Paranormal Activity 2 Tod Williams

Paranormal Activity 2 Tod Williams
Not all franchise extensions are created equally. Thankfully, the brass behind the smashing success of the first Paranormal Activity hired a team to expand and enrich the formula rather than jettison what worked in favour of forgettable genre fodder (see: Blair Witch 2). Paranormal Activity 2 is technically a prequel that eventually overlaps with the original. Katie Featherstone's sister, Kristi (Sprague Greyden, Sons of Anarchy, Six Feet Under), has just come home after having a baby boy named Hunter, hence the filming by step daughter Ali (Molly Ephraim, College Road Trip) and husband Daniel (Brian Boland, The Unborn). A few days later, the family returns to find the house completely trashed and only an item of personal significance missing. Suspecting burglary, the visibly wealthy family installs surveillance cameras. The alternating views of these cameras make up the bulk of the footage viewers are shown. One of the main tricks of the first film – not being sure when you're watching rewound footage – is abandoned, but the cumulative effect of the simmering tension resultant from waiting for something to happen is similar. To throw off the modicum of safety that comes with knowing roughly where you're going to see the creepy go down, director Todd Williams carefully arranges mirrors in a number of key scenes, which is especially effective in Hunter's nursery. The characters are more likeable this time. Daniel's scepticism feels more founded, until the evidence is undeniable, and his presence is somewhat marginalized, unlike Micah's annoying taunts, which inevitably set off bickering tirades between him and Katie. Micah and Katie are better represented, with limited but effective screen time, tying the films together while providing a countdown to shit getting serious. Ali, however, is the most welcome presence (aside from the unseen one, of course). At first, she's delighted by the prospect of a spectre, but is swiftly the most concerned and sensible about the situation, trying to figure it out and deal rather than deny. It's a bit cheap for the family to conveniently have a Mexican nanny versed in practical magic, but it saves a few pennies and minutes to roll with the minor contrivance. Some of the scare factor is diminished by the simple fact that we have a pretty good idea of how far things can go, but the filmmakers deal with this effectively by raising the stakes and providing some reasoning behind the fear. In keeping with the faux-reality of the series the extras are slim. "Found Footage" is a collection of deleted scenes, including a missing baby sequence and the "Extended" version of the film, offering an extra seven minutes of subtle supernatural happenings and even more shots of the pool cleaner and those swinging pans in the kitchen. Spooky. Except, that it is, inasmuch as you're willing to entertain those feelings of unease we've all had alone in a spooky house, or you know, when seeing a floating baby. (Paramount)