TITLE: Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
STARRING: Andrew Jacobs, Jorge Diaz, Gabrielle Walsh
DIRECTOR: Christopher Landon
STUDIO: Paramount Pictures, Blumhouse Productions, Solana Films, Room 101 Inc.
RUN-TIME: 84 min
RELEASED: January 3, 2014
***WARNING: A MAJOR SPOILER LAYS AHEAD FOR PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES.***
By Seth Miller
Staff Writer, Part-Time Ninja
Some movie franchises simply keep going strong, while others go bad. On the other hand, some just throw crazy stuff out there and hope it sticks. I thought the Paranormal Activity series couldn’t get any crazier after the third film. But Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, the fifth film in the series, has managed to up the crazy, and not in a good way.
Jesse (Andrew Jacobs) and Hector (Jorge Diaz) break into the apartment of a neighbor who was recently murdered by one of their classmates. The next day, Jesse wakes up with a bite on his arm. He starts displaying special powers, and a creepy events begin to happen. The more they dig into why this is happening, the more it appears to be demonic in nature.
The film does have its share of positives. Most of the movie expands the franchise’s universe in a good way by hinting at larger conspiracy compared to the limited frame we have previously viewed. There are some nice jump scares that make use of the move from stationary cameras to handheld cameras.
In terms of positives, there are two moments that really stand out. The first is when Jesse grabs the camera from Hector and films him. That was a nice touch, as the person shooting these found footage movies rarely gets the tables turned on them like that. The other is when our protagonists go for the big showdown, and they have the common sense to go find some guns.
But it is still more of the same. If you have seen one or two of the previous movies, you know when the monster is going to jump out to scare the audience. You know it is going to end badly. And at the end of the day, there is nothing very interesting or compelling about any of these characters. It still would have been a okay movie, but then the ending happened…
Time travel. Out of all the things they could have used to wrap things up, they used time travel. I thought the ending of the third movie, where everything was part of some witch conspiracy was a bit much. But throwing in time travel is pushing it too far for me. Why did it have to be time travel? What about a portal to hell? There is no reason for this to be here that makes any sense, except just throwing some craziness at the audience for craziness’ sake. What’s going to happen in the next movie? Is there going to be a period theme for every movie after this one? A PA film set in the ’60s, maybe? Or are they going to set one in the 1920s and make it a silent film? The time travel element is just too much for this series. It’s not the good kind of crazy. It’s crazy stupid.
While there are some positive developments over the previous films. But Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones still churns out a bunch of stuff that we have all seen before, and the end is too ridiculous to justify.
Front page image from starnewsonline.com. Image 1 from rottentomatoes.com. Image 2 from digitalspy.co.uk.
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