranormal Activity 2” turns a usually predictable plot into a unpredictable odyssey of terror.

The most highly anticipated horror event of the year does not disappoint viewers and should lead to many sleepless nights.