Do you like scary movies, Sydney?

So it’s that time of year again, when little kids dress up and go begging for sugar. Also known as Halloween! In the UK Halloween isn’t, or wasn’t, a big deal. When I was a kid it was just going around your street for sweets before the sun went down. But the influence of America has altered the season somewhat, and now people dress up properly and put out lanterns, and host parties.

My experience of Halloween, coming from a strong Christian family, was having to put up a sign by our front door explaining that we didn’t welcome Trick or Treaters because we were Christian. I attended a few church gatherings called White Knight parties on Halloween evening, which consisted of party games and a disco until about 8pm. I would then have to explain to all my friends at school as to why we had the sign up on our door, the next day. Huge fun for me.

So now I’m an adult I don’t really revel in the spirit of the season (spirit…. geddit!) However I am partial to a scary movie or two and we do buy in sweets for the kids if they come knocking (none did last year, however). So last year we Halloween’d it up by watching Let The Right One In and The Exorcism of Emily Rose, and tonight we went to see Paranormal Activity 2.

Now I’m going to talk about both the first movie and the second, so if you don’t want to be very mildly spoiled, then don’t read any more.

I really enjoyed the 2nd film, pretty much as much as the first. I saw the first one at home on dvd and it scared me shitless. It was an amazing movie, and I know when they start to show it on  SKY I’ll watch it again. It had the right amount of scariness and psychological elements to it, that stayed with you for weeks (if not longer!) The second was a prologue to the first. Let me start with saying that as with the trailer for the first movie, the majority of the scares in the trailer NEVER emerge in the actual film. In the trailer you see a baby in the street – never happened – a tall shadow standing behind the sofa – never happened – a figure in the bathroom staring into the babies’ room – not there – and the baby being stood up against the crib – didn’t happen the same way. I know it’s not important to the movie, but false advertising pisses me off!

So as I said the movie is a prologue, and by that I mean it starts 2 months before the first movie, and overlaps by about 2 weeks at the end. You need to have seen the first one to understand the second. The premise is the same, but because they’ve linked the two movies, the fact that similar things happen mean you don’t feel like it’s a copycat or a cop-out. There were a few moments where I actually had my hand over my face and there were a few jumps.

The family install cameras in the house after a suspected break in where the house is trashed, and the only thing taken in a necklace given to Kristi by her sister (Katie who was the main female character in the first movie). This is never explained or mentioned again. But you kinda make up your own reasons for this by using the background information you’ve learned from the first movie. Your concerns and anxieties are mostly created by the addition to the story of a baby and a dog. That’s really the only way they could have added a new element to what is basically the same story as the first. The interest then added by the fact that the stories are linked by the two sisters.

The movie is left on what could be a cliff-hanger tiny little chance for a third movie – though the writers are saying that if they do make another, it will be planned very carefully, which is good to hear. It shows they care about the integrity of the story.

All in all I really enjoyed the film, and if they do make a third I’ll definitely watch it. The next movies I want to see are Let Me In (a remake of Let The Right One In, which promises to be as good as the original) and Catfish (which I really don’t have any clue what it’s about and I really don’t want to until I see it!), oh and there’s a little film about a young wizard which is meant to be rather good (hehe). In the mean time, I’ll be kicking it old school watching some oldie horrors…. I’m partial to a John Carpenter film when I can 🙂

Happy Halloween!

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