Saturday, January 1, 2011



I wish I can consider myself a horror film buff.

But I am not.

I’ve never been afraid of the dark, this life.

And yeah, pitfalls are meant to be overcome.

So it’s no less surprising that I passed on the chance to review the first one.

That was a year ago.

I’ve always harbored the notion that people who pay to get themselves “spooked” are a crazy lot.

The first PARANORMAL ACTIVITY was an independent American film, cheaply-made.

It dwells on spooks that bumped and thumped in the night, not without warnings.

And if you chose not to believe, then woe betide you,

because the noises should then rise to a threatening crescendo …..

getting louder, bolder, angrier and end up as deafening bangs and thuds.

The apparitions would eventually appear in the final consternation, to haunt and shock the ballers out of everyone.

Don’t watch if you have a weak heart, lest you land up having a cardiac arrest.

The first film was shot in the faux-documentary style.

It signified a smashing 2009 worldwide box-office hit in the making.

Journalistic reviews collectively rated it “two thumbs up”.

A die-hard colleague even swore that PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 1 was amongst his all-time favorites, to date.

What of this predecessor, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2?

Grapevine is rife that critics are lauding praises that it’s a wonderfully directed and superbly acted horror flick.

The intensely ” real” chilly atmosphere is a profound factor.

It delivers some genuinely heart-thumping shocks, switching back and forth, to steal ideas from the first film.

Horror fans are a loyal lot.

Keep them really scared, and they will repeatedly come back wanting more.

Curiosity kills the cat and seeing is believing.

I had looked forward to the prequel.

At last, here’s my personal rating:

There’s too much-hype on this home made horror flick that’s stitched with surveillance footages.

Nevertheless it’s always enjoyable to watch something unpretentiously different.

Shooting in documentary style creates a sense of intensity and realism.

The point-of-interest to other film makers is, everything is entirely produced on a shoe-string budget,

made heaps for the investors and producers and is keeping everyone happy and hungry, longing for a further chapter, whilst the soup is still warm.

In PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2, we are introduced to a new pair of gregarious victims, Kristi (wife) and Dan (husband).

This time they come with additional baggages in tow – a child (Hunter), a teenage daughter (Ali), plus a German shepherd dog (Abby).

Initially Dan is skeptical about spooks dwelling in his new home.

The maid has a premonition of impending evil, but she cannot convince the family of her belief. Instead, she gets fired.

But after a bewildering break-in where the whole house is ransacked, Dan then

decides to have cameras installed in every room.

It’s through these cameras that we witness the bizarre happenings.

It is a creepy follow-up on the first one.

There are inexplicable going-ons.

Kristi eventually sinks into a trance-like stupor, creating exasperation for those around her.

She acts like she has been “possessed”.

Abby the German Shepherd dog is persistently attacked by an unknown power.

Everything takes place within the house where there are safety cameras everywhere.

Combining the look of the choppy home video and surveillance cameras, each creepy creak, thud, and humming of the refrigerator motor in the still of night is bound to create goose bumps.

The ending is as gruesome as it is mind boggling, leaving the final pieces of jig saw puzzle in disarray.

We have to assemble these into one cohesive piece before we can arrive at an answer.

The scares are all the more effective by coercing the audience to use its own imagination to fill in the blanks.

The natural performances of the actors, their fright and astonishment at unexpected occurrences, including that of the dog’s, make the film believable and disturbing.

People go to “Paranormal Activity 2″ with fond memories of the original film.

This one is low-tech and teasing in the way it cajoles our eyes and expectations.

The audience is scared, but hooked.

The audience will come back for more.

Are there roaming spirits in this world?

Do you believe in the undead?

What’d you do if you hear unexplained thumps at night in your home?

As you leave the theater at the end of the movie, these will be your lingering thoughts.

“Tonight is the night
When leaves make a sound
Like a gnome in his home
Under the ground,
When spooks and trolls
Creep out of holes
Mossy and green.”

Will there be a PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 after this?


Wherever you go, tread with caution.

The unexpected can always come a-calling, when you least expect it.


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