Boy do I have a treat for you. You know, I love oddities. Finding a movie that sounds absurd, or just one that I haven’t heard of and really feel like I would have heard about is always fun. Today I have one of the most surprising movies I’ve come across in a while.
You read that right, folks. It’s Paranormal Activity 2: Tokyo Night. If you saw PA2, you may not remember it being in Japanese and set in Tokyo. Because it was not. This movie came out in Japan only (as far as I could find) about one month after the American Paranormal Activity 2 came out over here. These are two totally different movies. Paranormal Activity 2 was basically just the same movie as Paranormal Activity (and 3, 4, and 5). It’s a bunch of people with cameras inexplicably set up all around and a spooky demon moves stuff around. I hate this franchise.
So I was browsing Japanese Netflix, looking for a horror movie to watch and I found this. I was surprised, because I’ve never heard of this. So, as this is a Japanese movie on Japanese Netflix, it lacked English subtitles. But I am resourceful and I found it elsewhere, so I watched it. For you guys.
The story here is that instead of slapping some subs on the American PA2, the Japanese Production Company Presidio Corp. decided to just make their own Japanese PA sequel. Now, as far as I know, this isn’t canon in the U.S. PA series. Which makes sense.
It’s about a Japanese girl that was going to school in San Diego during the events of PA 1 hit Demon Katie with her car and killed her. So the demon followed her back to Tokyo. And she and her brother are in her house while their father is away for business. Weird stuff starts happening, they film stuff in their rooms, and it is another Paranormal Activity movie in every single way.
I have seen the Paranormal Activity movies. I hated them. But I decided to watch this one because the story behind its existence is too odd to ignore. I figured I should at least check this out. I will say that this one is the best Paranormal Activity movie. Which is saying very little. It’s boring, it’s not scary, and it’s not interesting. However, my issue with the U.S. movies (besides the continuing existence of the franchise and the fact that they’re all laughable at best) is that I have never liked any of the characters. They’re all SoCal yuppies (besides Marked Ones, but that movie was the most hilariously bad for a multitude of reasons) and I don’t care to watch a bunch of rich white people get scared by a “spooky” demon. The brother and sister in Tokyo Night, however, weren’t obnoxious. They were actually pretty likable.
Now, this movie had a little more subtlety than the U.S. movies, which wasn’t terrible. But it wasn’t terribly frightening. It also didn’t have any of the balls-out insanity of the later entries in the US series either, but the problem with that is that the insanity is the only reason I watch them. Because they’re so stupid and ridiculous that I can’t help but sit there and chuckle, which I don’t entirely hate. I don’t watch them to get scared because they aren’t scary. Toy Story of Terror is scarier than the Paranormal Activity series.
I mean there’s nothing that scary about a door opening by itself. We’ve seen it. It’s not great. It’s not special. Everybody was going crazy about the first one because they’re like “ohhh wow look it made $200mil on a $15k budget” which is awesome for the filmmakers, but that’s the only cool thing about it. They’re video-on-demand movies at BEST but the only reason they put them in theaters is the same reason Call of Duty games sell: people are only comfortable with what they know. The Paranormal Activity series is the Call of Duty of horror movies.
So Tokyo Night was the best of a bad franchise. I still don’t recommend it. But if you like the Paranormal Activity movies, then definitely check out Tokyo Night (if you can find it) because it was the least awful entry in the series (though it’s not technically part of the series).