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Tod Williams
Sprague Greyden, Brian Boland, Molly Ephraim
Writing Credits:
Michael R. Perry, Christopher Landon, Tom Pabst

After experiencing what they think are a series of break-ins, a family sets up security cameras around their home, only to realize that the events unfolding before them are more sinister than they seem.

Box Office:
$3 million.
Opening Weekend
$40,678,424 on 3216 screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R/Not Rated.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
English Audio Description
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 87 min. (Theatrical Version)
97 min. (Unrated Version)
Price: $9.99
Release Date: 2/8/2011

• Both Theatrical and Unrated Cuts
• “Found Footage”
• Teaser Trailer
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BDT220P Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Paranormal Activity 2 [Blu-Ray] (2010)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 3, 2022)

With a budget of only $15,000, 2007’s Paranormal Activity went on to make more than $193 million worldwide when it got a wide release in 2009. Now that’s a fine return on investment!

Given the money involved, a sequel quickly hit screens via 2010’s Paranormal Activity 2. Though more expensive, it still cost a mere $3 million, and its $177 million ensured we would continue to get sequels apparently forever, as 2021’s Next of Kin marked the series’ seventh entry.

But I’ll get to that one on a later date. Activity 2 acts as a form of prequel to the first film.

The Rey family moves to Carlsbad, California but they soon encounter trouble. A few days after their arrival, they experience an apparent break-in, though oddly, they find nothing missing.

After the Reys set up video surveillance cameras, they learn that something supernatural may be at work. As time passes and more odd occurrences take place, they start to fear a demonic presence bedevils them.

Formal billing for Activity 2 favors Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat, the two leads from the first film. In this case, their connection to the action comes through Kristi Rey (Sprague Grayden), the Rey family mother and sister to the prior flick’s Katie.

This feels like a stretch, as I think the franchise would’ve probably worked better as an anthology. Yes, the original told us of a curse that haunted Katie and family since childhood, so that means the link to her sister doesn’t come out of the blue.

Nonetheless, given how barren of inspiration the first film was, it seems like a bad idea to continue that thread. That said, given how much money the inexplicably popular original flick was, it comes as no surprise that those involved went back to a similar well.

At least Activity 2 comes with ample room for improvement. The initial movie offered such a relentlessly slow and boring experience that the sequel must work better – right?

Unfortunately, not really. In a case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, those responsible for Activity 2 decided to repeat the pace and vibe of the first film for its sequel.

As result, Activity 2 offers another slow, tedious experience punctuated with occasional jump scares. Like the first film, it delivers basics about the participants and not much more, which leaves it low on narrative development.

Once again, much of the movie consists of shots in which virtually nothing happens. We get “slice of life” video segments with the Reys and others as well as seemingly endless security cam shots that show a house at rest.

As with the first flick, all of this exists as nothing more than prologue for those aforementioned “boo moments”. I get the intention, as it seems clear the filmmakers hope the many “nothing” shots will lull the viewer into a sense of complacency that will allow major impact when things go south.

In theory, that worked for the first movie. An audience might have viewed it unaware of the style and felt shocked by what they found.

However, virtually everyone who went into Activity 2 saw the prior flick, so its nearly identical stylistic choices become a hindrance. The slow-boil approach in the original feels like something that can work once but not again.

Which Activity 2 demonstrates – I guess. Given how bored I became with the prior movie, I can’t claim this one actually fares any worse.

Nonetheless, at least the first film brought some novelty value and left us unsure where it’d go. With Activity 2, we find such a repeat of the original’s approach that nothing along the way boasts the ability to shock or surprise.

Again, at no point during Paranormal Activity did I feel shocked, surprised or entertained. But at least I recognize that it did something then unusual with its approach.

A sequel to that tale needed its own novel path to become something more than a semi-remake. Unfortunately, because it comes with such a similar style, it just feels like a stale rehash.

That said, Activity 2 probably offers the more stimulating movie, if just because we get a little more “action”. Very little actually happened in the prior flick, so even though much of Activity 2 remains stagnant, it does engage in a little more plot material.

This feels like faint praise, though, as awfully little occurs during Activity 2. The second half manages to pick up the pace somewhat, and the film attempts narrative beats beyond just perplexed inhabitants of the “haunted house”.

In an objective sense, I prefer Activity 2 to its predecessor simply because it offers a more coherent attempt at a story. However, it loses points because it sticks so closely to its predecessor’s template.

As such, we wind up with another monotonous journey. Activity 2 threatens more life than the first film, but it still lacks enough actual substance to keep us with it.

The Disc Grades: Picture B-/ Audio C/ Bonus D+

Paranormal Activity 2 appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Intended to represent a mix of shots from security cameras and consumer video equipment, the image looked fine given those goals.

Sharpness became an erratic element. Well-light home video shots actually seemed pretty solid, but a lot of other shots seemed fuzzy and iffy – as one would anticipate, so these accurately represented the intentions.

These factors also led to a little shimmering and jaggies. Edge haloes remained absent, but inevitably a lot of video noise appeared – again, as one would expect due to the sources.

Colors opted for blues in the “night vision” shots and a golden vibe for well-lit videocam elements. The hues never excelled but they felt appropriate.

Blacks tended to seem inky, and low-light shots – mostly represented by those security cam images – were murky. All of this meant an objectively erratic picture that I gave a “B-“ because a) it occasionally looked pretty good and b) it remained true to the design choices.

Don’t expect fireworks from the movie’s low-key DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack. As became the case with the first film’s audio, the vast majority of the audio came from the front center channel.

At times, the sides/surrounds opened up for general ambience. A few of the louder scare moments used these channels as well, but the track’s scope remained extremely limited most of the time.

Audio quality felt more than adequate, with speech that came across as fairly natural and concise. No score accompanied the film.

Effects didn’t play a major role, though some of the jump scares came with loud elements, and the mix boasted an ominous subwoofer rumble at times. All of this seemed adequate and not any more.

The disc includes both the movie’s R-rated Theatrical Version (1:31:07) as well as an Extended Version (1:38:03). What does that extra seven minutes get us?

Most of the additions bring more “boo moments”, which makes it a surprise they got cut. I would assume the filmmakers would drop some of the endless shots of banal moments among the family, so the decision to lose footage that actually shows something interesting feels strange.

That said, it seems clear those involved with the Activity movies love their “ain’t nothing happening” scenes. Maybe these omissions for the theatrical cut shouldn’t surprise me.

Because Activity 2 bores me, I should prefer the shorter version just because it ends sooner. However, since the extended edition boasts more “action”, it seems like the preferable take.

In addition to the film’s teaser trailer - which actually offers a home video promo - we also find more unused material via three minutes, 49 seconds of Found Footage. This means what we’d normally call a “deleted scene”.

In addition to more Shots of Nothing, baby Hunter disappears and the panicked family searches for him. It’s a decent sequence that would’ve added some life to the somnambulant movie.

While not a literal remake of the first film, Paranormal Activity 2 strongly echoes its predecessor. Though I find it marginally more involving than that stinker, it still fails to become an engaging horror story. The Blu-ray comes with appropriate picture and audio as well as minor bonus materials. Activity 2 turns into another sluggish and forgettable tale.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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