The Very First ‘Simul-quel’ is a Frightening Masterpiece


Image courtesy of: New York Daily News

Last year, when Paranormal Activity came out, it became one of the most profitable films of all time. With only a $15,000 budget, it made $193 million dollars after wider release. So, with the success of this film, they make a sequel to it—with a bigger budget of 3 million dollars. I saw Paranormal Activity 2, and this film scared me a lot more than the original; it was simply frightening.

The film’s plot deals with a family, Dan and his wife Kristi (who is the sister of Katie from the first film), Ali (Dan’s daughter from a previous marriage), Martine, the housekeeper/nanny, Abby, the family dog, and newborn Hunter. The captured footage generally revolves around Hunter, with Dan and Kristi taping Hunter as he develops during the early months of his life. In fact, it is not until after a montage of Hunter’s growth that the film technically starts up.
Like the original, the film is a mocumentary, meaning the characters are the ones filming. In the original, when the characters slept, you only saw and heard what was going on in their bedroom. In the sequel, the family installed security cameras around the house when it seemed like somebody had broken in. This gave you a better feel of what was happening since you could now see multiple rooms.

One of my favorite features of this film was that, unlike the first, supernatural occurrences happen at day. An example is where Kristi is hanging out in the kitchen, and all of a sudden, pots and pans fall, and the drawers “explode” in a way. It is not something one expects since all previous occurrences happened at night. It made my heart jump.

A creepy aspect of this film, is that throughout the film the “demon” seems to focus on Hunter, a baby who is not even a toddler yet. A lot of the terror scenes take place in his room—where Abby, the dog, sleeps as well. In the beginning, the audience sees that the two of them are the ones aware of something strange; Abby even barks at the demon on numerous occasions.

The most original thing about this film, though, is the fact that it is both a prequel and a sequel at the same time. The sequel part, however, does not happen until around the last ten or so minutes. Still, this was impressive and composed perfectly; it lends for, yet, another installment—which is said to be in the works. Todd Williams, the director of the film, was asked what he called this prequel/sequel idea, and he responded, “Simul-quel, maybe.”
So, if the first film frightened you and you are in the Halloween spirit, you’re definitely going to get frightened by this one.

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