Metascore
53

Mixed or average reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 23
  2. Negative: 2 out of 23
  1. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Oct 21, 2010
    83
    Even when nothing is happening, the often dead-silent shots tend to grow scarier the more you look at them.
  2. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Oct 22, 2010
    80
    It delivers its considerable moments of terror in the same way the original film did. But it does deliver.
  3. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Oct 22, 2010
    75
    Demons of mediocrity, be gone! Here we have a shrewd sequel a touch better than the original.
  4. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Oct 22, 2010
    75
    What was scary once is scary twice, like a carnival funhouse remodeled with a few new mirrors and spring-loaded spooks.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Oct 21, 2010
    75
    Rarely is the second film in a horror franchise more frightening than the original, but Paranormal Activity 2 has more innocent victims and more scares than its predecessor.
  6. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Oct 22, 2010
    70
    More of the same, for all the good and acceptably routine that that implies.
  7. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Oct 23, 2010
    63
    And again things go bump and eventually yarrrragghhh in the night.
  8. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Oct 22, 2010
    63
    If you're looking for wicked fun this Halloween, Paranormal Activity 2 is the best goosebump game in town.
  9. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Oct 23, 2010
    60
    Unlike the original, Paranormal Activity 2's pacing is uneven; it builds slowly and effectively before rushing too quickly, and at one point not particularly coherently, through the climax. But the jolts, when they come, are bigger, causing actual physical thrills and chills, at least for me.
  10. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Oct 23, 2010
    60
    Even knowing what's likely to come-the doors opening on their own, the skeptical characters scoffing at metaphysical explanations, the unheeded warnings from paranormally gifted guests-doesn't make it any less nailbiting to watch.
  11. Reviewed by: John P. McCarthy
    Oct 23, 2010
    60
    Serves as both a sequel and a prequel, and the team Oren Peli has assembled deserves credit for beefing up and rounding out his original narrative without letting it mutate into something unrecognizable.
  12. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Oct 21, 2010
    60
    Without giving anything away, much of the excruciatingly teased-out tension here echoes the first movie without upping the ante.
  13. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Oct 23, 2010
    50
    Paranormal Activity 2 suffers from the excessive expository blah-blah that's so common in horror-movie sequels.
  14. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Oct 23, 2010
    50
    The clumsy and obvious byproduct of the financial success of its predecessor last Halloween, this movie has no reason for existing except to provide Paramount Pictures with a few extra shekels.
  15. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Oct 22, 2010
    50
    Frozen camera setups and blurry night-vision images raise goose bumps without the assistance of eerie music or showy effects, though the strain of stretching the gimmick to a second movie is palpable.
  16. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    Oct 22, 2010
    50
    Where "The Last Exorcism" was sustained by artfully balanced skepticism and a feel for character, Paranormal 2, putatively directed by Tod Williams, can only hold an audience with the understood promise of big jolts around the corner.
  17. Reviewed by: Frank Scheck
    Oct 22, 2010
    50
    Anyone who has seen the original knows exactly where things are heading, with the result that the proceedings seem far more manipulative than unnerving.
  18. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    Oct 22, 2010
    50
    Picture fares like most horror follow-ups, offering more of the same to somewhat diminished effect.
  19. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Oct 22, 2010
    50
    The principle suspense is wondering when the suspense is going to start, as you scan the darkly-lit screen looking for any hint of imminent horror.
  20. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Oct 21, 2010
    50
    A confident, cocky and often comic promenade down the same primrose path.
  21. Reviewed by: Ben Kenigsberg
    Oct 22, 2010
    40
    The impression is less of calculated ineptitude than of seasoned professionals (director Tod Williams made The Door in the Floor) playing dumb, as a checklist of household items-frying pans, endlessly shutting doors, a pool cleaner with a mind of its own-test viewers' reflexes.
  22. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Oct 22, 2010
    38
    An efficient delivery system for Gotcha! Moments, of which it has about 19. Audiences who want to be Gotchaed will enjoy it.
  23. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Oct 22, 2010
    20
    Paranormal Activity 2 sinks much lower than it needs to in order to get a rush out of us - and in the end, the rush isn't even that great. The movie puts us through the paces with minimal payoff.
User Score
5.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 232 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 47 out of 95
  2. Negative: 26 out of 95
  1. Oct 23, 2010
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Most of the film flips through the same static shots where nothing usually happens, except for a bump in the night or some "paranormal activity." The movie mostly takes place inside some ordinary house, which limits the creepiness and makes it pretty boring to watch. Ooo, another still-shot of the kitchen...and nothing happens! Again! The characters are mundane and foolish, and the film never establishes a true connection to these people. I really couldn't care what happened to these characters because I barely got to know them. The plot is pencil-thin, and the ending is anti-climatic and not suspenseful at all - a HUGE wasted opportunity in what should have been the scariest part. I am being harsh, but I honestly didn't jump out of my seat once. There are some creepy elements, but the film failed to do what it was supposed to - scare me. Full Review »
  2. Oct 29, 2010
    5
    The first Paranormal was a unique idea blended in with some hilarious acting and mystical elements. Sadly, most people knew what to expectThe first Paranormal was a unique idea blended in with some hilarious acting and mystical elements. Sadly, most people knew what to expect from the prequel; and that's its biggest problem. It still manages to add some contingent scares, but it's not nearly as enthralling as last years surprise. Full Review »
  3. Oct 26, 2010
    3
    Trickery... It's nothing else. Not creative, not interesting. Lets make the audience focus on a door for 5 minutes... Do it for so long theyTrickery... It's nothing else. Not creative, not interesting. Lets make the audience focus on a door for 5 minutes... Do it for so long they are bored and feel tired, then ANYTHING can be done to shock you... Noise, movement and/or with any sound or shape. A total breeze for the film-makers and the first shock is just as lame as the last. I had more fun listening to reactions of different people scream in the cinema. Pretty solid acting however and they made everything believable, I just personally felt it was a waste of time/money. Full Review »