I enjoyed the movie Paranormal Activity 2. It effectively used subtly to scare, a neat trick. Since the movie’s pretense is fairly realistic, let’s consider if there are any real life lessons about the paranormal in the movie.
Passive acceptance versus aggressive resistance.
In the movie, the two sisters who are at the center of the malevolent activity discussed what to do about their situation. One sister (who starred in the first Paranormal Activity) suggests not talking about it and trying to ignore what was happening. She said the more they displayed fear, the stronger the entity would get. Bad move for the sisters!
Passive acceptance of such a situation would allow an entity to literally get under your skin. Actual exorcisms are thought to be an attempt to convince the possessed to reject an invading spirit. Every human being has the power to reject any outside force, IF they choose to do so. Passivity allows the spirit to become entrenched.
The flip side of the coin is aggressive resistance. In the film a Hispanic housekeeper senses something is amiss. She says prayers, and then smudges the home. Smudging is a means of purifying a space using smoke from incense or a bundle of herbs like sage. Even if the smoke is useless against a spirit, the act itself and the belief in the process strengthen the resolve of those involved. Had the housekeeper remained in the home it’s likely the story’s evil spirit would not have gotten very far.
The power of skepticism.
The movie’s husband character is a stout skeptic. He does not believe in nonsense and has rational explanations for what occurred. He is not personally involved in any paranormal activity until the end. Only the wife, teen daughter and infant experience these events. Why is that? Because they accept the possibility, he does not. It seems a spirit has to channel through the living to influence the physical world. If someone is a determined skeptic, nothing is getting channeled…period. Their skepticism is like armor. But it also means a skeptic will never experience anything paranormal on a personal level.
The movie suggests a family curse is the cause of their bedevilment. Could family curses actually exist in real life? The movie lays out the idea of a possible pact with the devil in past generations, but that makes no sense in reality. People do inherit all types of real problems, medical or behavioral, like mental illness and addiction issues. Bad blood they say. It may also be possible to inherit psychic sensitivity, like heredity witches. However the movie’s family curse idea is a lame explanation. In real life, spiritual obsession and possession happen because of something we did to invite their presence, or we had an unlucky chance encounter.
Can such things as shown in the movie actually happen? There are historical instances of poltergeists. Yet in modern times nobody has recorded anything like this happening, except for faked video. Yet, I wrote abut someone who had an encounter with what I call a growling ghost. How far could such events progress if allowed to?