This sequel to last year's surprise (word-of-mouth) intimately contemplative horror hit uses the template to follow similar phenomenon, albeit on a bit of a larger scale.
Paranormal Activity 2 is directed by Tod Williams (The Door In The Floor) and written by Michael R. Perry, providing a suitably grainy distracting presence as it measuredly invokes tension and dread. But, until the last act, it may be too uneventful, even for those who love what goes bump in the night.
Here, in what chronologically is set months before what happened to Katie and Micah in the original, relates to her sister and family as they move into a swank home then find it to be ransacked but without anything pilfered.
There's a slow-burning escalation of what is driven by fear after installation of security cameras and the daughter's high-definition camera. Williams aims to build a suffocating eerieness as the onlooker gets to know the characters a little and some of their tics, including a Latino nanny. But, it doesn't have original director and now producer Oren Peli's surer helming prowess to go along with it that could have made for better establishing shots and foreboding settings.
That being said, fans of what has franchise potential in a "reality-minded" world with Twitter and Facebook, will like the connection with Katie and Micah, who also are seen a couple of times on screen. Taut, thrilling scares ultimately make for a fairly intense conclusion and another chilling epilogue that could lead to another interesting prequel in a haunting, more populated, if hyped-up slice-of-life definitely more watchable than much of the terror Hollywood has to offer these days.