Whether or not you enjoy “Paranormal Activity 2: Tokyo Night” is directly proportioned to whether or not you enjoy the “Paranormal Activity” franchise at all. At the end of the day this is Japan’s piece of the Paranormal pie and it is officially a sequel to and an extension of Oren Peli’s lore that he established with he first film and that has been established with the second film. This is not the first time an American film has seen a foreign sequel matched with an American sequel as George Romero saw his film “Dawn of the Dead” become its own franchise in Italy while “Day of the Dead” was simultaneously released and for once it’s refreshing to see Japan take on an American hit film and provide their own adaptation of the source material.
“Tokyo Night” is right up the alley of the country that perfected the ghost film and director Toshikazu Nagae competently paces his sequel to live up to Peli’s original film where he neatly connects his film to Peli’s lore through coincidence and circumstance, but is set out to make his own ghost film in the tradition of the Japanese culture. Many scenes do echo that of Peli’s original film, but that’s only because the studio is so anxious to deem this official sequel as a legitimate branch off of tragedy involving Micah and Katie in the United States. This time around young Koichi welcomes home his big sister Haruka after a trip to the US left her with two broken legs thanks to a car wreck that nearly took her life. Conveniently, Koichi is technology obsessed so his entire house is filled with technological gizmos including camcorders and he records his sister’s home coming that inevitably spirals in to paranormal investigations.
As with Oren Peli’s film, events eventually spiral out of control as the brother and sister discover there is an powerful merciless entity in the house, and they take to investigation that leads in to the signature Peli night/time stamp sequences (where most of the activity occurs, of course) that will leave fans of the series on baited breath. This is strictly a film for the fans of the series looking for more consumption involving ghosts, and apparitions not solely bound to the US versions, and for what it promises it competently delivers in the chills and the scares. Not content with just delivering the spooks Nagae does deliver twists and turns of his very own with some back story that will leave audiences jaws to the floor.
As a fan of Peli’s original film and the US sequel I can highly recommend “Tokyo Night” for a quick scare as it sets out to tell its own story in the universe of “Paranormal Activity” and succeeds confidently and with a few memorably horrific moments that will rival the American counterparts. For a ghost story it’s a really good time and I stress that only fans of “Paranormal Activity” need apply. For fans of the series this is a pretty good alternate sequel to the United States version with some neat twists and turns and creative takes on the original material. Anyone looking for a good ghost story should look at “Tokyo Night” a well acted and creative bit of folklore that should appease Paranormal Activity fans.