Review: Paranormal Incident 2 (2013)

There are occasionally ideas that pop up in Paranormal Incident 2 but they are infrequent in this messy found footage film.

Paranormal Incident 2 is a film that many will ask two questions about. 1. Is it a rip-off of Paranormal Activity (like mockbuster studio The Asylum’s Paranormal Entity) and 2. There’s a Paranormal Incident 1? Well the answer is kind of and yes, in that order. There is little doubt that this film and films like it are aiming to cash in on the paranormal found footage craze surrounding the Paranormal Activity franchise but in many ways this is more like Grave Encounters. This film hardly follows up the 2011 film at all, hence why in many places it is renamed 616: Paranormal Incident.

This film is easy to forgive for low budget flaws (a few of the slayings are done on the cheap) but it is harder to look past the major filmmaking issues. The plot for starters has the odd moment of interest but the film is more concerned with doing the Grave Encounters reality shifts and pushing this forward at the expense of the one potentially interesting interrogation sub-plot. The film is just a mess in structure and has gaping logic faults, the biggest of which are the characters reactions to unfolding events.

These characters are either the hardest squad on film since Arnie’s muscle-bound group in Predator or the acting is just bad. The second option seems most likely. The film literally throws out major events and some of the cast remain completely unresponsive. For instance if you found your photo in this building and then it burst into flame, would you just drop it and keep on searching? Paranormal Incident 2 feels like it has been directed merely to cash in on a trend. The film has no visceral shocks and scares of its own and the ending “person was never found” technique is not even played with a hint of irony.

The narrative framing device is also skewed and the enjoyment mainly spurs from seeing the odd good idea and the unintentional hilarity from a lack of character reactions (the main offenders are Vai Au-Harehoe as Agent Frost and Rib Hills as Agent Freeman). Plus the whole things starts out like a pornography film, with excessive arse gazing and boob flashing just in case you were inclined to turn off and that continues intermittently throughout, just to stop you switching off. The fact is though, that it is going to take a hell of a lot more than tramp stamps and tight backsides to keep people watching this mess. If you love this kind of film, there are worse in existence but there are countless ones that are better.

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