Why Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is Kinda Awesome

 

“Paranormal Activities Latino cousin provides too many laughs and cheap jumps for a ‘horror’ film, but provides a decent addition to the franchises never-ending plot”

Back in 2007, at the tender age of 15, I can safely say that Paranormal Activity managed to scare me the living daylights out of me - a feeling that was shared by many people around the globe. The “found footage” style provided an element of realism that many horror films seemed to lack and it just gripped me and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. An impressive feat given that it only had a 15 thousand dollar budget. Even more impressive was its box office sales of over 100 million dollars, and that is undoubtedly the reason that it has become a very successful franchise and a household name in the horror genre.

Unlike the other 4 films in the franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is not a direct sequel (or prequel) to its predecessors; in fact, it's almost a spin off film, in that it cleverly references the other films in the franchise without heavily affecting them. Well, besides the massive twist at the end - which is by far the best part - so if you enjoyed the rest of the franchise I'd recommend you go see this film solely for its ending.

This story follows the lives of Jesse, a recent High School graduate, and his close friends Hector and Marisol. After Jesse finds a suspicious bite mark on his arm - much like that found on Katie’s leg in Paranormal Activity - he develops what appear to be superhuman abilities. The events that follow lead to the rapid deterioration of Jesse’s health and he becomes increasingly closed off and distant to his friends. It’s not until Hector and Marisol meet up with Ali Rey, Katie’s niece from Paranormal Activity 2, that they find out that Jesse has been marked for possession by the demonic presence.

 

“The demon likes to knit jumpers out of these strange tear string things”

Prior to this instalment, you had to take each Paranormal Activity film as part of an overarching plot across the whole franchise, otherwise each film just came off as exactly the same, but with different people getting messed up by the demon. Not so with this film! The plot and format is considerably different to the others in that it isn’t split up into nights with people attempting to capture the weird occurrences in their house on camera. This makes for a refreshing change of pace at first, but in terms of horror and suspense it, sadly, suffers greatly. In fact, there are very few scary moments besides the odd cheap jump – nothing particularly memorable. The film has more genuinely funny moments than scary ones, and it lightened the mood too much for me to be scared at all. Still, the additions to the overarching plot are substantial, and as a fan of the franchises plot I thoroughly enjoyed finding out more about the demonic presence; as is always the case with Paranormal Activity films, the entire film leads up to a big finale where the demon gets sick of being filmed and kills everyone, but in this instance it also lead to a massive twist that caught me entirely off guard, and very nearly saved the film for me. Suffice it to say, that now, finally, I can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel for this story.

 

“Remember us?”

In the interest of not spoiling the film for anyone I will refrain from divulging anything specific regarding the big twist, but I will say it, alone, is enough to warrant seeing this film for any Paranormal Activity fan. In the end though, The Marked Ones isn’t a great addition to the franchise; with too many humorous moments and not enough horror, it leaves you wishing they would just finish off the overall story already. I mean, it’s been 5 films now - come on guys!

Final Score 5/10

This has been Deedsy for The Awesome Update, over and out.

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