PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES
BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
JANUARY 14, 2014
To sum up “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” into one word; derivative. Copying just about every horror and possession device in the book, this detour in the franchise adds nothing to the narrative yet tries to attach itself desperately to the previous installments. Once again we meet new characters who are simply living their lives until their downstairs neighbor ends up dead and turns out to have been a Satan worshiper with a basement (who has basements in California?) filled with plastic sheets and pictures of the upstairs tenant, our main character Jesse. As Jesse devolves into a mindless demon drone, the audience is taken through the steps of the average found footage, shaky camera horror film, begging the question, how many times can one be scared of fast camera movements revealing unexpected objects off-screen? Relying heavily on the camera to provide the scares and never even really delivering on most of the suspenseful moments, I questioned the legitimacy of this even being considered a horror film. Bringing back many of the moments that worked in the other films, like a coven of witches and sudden rooms displacing all of its furniture, I wanted to like “The Marked Ones” but felt it was trying too hard to reach the Hispanic audience and, in the end, does nothing but further the general disinterest in this franchise, which is too bad considering where it began. With another sequel on the horizon, I am praying that the creators learn from their mistakes and deliver something fresh and revolutionary, rather than bland and recycled.
January 3, 2014
by Oren Peli
(for pervasive language, some violence, graphic nudity and some drug use)