Paranormal Activity 2: Unrated Director's Cut (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 02-05-2011, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=200778&d=1296924951
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109939&d=1210373637

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

83






Studio and Year: Paramount - 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 91/98 minutes
Genre: Horror

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish/Brazilian Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese
Starring: Brian Boland, Sprague Graydon, Molly Ephraim, Katie Featherston, Micha Sloat
Directed by: Tod Williams
Written by: Michael R. Perry, Christopher Landon, Tom Pabst
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 8, 2011







"Terror comes home"



Film Synopsis:

Just as Dan and Kristi welcome a newborn baby into their home, a demonic presence begins terrorizing them, tearing apart their perfect world and turning it into an inescapable nightmare. Security cameras capture the torment, making every minute horrifyingly real.



My Take:

Paranormal Activity 2 is the prequel to 2009’s Paranormal Activity and chronicles the frightening days leading up to the events of the original film, marking the return of Katie, Micah and the terrifying and malevolent presence that’s torturing them. When Katie’s sister Kristi and her husband find their house vandalized after bringing home their new baby, they set up 24-hour surveillance cameras. What unfolds on the footage is far more sinister and shocking than anything they could have imagined.

I have to admit that I found Paranormal Activity to be an effective horror film experience. I found its slowly evolving and escalating storyline to be perfectly paced and eerily frightening. I went to see Paranormal Activity 2 in the theater in the fall. I felt that it was paced too slowly and didn’t build the foundation of fear that culminated in the events that lead up to the conclusion like the original film had. That isn’t to suggest that it wasn’t scary because the last 30 minutes or so are every bit as disturbing as the first film (maybe even more so). I like the development of story, the additional characters, and its tie into Paranormal Activity.

Watching it for a second time I found that I enjoyed it a bit more. The unrated director’s cut adds about 7 minutes to the theatrical version and flows better in my opinion. There are additional sequences that provide earlier occurrences of the strange going’s on that I found made for a smoother transition leading up to that first night when Martine (the maid) is alone in the house with Hunter. This time around I also picked up on a few minor things that I initially missed. I still think that there is a little too much time spent staring at the security camera footage of the pool but there is no doubt that the extended cut contains a more cohesive narrative. The film has several decent jump scares and the last 35 minutes is every bit as involving/frightening as it was the first time I saw it. Paramount has wisely included both the theatrical and extended director’s cut as well as the inclusion of a little over 3 minutes of “found footage” that documents more of the events leading up to the crap hitting the fan. I think that Paranormal Activity 2 is a worthy prequel and companion to Paranormal Activity. This unrated director’s cut improves upon the theatrical release (not by a wide margin) and is the version I enjoyed the most. Either way you’re in for a spooky good time just be sure to watch on a rainy night when your home alone.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for language, thematic content and brief violent material.





AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 86



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692




Video: 80


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

Paranormal Activity 2 comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 27 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.9 Mbps.

Being a “documentary” this film was shot using high definition hand held and concealed CCD type video cameras with the perspective often switching back and forth. The shots captured with the high definition camera were lucid, with crisp definition, rich natural color and elevated contrast. The lower resolution security camera footage was noticeably grainy, with softer elements, and minor artifacts but certainly clear enough to get the job done. I had no real complaints with the video quality and thought that the variance contributed to the source material.

The lossless audio presentation had no trouble conveying the predominantly front loaded elements present in the soundtrack recording. Dialogue is always intelligible and exhibits fair room penetration. The mix did a nice job of handling the various directional cues associated with the hand held camera’s perspective and near field simulation. There is some off camera and atmosphere creating sounds mixed to various points in the sound field and the effect is seamlessly blended. Dynamic range, clarity and bass definition was excellent. Jump scares were palpable and jarring which served to elevate the level of anticipation quite nicely. I thought that the audio/video quality here appeared faithful to the theatrical presentation while making for an improved overall experience.



Bonus Features:


  • Theatrical and Unrated Director‘s Cut of the film

  • (HD) Found footage - 3 minutes

  • Bonus DVD containing the unrated director‘s cut

  • Digital Copy (unrated director‘s cut)




Final Thoughts:

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 is the prequel to 2009’s Paranormal Activity and chronicles the frightening days leading up to the events of the original film. This is an effectively scary and disturbing film that is a worthy companion to the original film. I prefer the more cohesive narrative and smoother flow of the unrated director’s cut over the theatrical version but either gets the job done. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount Home Entertainment featuring faithful video quality, excellent lossless DTS-HD Master Audio sound, and a barebones supplemental offering. If you liked the first film this is required viewing. Just be sure to watch it on a rainy night when your home alone.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






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post #2 of 30 Old 02-05-2011, 02:06 PM
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So I guess comes the argument of whether the score's basis is dependent on how good the picture itself looks or how closely the film represents its theater counterpart. In other words, it might be a perfect transfer but it looked like crap to begin with when it was filmed so there wasn't much they could do with the picture/audio.

I just want to make sure they didn't treat this transfer poorly. Would I be correct in saying that this is the best this movie could look and sound?
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post #3 of 30 Old 02-05-2011, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muffinmcfluffin View Post

So I guess comes the argument of whether the score's basis is dependent on how good the picture itself looks or how closely the film represents its theater counterpart. In other words, it might be a perfect transfer but it looked like crap to begin with when it was filmed so there wasn't much they could do with the picture/audio.

I just want to make sure they didn't treat this transfer poorly. Would I be correct in saying that this is the best this movie could look and sound?

Greetings,

It's the nature of the photography and nothing else. As I stated in my review it appears faithful and I didn't have any real problems with it. A film like this isn't the type that makes for spectacular home theater viewing. Most who have them should know that going in.

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post #4 of 30 Old 02-05-2011, 03:26 PM
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I really enjoyed the first one as an at home experience. I'll be blind buying this film...should play great at home

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post #5 of 30 Old 02-05-2011, 08:35 PM
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So this movie has the couple from the first movie, the 2 main characters, but are they not the main characters this time around? And does it take place in the same house? It's kind of hard to tell exactly what this movie is about and how the events in it lead up to the events in the first movie.

I liked the first movie quite a bit, it sure does make things confusing though when they go in the same numerical order for prequels that they do for sequels!

I remember when this first came out, I had thought, and I guess hoped, that they would pick up right where the first 1 left off. Would have liked to have seen what happened afterwards. Turns out this wasn't the case.

They should have called this Paranormal Activity 0 damnit!

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post #6 of 30 Old 02-06-2011, 12:06 AM
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Really glad to see Ralph's rating of this film. I really enjoyed the first one and have been looking forward to this one....but even though I heard the producers explicitly say this would not be another Blair Witch II, I had my doubts. Looks like they were able to recreate some of the magic they had with the first film.

Looking forward to this one!
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post #7 of 30 Old 02-06-2011, 09:26 AM
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As a movie, I felt that part 2 was better than part 1....but it just wasn't as scary.
I remember being quite pleased sitting in the theater and finding out that this movie was actually a prequel (I'm pretty sure the ads kept that secret....at least at first)
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post #8 of 30 Old 02-07-2011, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormshadow4life View Post
As a movie, I felt that part 2 was better than part 1....but it just wasn't as scary.
I remember being quite pleased sitting in the theater and finding out that this movie was actually a prequel (I'm pretty sure the ads kept that secret....at least at first)
I agree, I actually liked this one better than part 1.

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post #9 of 30 Old 02-07-2011, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post
So this movie has the couple from the first movie, the 2 main characters, but are they not the main characters this time around? And does it take place in the same house? It's kind of hard to tell exactly what this movie is about and how the events in it lead up to the events in the first movie.

No one.......?

Well, I guess I'll have to wait and find out when I see it later this week.

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post #10 of 30 Old 02-07-2011, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post

No one.......?

Well, I guess I'll have to wait and find out when I see it later this week.

Greetings,

The characters from the first film are in it (briefly) but are not the main players. It takes place in a different house however the family in this house is related to those from the first film. You'll have to wait and see how it all ties in..

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post #11 of 30 Old 02-07-2011, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post

So this movie has the couple from the first movie, the 2 main characters, but are they not the main characters this time around? And does it take place in the same house? It's kind of hard to tell exactly what this movie is about and how the events in it lead up to the events in the first movie.


They should have called this Paranormal Activity 0 damnit!

The main characters in this movie are Katie's (from the first one) sister and her family. It is a different house. Once you see the movie, everything should be very clear to you (assuming you remember the first one).
If they called it Paranormal Activity 0 they would have ruined the fun surprise that it was actually a prequel.
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post #12 of 30 Old 02-07-2011, 01:53 PM
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When I opened this review, the page hadn't fully loaded yet and I started to scroll down to read Ralph's review.
Because of that, the rating stars for "Film" hadn't appeared yet, so my first reaction was that the film was so bad, Ralph gave it zero stars!

Thanks Ralph!
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post #13 of 30 Old 02-07-2011, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacksmyname View Post

When I opened this review, the page hadn't fully loaded yet and I started to scroll down to read Ralph's review.
Because of that, the rating stars for "Film" hadn't appeared yet, so my first reaction was that the film was so bad, Ralph gave it zero stars!

Thanks Ralph!

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You're welcome!

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post #14 of 30 Old 02-07-2011, 03:31 PM
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Thanks guys for your follow up. The whole premise behind this movie sounds interesting. Can't wait to see it.

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post #15 of 30 Old 02-07-2011, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post

Thanks guys for your follow up. The whole premise behind this movie sounds interesting. Can't wait to see it.

Don't feel bad, since I hadn't watched the first one since it came out, I didn't even know this was a prequel, until reading Ralph's review.

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post #16 of 30 Old 02-07-2011, 09:10 PM
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i think it's better all around than the first one, but less scary. the one scene in the kitchen did scare the crap out of me for a second.
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post #17 of 30 Old 02-08-2011, 02:43 PM
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i think it's better all around than the first one, but less scary. the one scene in the kitchen did scare the crap out of me for a second.

Best jump scare scene for me was probably
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
When the mom was being all creepy and then lunged at her step daughter in the bedroom
.... The one you mentioned was also pretty good.
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post #18 of 30 Old 02-08-2011, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormshadow4life View Post

Best jump scare scene for me was probably
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
When the mom was being all creepy and then lunged at her step daughter in the bedroom
.... The one you mentioned was also pretty good.

Greetings,

That one didn't get me nearly as much as:

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
That loud "thud" that scares Martine (the maid) when she is home alone with Hunter.


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post #19 of 30 Old 02-09-2011, 11:23 PM
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Okay guys....it's right now 2:21am. My lady friend and I just finished watching this film. Needless to say, she's petrified to go back to her place lol. And I will admit, I'm very unnerved by what I just watched. This was one of the most effective horror films I've ever seen. I absolutely loved the way it meshed with the first one, and even though it scared the bejeezus out of me, I am very satisfied with the ending.

Ralph offered the advice to watch this film on a rainy night...I'll add one more thing: Make sure you have a capable subwoofer...it will take this film to another level. I'm gonna be up a while before I go to sleep lol.

Thumbs way WAY up!
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post #20 of 30 Old 02-10-2011, 02:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Summa View Post

Okay guys....it's right now 2:21am. My lady friend and I just finished watching this film. Needless to say, she's petrified to go back to her place lol. And I will admit, I'm very unnerved by what I just watched. This was one of the most effective horror films I've ever seen. I absolutely loved the way it meshed with the first one, and even though it scared the bejeezus out of me, I am very satisfied with the ending.

Ralph offered the advice to watch this film on a rainy night...I'll add one more thing: Make sure you have a capable subwoofer...it will take this film to another level. I'm gonna be up a while before I go to sleep lol.

Thumbs way WAY up!

Greetings,



Hang in there Summa! If you hear something that goes 'BUMP' in the night PAY ATTENTION!

I am glad that you enjoyed PA2. (sweet dreams)


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post #21 of 30 Old 02-10-2011, 07:40 AM
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Ok guys, I haven't had "the willies" forever from a horror movie, so this is going on my list!
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post #22 of 30 Old 02-11-2011, 11:44 PM
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I liked the first one better, and perhaps if I hadn't seen it first, this one would have had more impact. It seemed more staged and there was less shock and awe, for me, than the first. Darn it! .
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post #23 of 30 Old 02-12-2011, 07:11 PM
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Thanks for the review Ralph I just picked it up so im going to watch it tonight .
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post #24 of 30 Old 02-13-2011, 07:48 AM
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Saw both the this one and the first one at the cinema. While the first one was better, Paranormal Activity 2 is definitely worth a watch.
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post #25 of 30 Old 02-13-2011, 01:08 PM
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I enjoyed it started out in the lights out HT mode and midway threw the lights came on for the remainder of the movie I enjoyed it as much as the first one and less camera bouncing was very nice !!
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post #26 of 30 Old 02-13-2011, 11:07 PM
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I enjoyed it started out in the lights out HT mode and midway threw the lights came on for the remainder of the movie I enjoyed it as much as the first one and less camera bouncing was very nice !!

I bet those dual SVS subs you have did a good job with some of the sound effects....some of those sudden LFE effects scared the bejeezus out of me!
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post #27 of 30 Old 02-13-2011, 11:18 PM
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I bet those dual SVS subs you have did a good job with some of the sound effects....some of those sudden LFE effects scared the bejeezus out of me!

Yes I was really suprised with the instant LFE . One time my cat jumped about 4 ft straight up in air and I was wright behind him at 3 1/2
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post #28 of 30 Old 02-14-2011, 02:27 AM
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Originally Posted by TheFactor View Post

Yes I was really suprised with the instant LFE . One time my cat jumped about 4 ft straight up in air and I was wright behind him at 3 1/2

LOL!!!!

It takes a lot to make me jump, but that first *thump* really had me on edge for the rest of the film....very, very effective sound effects
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post #29 of 30 Old 02-14-2011, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Summa View Post

LOL!!!!

It takes a lot to make me jump, but that first *thump* really had me on edge for the rest of the film....very, very effective sound effects

Oh yes that first thump was a jumper my heart started beating backwards after it skipped a few beats
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post #30 of 30 Old 02-21-2011, 09:12 AM
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Wife and I watched this Sat night.... very very disappointing. The main characters had zero likability IMO with the exception of the teenage daughter
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who left home just when her character started to become interesting
.

They basically regurgitated the scary elements of the first Paranormal and never bothered to invent anything new.
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I know the theatrical ending of the original was the one "intended" for the film but IMO the only ending worth watch is the alternate ending where she cuts her throat in front of the camera which is totally ruined by Paranormal 2.
The movie should have stood on it's own, developed the demon more and relied less on the success of its predecessor. Just my 2¢

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