Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sleep Tight, Don't Let...Anything...Bite...

Paranormal Activity 2  (Paramount, 2010)

Before the Camera:

Brian Boland  (The Unborn)
Sprague Grayden  (Wake)
Molly Ephraim  (College Road Trip)
Katie Featherston  (Paranormal Activity)
William Prieto & Jackson Prieto  (first movie - they take turns playing the toddler)
Vivis  (Gas, Food, Lodging)
Abby the dog (first movie - she plays the family dog all by herself)
Micah Sloat  (Paranormal Activity)

Behind the Camera:

Directed by Tod Williams

Produced by Jason Blum, Jeanette Brill, Akiva Goldsman, Oren Peli, and Steven Schneider

Written by Michael R. Perry, Christopher Landon, and Tom Pabst

    One of the most polarizing developments in movies in the last 15 years or so is the "found footage" movie, which is a flick that appears to be shot on home video equipment with real people, showing events as they happened to the people that usually don't end well - hence the "footage" needing to be "found" instead of presented by the participants. The Blair Witch Project in 1999 was not the first, (you may have been thinking that I'm referring to The Last Broadcast from 1995 but I'm actually thinking of Coming Apart from 1969 and mention must be made of the notorious Cannibal Holocaust from 1980) but until the last couple of years it was arguably the most famous of these. More recently, Cloverfield, REC, Quarantine, and the first Paranormal Activity were all "found footage" movies. And these movies really seem to draw a dividing line between the people who like them, and those who absolutely hate them. For me, I happen to like them. Two stipulations on that - I only want to see one every once in a while, and they have to be done well. I haven't seen everything I listed above, but I did find both Blair Witch and Paranormal Activity to be wonderfully creepy pictures, (I also am the only person on the planet who didn't hate Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 - which is not strictly a found footage movie)
    So with that lengthy exposition out of the way - here comes Paranormal Activity 2. This time, after finding their house ransacked, a married couple with one teen (his) and a toddler (theirs) installs several security cameras inside and outside throughout their house. We only see footage shot through these and handheld video cameras (this family does record themselves a lot - but go with it). Across several weeks, we watch the family growing more and more uneasy as unexplainable events start to occur, mainly at night, but definitely in a escalating pattern that doesn't bode well for anyone in the house. And that's basically it. I like the two PA films especially because we are never more vulnerable than when we sleep -  things can get awfully close to you while you lie in your bed if they're stealthy and malevolent.

Creepiest patio furniture ever.

    I'm avoiding spoilers as much as possible here - so I'm not saying too much more - but you may have noticed that both stars of the first movie are in this one - which may surprise you if you've seen the first movie - but I have to say how and why they're here is satisfactorily explained, even to this notoriously detail oriented reviewer. If you liked the first movie, you'll enjoy this one. If you hated the first movie, you're not likely to change your opinion watching this one.

Let's Get Out of Here ?

Once again, one viewing in the theater leaves me unsure if The Line was used, but I'm thinking it is awfully likely to have been. Once again, more research will tell the tale.

Eye Candy ?

All of the ladies are very cute in the movie (and Molly Ephraim is a college graduate, so I'm not perving on a teen!) but Katie Featherston makes it onto the list for a couple of reasons.

Buddha Man's Capsule Review

Buddha Man says: "Paranormal Activity 2 is a worthy sequel to a creepy movie."
Til next time, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

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