Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Halloween Movie of the Day: Day 27

36. Paranormal Activity 2 - So, like I said when talking about the first Paranormal Activity, I really like the way the sequels are set up. When I first heard they were making a sequel, I was pretty unimpressed, and didn't bother to learn much about it, until I finally just got it from Netflix for the heck of it, mostly because I assumed they were just going to be doing a remake of the original, but with a different family, and little, if any, connection to the first. And while you could argue that the basic premise is pretty much the same, this movie is, in my opinion, a much better one than the first, and ties in very, very directly to it. I still haven't seen the third one, but I like the idea of seeing the original hauntings... Though I'm not sure, really, where they could go afterwards that would feel at all satisfying. Again, the characters here aren't terribly likable, and since there's more of them, we get an introduction scene that feels a bit artificial (though, in return, the justification for the constant videotaping feels a little more natural since we get to see the motivation for putting in security cameras) and they don't have as much time to establish themselves, but they're certainly not the worst horror movie characters I've seen, even just this month. I'm also not thrilled about both of the first two movies use the "screaming over stupid stuff from off-camera" fake-out, especially when the one this time around was infinitely stupider. Which I didn't expect to be possible, since I've always thought the spider scene from the first one was pretty dumb. Back on the plus side, it's a lot more visually interesting than the first one, just by being able to switch from the handheld camera to the security cameras, and even just between the security cameras. And while I still think the attic scene from the first one is the scariest scene in the two, there are a few very good candidates for second place here, namely a late night trip through the house with the handheld camera (which comes the closest to matching the same sense of dread, though it doesn't quite make it), a kitchen scene that's really just a jump scare, but a very good one, and just about anything having to do with the basement.

Bonus: Garfield in Disguise - Or Garfield's Halloween Adventure, but that's what IMDB has it as. I don't even know when I last saw this, so it's kind of surprising how many little details I remembered, especially the costume song and "candy-candy-candy-candy!" There was definitely enough that I didn't remember to make it fun to re-watch, though, like most of the plot besides Garfield just wanting to go trick-or-treating. Or even the ghost pirates, which, I have to say, look pretty cool. The whole thing is really a lot of fun, and captures a lot of the feeling of Halloween as a kid.

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