Films | Movie Reviews | Paranormal Activity – Review

Paranormal Activity – Review

Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on January 8, 2011 | No Comments

Paranormal Activity – Review
PRODUCER – Jason Blum, Oren Peli
DIRECTOR – Tod Williams
WRITER – Michael R. Perry    (screenplay) and Christopher B. Landon (screenplay) (as Christopher Landon) and Tom Pabst (screenplay), Michael R. Perry (story)
CAST – Sprague Grayden, Brian Boland, Molly Ephraim, Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat

‘If someone defaults on a pact with the demon, he will have to forfeit the soul of the male firstborn of the family.’

On this rather 16th century premise is based the second part of Paranormal Activity. A prequel to Part 1, it shows the events that led to Katie and Micah (the lead of the part 1) being haunted, Micah’s death and Katie’s disappearance.

The film is based on the same candid/surveillance camera structure as its former counterpart. This time the central characters are Katie’s sister, Kristi and her family. Things start going haywire as soon as Kristi gives birth to a baby boy. After they find their house turned upside down they install surveillance cameras all over the house to inspect the going-ones. It is through this footage and some from home-video candid camera style, we are told the story of the haunting.

Unbelievably slow, the film takes its own time to unfold forgetting to leave behind enough or any bones for the audience to chew on meanwhile. The family is a regular family but its extreme pedestrian daily lives become a drone in the absence of thrills or chills.

The Paranormal Activity franchise thrives on psychological fear rather than tricky visuals or booming sound effects. It springs from the premise of human frailty in relation to the invincibility of dark forces. Its spine-chilling idea is how vulnerable we really are in our existence and especially so at night, in sleep. The second part does nothing to explore or instil this psychological fear leave alone augment it.

Apart from a staid, lacklustre screenplay, the film also raises a couple of questions of logic and convenience. The immediate installation of cameras without a talk of thieves or spirits, the absolute inattention to the camera footage once installed and more so the candid camera footage that is left arbitrarily unexplained. These add to the already loose proceedings bringing the film down several notches. Although, it provides a connect to the first part thematically, it hardly excites tremors of anything more than the mild sort.

Fatema H.Kagalwala

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