A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
These terrible things begin happening to this family -- presumably -- because of something an ancestor did; there's no sense of justice. During the crisis, the family works hard to protect the new baby, but at the same time, they don't seem able to work together. The father refuses to believe that anything is wrong. Toward the end of the story, the father makes a hard, cruel decision, which winds up biting him back.
Positive Role Models
Dan refuses to believe his wife and daughter when they say that something is wrong in the house, and he fires the nanny when she tries to perform a cleansing ritual. Kristi isn't nearly as brave as the female character in the original movie, though teen daughter Ally shows some spunk from time to time.
Violence & Scariness
While there's no overt violence -- and only a tiny bit of blood (a bite mark) -- the movie has almost constant sense of dread and terror. Most of the fear involves loud noises and sudden movements, except for a quick sequence in which a character's neck is broken. There's some off-screen violence involving a dog and some mild peril involving a toddler -- an invisible demon slowly drags him across his crib, but he's unharmed.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
In one scene, a married couple considers taking a bath together and possibly having sex, though it's mplied through mild innuendo rather than shown.
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Language includes a teen using "f--k" multiple times (while frightened). Other words include "s--t," "p---y," "ass," "crap," damn," "oh my God," and "goddammit."
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Products & Purchases
A Dunkin' Donuts ad can be heard on television. Characters play with a Ouija Board at one point.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink beer socially.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Paranormal Activity 2 -- a follow-up to 2009's low-budget horror hit -- is as full of dread and terror as the original. While hardly any violence is shown on screen (most of the scary moments involve loud noises and sudden movements), tension and fear are constant, and -- as in the original -- the viewer's imagination provides most of the fright. There's off-screen violence involving a dog, a toddler is put in mild peril, and one character's neck is snapped. Language is fairly infrequent but strong; it includes "f--k," "s--t" and "p---y." Teens who survived the original will most likely want to see this one, too. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
It's not quite as good as the first film, but it's a clever idea for a sequel and definitely delivers in the spooky department. For the follow-up to 2009's massive indie horror hit, veteran writer Michael R. Perry and director Tod Williams (The Door in the Floor) take over for original creator Oren Peli (he was a producer this time around). They maintain the style and tone of the original film: The terror remains offscreen and mostly in the imagination of the viewers, more psychological than gory. From that perspective, it's very effective and intense, creating tension with small things like an open door or a spinning mobile over a child's crib.
That said, the characters in PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 seem less powerful, though there's an interesting family dynamic going on. And unlike the first film, the demon attacks are somewhat motivated here, which negates the feeling of irrational terror inspired by the first movie -- and actually explains some of the irrational terror of the first film.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.