This week's must-see DVD/BD, and why we're lovin' it.
What? Paranormal Activity 2
Who? Directed by Tod Williams and starring Sprague Grayden, Brian Boland, Molly Ephraim, Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat
Why? The low-budget festival sensation Paranormal Activity spooked audiences with its tale of a young couple being terrorized by a supernatural presence when it was released wide in 2009. The film didn't rely on name actors, expensive special effects or even a visible bogeyman—just some handheld cameras to record the couple's fear of things that go bump in the night.
couple Katie (Katie Featherston
) and Micah (Micah Sloat) return in this inevitable follow-up that cleverly takes place concurrently with the events of the first film. Katie's sister, Kristi (Sprague Grayden), has moved into a house down the street with her widowed husband, Dan (Brian Boland), and his teenage daughter, Ali (Molly Ephraim). After Dan and Kristi bring home their new son, Hunter, the house is broken into and a necklace that Katie gave Kristi is stolen. Dan installs security cameras all over the house and it is that footage that starts giving goosebumps: a maid burns sage to rid the house of evil spirits, a mechanical pool cleaner keeps climbing out of the pool, cabinet doors fly open, the family's German shepherd barks at an invisible presence and suffers a seizure, scratches appear on the basement door and more.
The violence escalates until people are, again, dragged screaming down the stairs into the dark basement, which is already frightening in a Hoarders sense—with or without a demon. The shocking finale ties together the two films wonderfully and leaves the door open for another film, which is already in production. Blu-ray Bob says, "bring it on," because Paranormal Activity 2 is one of the rare instances where the second film in a franchise is actually better—and surprisingly scarier—than the first.
What Else?: Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain the theatrical version and an unrated director's cut as well as additional "exclusive found footage."