Paranormal Activity 2

Rated 4.0

If you saw the 2007 indie hit, you may wonder how they managed to work up a sequel. It’s a prequel, mostly, with a little bit of sequel at the tag. The couple from the first picture (Katie Featherstone, Micah Sloat) make an appearance, but the focus is on Katie’s sister (Sprague Grayden), brother-in-law (Brian Boland) and niece (Molly Ephraim) and bizarre happenings in their house, even as similar things are going on at Katie and Micah’s. Writer-director Oren Peli is replaced by Tod Williams (directing) and Michael R. Perry, Christopher Landon and Tom Pabst (writing); the original minuscule $15,000 budget is increased more than a hundredfold, but the all-video concept remains. The result is a first-rate chiller, even more effective than the first—slicker, but also scarier and more suspenseful.