Paranormal Activity 2

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By Mark Ramsey | 2010/10/25

And this is the part of Paranormal Activity 2 where the family plays with their toddler.  There it is again.  And again.   Normally, one has to go to the neighbor’s house or YouTube for cinema of this verité.  Maybe if mom and dad say “whee!” enough times in Paranormal Activity 2 it will persuade me that this is fun.

Maybe not.

So a Southern California family brings home a new baby – and a new HD video camera, which they seem to love a lot more than the baby.

“This camera has your eyes,” said the illegal nanny, as she placed it in a high chair and tried to feed it cheerios.

The nanny knows this house is haunted by evil spirits, but mommy is busy with the baby and daddy is in a cardigan and thus deserves some respect.  Little sister, meanwhile, is more interested in painting her toes and exploring the juniors department at Nordstrom when she’s not Googling “demon” on camera.

“We have a demon in this house,” says the nanny.

“Of course we do, he’s a toddler and his name is Hunter,” said the mom.  “We named him after an obscure Johnny Depp role and a shade of green.”

Surprise!  The house is trashed and so the Cleavers must install a home-wide video system.  “We could just put a lock on the door, but a home-wide video system will propel the narrative of this movie while a lock will simply work,” said cardigan dad. “Who wants to wire up Hunter for the lav mic?”

“I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. Dumb-mille,” said Hunter as a production assistant snuffed his cigar in an ashtray.

“Does this mean we can justify housing Julie Chen in the studio next door?” asked mom.  “She’s married to the head of the network, you know, but I’m sure that’s strictly a coincidence.”

Night 1, nothing happens.  Night 2, nothing happens.  Nights 3 through painful 15, nothing happens.  Pool area – nothing happens.  Kitchen – nothing happens.  Foyer – nothing happens. S&M dungeon – nothing happens.  Room containing forgotten sibling chained behind false wall and featured recently on a bombshell episode of Nancy Grace – nothing happens. Room dedicated to collectible Star Wars action figures – nothing happens (in fact, the demon wants to steer clear of this room at all costs).

Fortunately there’s a timer in the corner of the screen so at least something is moving, if not the action. Any chance that timer could also get a news ticker and maybe some TV Guide listings?

The link to the original Paranormal Activity is firmly established when we discover that mom’s sister is the star of the previous flick and she is cursed not only with demons throughout her family but videographers, too.

Then on night 16 the pool cleaner crawls out of the pool, and frankly who could blame it?

Night 17 – the toys are moving around the house!  “They have a mind of their own, which is more than I can say for the rest of us,” said dad.

Suddenly, all the lights go out!

“I know, I’ll use the night vision on this HD video cam in order to see in the dark,” says dad, “even if it actually sees in the blue.”

Added dad:  “Perhaps one day somebody will invent a portable battery-powered device with a light on it.  Maybe they could even call it a ‘flash-light.’”

“I would call it a ‘beam-ray,’” said the daughter.

“No, it would be a ‘handi-view,’” said the mom.

“No matter, such things are the stuff of whimsy and fancy,” said dad as he bumped into one piece of furniture after another.

If you think there’s nothing weird about grabbing a video camera when your life and your family’s life is in danger – if you think every fart needs to be captured on HD (and ideally held without bail), you’ll love Paranormal Activity 2.

As for the rest of us, there’s more action at the local preschool.  And more demons, too.

I liked the first movie but its uniqueness was its whole appeal.  And the funny thing about “unique” is that it doesn’t come in chapters.

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30 Responses to “Paranormal Activity 2”

  1. Andrew Roy says:

    You’re REALLY clever, and you made it a lot of fun for me to read your drawn-out review. In fact, your review is almost as drawn-out as you thought the movie was.

    [Reply]

    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    I think that’s a proverbial left-handed compliment, but I’ve never been picky about which hand delivers a compliment. Thanks!

    [Reply]

  2. Andrew Roy says:

    Your entire review makes fun of the first movie as well, fyi. This question is right-handed: what’s your favorite horror movie?

    [Reply]

    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    I would have to say It’s a Wonderful Life. That Mr. Potter is scary!

    I am also partial to the Universal Classics and Silence of the Lambs.

    And M.

    [Reply]

  3. Leon says:

    This is another one of those movies that made me question the honesty of my circle of friends. I’m close with dozens of nonwhites, yet when I press them for information about demons and voodoo, they look at me like I’m stupid.

    They must be holding out on me because I’m “the man.” Jerks.

    [Reply]

    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    Leon, that is an excellent point!

    And I can’t improve on it. Nicely done! :-)

    [Reply]

  4. CMrok93 says:

    Works well with its scares, and great deal of suspense. Almost better than the first, but yet, too rushed by the end. Nice post, check out my review when you can!

    [Reply]

    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    Almost better than the first means worse than the first, I hope. ;-)

    [Reply]

  5. Suhaib says:

    I bought the first movie but could not make myself watch it… for second, your review has given enough insight to make a rational decision of not buying it even.

    Have you seen and reviewed the movie “Antichrist” by Lars von Trier released in 2009. I watched it this Sunday… I still don’t know what was the point of that movie… Could you help me on this?

    [Reply]

    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    I barely understand the point of the REAL AntiChrist, let alone the cinematic version!

    I haven’t seen it, I’m afraid, and thanks to your comment it looks like I won’t!

    [Reply]

    Suhaib Reply:

    Yeah you shouldn’t unless of course you like graphic (self & others) genital mutilation without anesthesia and animals disemboweling themselves . I believe people think too much into such movies after labeling them “dark” and trying to find a deeper meaning and a perspective while there isn’t one.

    [Reply]

    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    I guess genital mutilation is better than genital nothing-at-all!

    shan l Reply:

    Here is another hint about the film ‘Anti-Christ’(rusty scissors)
    I have yet to see even the first ‘Paranormal Activity’
    I am happy just watching the old BBC tv-movie ‘Ghostwatch’ every so often.

  6. Tina says:

    Entertaining review! Frankly, I’m skeptical about this movie mainly because of the last line in your interview. In the previews, there is a scene with someone getting dragged by “mysterious forces” just like in the first one. First time I saw that scene it was creepy, the second time, not so much!

    But I guess Hollywood runs on being derivative, just look at the Saw franchise.

    [Reply]

  7. Tina says:

    ..because of the last line in your review. Sorry!

    [Reply]

    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    Yeah, by the way, who REALLY believes this is the last SAW?

    [Reply]

  8. Patrick says:

    “And then I framed another pithy insult in quotation marks,” said Mark Ramsey, “and suddenly I realized I should write the entire review like this. It’s perfect,” he continued, “I get to feel like I’m being terribly clever without having to write anything even remotely useful. Why didn’t I think of this sooner?”

    [Reply]

    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    “I think you made up those quotations,” said Mark Ramsey. “Why, yes, I’m quite sure of it!”

    [Reply]

    Patrick Reply:

    Ok, now that actually did make me laugh.

    [Reply]

    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    Finally! :-)

  9. bumblefoot2004 says:

    I downloaded the movie and am glad I did since the movie SUCKED.

    [Reply]

    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    You only THINK you downloaded the movie. Actually that was MY home movie you downloaded. Remember the part about the dog dressed as a ghost? Yep, that was mine.

    [Reply]

  10. Tychy says:

    if you’re not frightened by paranormal activity – either 1 or 2 – then give up! – you’ll never be frightened by any ghost story! it must be sad, middle age…

    [Reply]

    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    The first one spooked me. The second one was too busy reaching into my wallet to be scary.

    [Reply]

  11. Dylan says:

    Oh what a clever, hysterical & totally fucking obnoxious review. I’m sure you’re the hit with all of your nerd friends, but man you must be one irritating douchebag. Stick to your day job at Dairy Queen geek, you don’t have a future in journalism that is for dman sure.

    [Reply]

    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    As long as I’m a hit with all my nerd friends, dman it!

    [Reply]

  12. precious says:

    ha. marvelous review. its so true about the timer i found myself just staring at it and not even watching the film.
    i have to disagree with it uniqueness tho; blare witch project, the poltergeist…

    [Reply]

    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    Yeah, I said “unique,” not “original.” But you’re right.

    [Reply]

  13. Holly says:

    ”We could just put a lock on the door, but a home-wide video system will propel the narrative of this movie while a lock will simply work,”

    This was the answer to a question I asked myself throughout the entire movie. :P Great review Mark!

    [Reply]

    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    Thanks Holly!

    [Reply]

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