August 11, 2014 Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (Movie review)
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is the first spin off of the widely successful horror franchise. Original Paranormal Activity director, Oren Peli returns as producer for the film, supporting Christopher Landon in his second full length directorial effort. The film breaks away from the overdone middleclass America haunted house feel, shifting this installment into a Hispanic community in Oxnard, California. The film also switches gears from the others by leaving Katie and family out of nearly the entire story. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones exposes the experiences of recent high school graduate, Jesse, played by Andrew Jacobs, who becomes marked for possession by a demonic force. While the film shares many of the same cheap thrills as its predecessors, it is a nice change of pace to watch a Paranormal Activity with revved up action scenes and extensive supernatural effects. Creaking doors, moving shadows, and strategically placed surveillance cameras are a thing of the past for this Paranormal Activity film. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones will keep viewers entertained, albeit sometimes with silliness, as long as they are open to the concept of artistic license.
Jesse and his friends take matters into their own hands when his neighbor, Ana, is found dead. While snooping around the dead woman’s apartment, they discover a world of black magic and demonic possession. Landon does a respectable job at intertwining the other Paranormal Activity films, especially in the last fifteen minutes of the movie, coincidentally leaving just enough unanswered questions to warrant another Paranormal Activity film.
In the era of found footage films, it is typical for audiences to focus on the complete lack of realism in characters carrying a video camera everywhere they go. While this film is no different, Landon does a decent job at helping the audience to forgive it. Filled with shaky camera shots and over the top special effects, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones may not be a cinematic masterpiece, but it does its job at keeping viewers entertained.
Landon uses a much more comedic, gritty, and overall cinematic theme than the other Paranormal Activity movies. The scares in The Marked Ones may not be as innovative as those in the first film, but it is refreshing to see this director take a different approach to a concept that has been overdone a time or two too many. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is a vastly different film than previous Paranormal Activity films with an entirely separate M.O. While the plot is slightly cliché, the effects and excitement are enough to keep viewers engaged until the end. CrypticRock give this movie 3.5 out of 5 stars.