PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2

A new house, new characters connected to the (returning) couple from
the first film, and a climax that nicely ties the two movies together,
this will scare the crap out of you. Like the first one, PA2 is part
of a new crop of scary movies that are essentially monster-free and
whose scares come as much from increasing dread as from things-that-go-
bump just beyond the doorway. (The Last Exorcism is the most recent
example.) Here is a case where a sequel's bigger budget does not mean
a watering-down of the original's frightfulness. The shuttling between
six mounted security cameras, from shot to shot to shot, gains an
almost ritual power — as each night's unsettling events grow in
intensity. This is certainly helped by acting so natural and
unmannered it doesn't seem like acting at all — right down to the
baby and the family dog, both key players. The worry was that a second
iteration would end with something as ridiculous as Blair Witch 2. But
this time, they did it right. — Jeff Schultz

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